Many of our candidate searches involve out of town or out of state recruitment. Often we are asked to find qualified candidates with unique skills and specific industry experience. Although we may focus our efforts on sourcing and networking in the local community, there are times our search may involve finding candidates who are willing and able to relocate to that market.
The question for the job seeker is -are the inherent risks of relocating worth the potential opportunities to advance or jumpstart my career? From the employer’s standpoint, the question is often -are we better off investing in training a local candidate with less exact industry experience, but already ensconced in our town and local community?
A shared question for both the relocating job seeker and the employer bringing in the new employee should be this:
How long would the new employee need to be in the new job for the investment and risk on both sides to be deemed acceptable? For some workers, two to four years at any one position is about all the energy and commitment they can foresee before they start considering other opportunities. Some industries need a constant flow of fresh ideas to permeate their business, lest the ideas and strategies of their teams become stale. So it is important for both sides of the hiring equation to have in mind the acceptable tenure for a relocating employee.
Are you relocating to an area in which you are familiar? Have you visited there often on vacation or family get-togethers? If the new job doesn’t work out, would you and your family want to remain in that city?
As a company, are we relocating a new employee from a similar environment? Does our city offer a compatible generational and cultural fit for the new employee? How much of a financial and support commitment are we prepared to make to ease the move for our new employee?
When I speak to a candidate and they have lived in only one city their entire lives I see a huge red flag for that candidate being a potential relocation. That thought is common across all age groups. The potential for a candidate relocating for a position if they’ve never lived anywhere but their birthplace is very small. Conversely, if a candidate was raised in a military family where they moved every few years and are accustom to adapting to new environments, the chance of relocating that candidate successfully is much greater. However, there are other considerations to keep in mind. Does the candidate have a history of relocating successfully for a job? Are they interested in moving back to the area to be near family and friends?
Keep in mind that moving a family with high school age children, especially a young lady attending high school, can be a recipe for disaster.
Relocating as a job seeker is a business decision, relocating a new employee is a business decision; no business decision can be successful if the real estate component doesn’t make sense. Make sure that you get the feasibility of that working well on both sides, before any in person interviews are arranged.
During the in-person interview, make sure the candidate takes a tour of the city. Usually a well-connected real estate broker is a great resource. Research the quality of life issues: education, culture, diversity, entertainment/arts, climate, housing, crime rate etc.
If you do your due diligence; conduct multiple interviews, conduct references, and appropriate background screening, the relocation option CAN work.
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