Merito Group works with companies across the U.S to help place the ideal candidate with the best company. The question is though, would you be willing to relocate to a new state for the perfect job?

The supply of software developers in Northwest Arkansas for example, hasn’t met the demand, leading companies to look outside the area to fill the talent gap. But technology executives for Lowell-based carrier J.B. Hunt Transport Services and Bentonville-based retailer Walmart said if they can get that talent here to show them the area, they are often convinced to take a position with the company.

Gaven Smith, vice president of engineering and technology for J.B. Hunt, and David Morales, senior director of software engineering for Walmart, were among a panel of five IT executives who took questions about their business as it related to technology, software programming platforms and recruiting efforts for their Northwest Arkansas companies. The NWA Tech Panel was a two-part segment of the Nowhere Developers conference hosted Thursday (March 15) at the Record in downtown Bentonville. The aim of the conference was to attract developers from outside the region to work and live in Northwest Arkansas along with creating a network for them in which to tap.

“Once you get them to Northwest Arkansas and you can explain this culture and sell this area, it sells itself,” Smith said. “Especially when you get down to cost of living, when you are competing against the Googles and the Amazons, that’s something you’ve got to push is the culture and cost of living — just the quality of life that’s available here in Northwest Arkansas.”

Kanat Bekt, software engineer at SupplyPike in Fayetteville, said the idea for the conference stemmed from challenges the supply chain technology company faced in recruiting talent.

To read more of Arkansas’s efforts to tempt people from out of state to relocate for a new career, please click here to read Jeff Della Rosa‘s fascinating article from

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