Quaeris (QWHERE US) is Latin for “to seek”, is an organization of West Michigan employers and non-profit member groups (think chamber of commerce’s) which promote West Michigan as an employment destination and provide relocation support to professionals and their families. When Quaeris made its public launch in early 2010, the first thing I thought was “Damn, why didn’t they have this program around when I relocated here back in 2005.” The second thing was how interesting it is to see all these companies even competitors band together for this kind of initiative. To me this arrangement seemed extremely unique, just take a look at the list of companies involved (check out the costs to join).
- Blue Cross & Blue Shield
- Davenport University
- Grand Valley State University
- Herman Miller
- Highland Group
- MSU College of Human Medicine
- Powell Relocation Group
- Priority Health
- Progressive AE
- SDI Consulting
- Spectrum Health
- Trinity Health West Michigan
- Van Andel Institute
- Warner Norcross & Judd
- West Michigan Relocation Specialists
- Wolverine World Wide
You have competitors in a number of markets including office workspace, law firms, medical, and healthcare insurance. But what I also wanted to find out if there are any more co-company arrangements like Quaeris out there in different regions. Trust me this was crazy difficult to find, go ahead and you try searching, it’s impossible. Well through my awesome web sleuthing I have found this, FUEL Milwaukee. FUEL Milwaukee was developed for the same reasons as Quaeris “talent attraction and retention”. Right now FUEL has about 60 employer members. What is interesting about FUEL is that it started out as a Young Professionals group (similar to area GRYP and HYP) but morphed with the support of various regional economic groups to become both a membership organization for professionals and for companies as well.
Anyways back to Quaeris, I guess I should not be surprised that these companies are working together for the betterment of the region after all many of them play together already. Examples like the Intern Olympics (see my post), or the GRid 70 design hub (which apparently only Raleigh and Austin have something similar) featuring Wolverine, Meijer, Amway, and Steelcase, show regional collaboration at work.
The one marketing angle I want to mention about Quaeris is the name. So besides the sophomoric humor some may find in the word Quaeris, my main issue is that it’s so non-descriptive. It does nothing to signify what region this organization promotes. I just question how prospective talents outside of West Michigan become aware of this organization. What exactly do you Google to find out about Quaeris? I tried a couple of quick searches on “West Michigan Business” , “West Michigan Companies”, “West Michigan Relocation” and Quaeris did not pop up on the first page of the search. I do not have a good answer for how to solve this because I am not sure that something like “West Michigan Area Companies Uniting for Attracting Talent and Giving Resources to Their Spouses so That they are More Comfortable with Moving to West Michigan Organization” or WMACUATGRTSTTMCMWMO might just be a little too verbose. Perhaps a simple Quaeris West Michigan would be enough. What are your thoughts on the name or other suggestions?
So please help me if you know of any other regional organizations which feature companies working together to bring awareness and employee talent to their area, let me know. I would love to dig into this deeper.