(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by Allied Van Lines, proud sponsor of the “2012 Workforce Mobility Survey”, designed to capture the voice of HR on topics related to workforce mobility. Allied has more than 75 years of experience in corporate, household and international relocation. )
I’ve made two corporate moves in my career. The first time was for a better opportunity within the same company. And the second time was for a new position with a new company. Both times Mr. Bartender was left behind faced with the task of selling our home, packing up our stuff and finding a new job in our new city.
That’s why I was really interested in seeing the results of the 2012 Workforce Mobility Survey, sponsored by Allied Van Lines. When I talk to HR pros about their next opportunity, relocation never comes up. Never. In fact, most of the people I know who are looking for a new position aren’t open to relocation.
Needless to say, when I read that 59% of HR pros say the current economic climate has had “no impact” on their ability to recruit and hire candidates involving relocation, I was surprised and wanted to learn more.
And don’t get fooled into thinking relocation benefits are only offered within larger organizations. Smaller companies are getting into the game in order to compete for top talent. Often, they can offer the agility and flexibility to make it happen.
In looking at the study, I realized if you’re not open to relocation … well, you’re just not open to it. Simple as that. And that probably keeps the “Are you willing to relocate?” conversation from ever occurring in the first place.
But if you are willing to relocate, there’s a whole new world of opportunities that exist. The survey noted, “Even though the housing market is slow, human resource professionals are optimistic about the willingness of the workforce to relocate and do not foresee obstacles in the way of recruiting candidates from distant locations.” Very interesting.
Here’s the tricky part. We now know people are willing to move. And companies are willing to offer relocation packages. It comes down to the relocation benefits package being worth the move. For both the candidate/employee as well as the company.
The survey results indicate that companies are struggling to seal the deal when it comes to relocation:
First, over 30% of companies said they have no recruitment plans. And 52% said their recruitment programs are “somewhat successful”. Part of a successful recruitment strategy is understanding mobility –what positions can you hire locally and which ones do you need to consider relocation. Not having a plan in place that works…can be costing your organization.
80% of respondents said that spousal support can be one of the reasons for a candidate rejecting a relocation opportunity. Yet only 2% of companies actually offer something in this area. Which begs the question – if candidates tell you it’s a problem, then why not fix it?
Best in class recruiting programs are leveraging their relocation benefits during the hiring process. They not only offer the traditional benefits such as moving expenses, but they also include information on schools and new-home purchasing assistance. The study shares some attention-grabbing data about best practices.
If you’re interested in seeing what employers are covering in their relocation packages, check out this chart from the survey. I thought it was remarkable that almost 75% of highly successful relocation programs include temporary living costs and over 55% offer lump-sum payments.
We have a tendency to overuse and abuse the term “War for Talent” but, truth be told, the war exists. And the numbers above suggest that companies are heavily “arming” themselves to successfully attract good candidates. If your company wants the best and brightest, it will have to cast a wide net and compete for them. That means mobility must be a part of your recruitment strategy.
My recommendation? Don’t wait until you need to make a candidate offer to decide about relocation. Now is the time to decide how much your company is willing to spend to get the talent that will move your business to the next level.
Many thanks to the folks at Allied for sharing their research. If you would like to learn more about Allied Van Lines, please check out their website or blog. And if you would like to get more information from the Workforce Mobility Survey, you can click here. It’s definitely worth checking out.0
John G. Self says
Corporate relocation issues are a major factor in career and personal brand management. I have seen executives abandon an otherwise promising career because a spouse and family will not consider relocation.
As an executive recruiter, my role is not to judge. Candidates make decisions about relocating for a new job based on a multiple of factors. Family issues are usually number one on the list. But when these candidates come back later begging me to help find them a job in a market where career advancement is limited, I am more than a little frustrated. I appreciate their commitment to family. That is important stuff. But in this new normal economy — where productivity increases may have permanently limited employment opportunities at all levels — there are relocation tradeoffs with serious career consequences.
Sharlyn Lauby says
Thanks for the comment John. I agree that relocations are family decisions … and very personal. Candidates need to understand the tradeoffs. And if they’re new at it, they may need a lot of hand-holding. Hopefully someone is helping them along the way.