Enticing Job Candidates to Relocate

A previous Recruiting Daily Advisor article looks at how U.S. states are getting into the recruiting business by promoting affordability and quality of life in an attempt to attract job candidates.relocation
Now, some municipalities are taking employee recruitment efforts further. The Wall Street Journal reports that several U.S. cities will pay people to relocate, so that companies can fill open jobs.

Dollar Signs

North Platte, Nebraska, for example, will pay people up to $10,000 to move to town for a job.
Other cities are trying to lure young workers by helping with student loan repayment. Hamilton, Ohio, for example, is offering $5,000 toward student loans for people with skills in engineering, technology, science, or the arts, if they agree to live in downtown Hamilton for 2 years.
Money apparently talks—municipalities have received a number of applicants for grants.

Making a Decision

Nevertheless, the practice isn’t without controversy.
What happens if a person, lured by quick cash, relocates and the job doesn’t work out? Proponents would say the individual can find another job, or later move again. But it may not be that easy.
Meanwhile, for employers, as well as those funding relocation programs, investments may not lead to desired outcomes.

Reasons to Relocate

For most people, relocation is a major commitment. As such, companies seeking to attract job candidates from outside the area, individuals for whom the job would involve relocation, should focus on best practices in employee recruitment.
When a job involves relocation, best practices include:

  • Providing a realistic overview of the company and what it has to offer long term. This includes being honest about career growth and advancement opportunities.
  • Establishing a connection between the would-be employee and the area’s lifestyle.
  • Highlighting recreational, cultural, and entertainment offerings.
  • Sharing details about housing, schools, and cost of living, so that a job candidate can make an informed decision.
  • Considering a would-be employee’s partner and the opportunities he or she will have in the new community.
  • Recognizing differences between the old location and the new that may make adjusting to the new community difficult, such as weather, lack of proximity to an airport, and more—and having frank discussions about these differences.

When recruiting involves relocation, it’s also helpful to share resources with a candidate. Sperling’s Best Places, for example, provides tools that allow for side-by-side city comparisons. The website lets a person take a close look at cost of living, climate, tax rates, and other factors related to a potential move.
Although online resources and information a company shares are invaluable, so too is a visit to the new city—if at all possible. When a job involves relocation, a candidate isn’t only agreeing to change employers; the candidate is agreeing to change many other aspects of his or her life. The location, as well as the job, must be a fit.

Paula Paula Santonocito, Contributing Editor for Recruiting Daily Advisor, is a business journalist specializing in employment issues. She is the author of more than 1,000 articles on a wide range of human resource and career topics, with an emphasis on recruiting and hiring. Her articles have been featured in many global and domestic publications and information outlets, referenced in academic and legal publications as well as books, and translated into several languages.