Location, Location, (Re)location

Employee relocation is a hot topic right now. With UK employment levels at record highs (currently over 75%), it’s no wonder; employers are finding it hard to get the talent they need locally, so both employers and recruiters are having to look further afield (effectively turning a candidate pool into a candidate lake!) in the hope of persuading candidates to relocate.

But what makes a candidate up sticks and start a new life for their job? And what can employers and recruiters offer to make them do just that?

The key is understanding what each other wants.

In general, younger candidates are more likely to be open to relocating, they’re less likely to have established family commitments such as children or ageing parents they need to support – although those relocating from cities such as London are more often in their mid-30s, as they look for a better work-life balance1.

Typically a prospective employee will be looking for career progression (naturally), a nice place to live and local social connections, a sensible (and easy) commute and – particularly if they have a family – affordable housing and good schools. Recruiters should encourage candidates to look at any move as a medium- to long-term commitment too, say at least 2 to 5 years.

Employers will be looking to attract talent to wherever they’ve set up business – and that location may not be instantly attractive to the best in their industry. So while there’s no legal obligation to offer a ‘relocation package’, they’ll probably have to look at benefits and incentives to entice people to join their organisation.

In helping them put the package together, as a recruiter you should make sure they think about what prospective employees need so you can really sell the deal to candidates – after all, they’ll be the ones uprooting their lives.

Here are five suggestions;

1. Sell the company culture

Hopefully the post you’re advertising will spark the initial interest, but reinforce it by selling the employer as a business that looks after its people, and one they’d want to work for. You could even offer to ‘buddy up’ the new starter with a colleague to help them settle in.

2. Sell the location

There are positives to every location; they just need finding. For instance, anyone moving from a big city to a small town will get much more property for their money. And more remote locations can be a great place to bring up a family. A good way to help potential employees discover if a location’s right for them is to offer an overnight stay in the locale for them (and their family) when they come for interview.

3. Help make moving easy

It’s not just a case of paying removals costs – it can be helping deal with the admin of moving, or helping partners find a new job too. Essentially, anything that will help make the move as easy as possible – such as assisting them to find a rental property for the duration of the probationary period.

4. Be flexible

Employers can also help by being flexible about moving dates and office hours during the first few weeks – remember, this can be a big upheaval, especially if there’s a whole family to sort out. If a candidate doesn’t want to uproot their family initially and they have a long commute home on a Friday for example, flexi time would be a big attraction.

5. Be ready to negotiate

At the end of the day, employers should be prepared to sweeten the pill of moving by offering more money, benefits and other incentives, if necessary.

It may currently be an employees’ market, but with the right approach you can help your clients attract the right candidates from wherever they currently live. All it takes is the right approach…

1 https://www.nationwide.co.uk/about/media-centre-and-specialist-areas/media-centre/press-releases/archive/2017/11/03-relocating-for-work

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