Moving boxes. Packaging Tape. Storage facilities. Styrofoam peanuts. Setting up new utilities. Is anyone excited by these things? Most are terrified, yet what can we do when they are exactly the things standing in the way of your best candidate saying “yes” to your opportunity? The thought of relocation is intimidating for nearly all candidates and most organizations, yet it is essential for landing the right hires in critical roles that may change the entire trajectory and future of your firm.
In many situations and for many roles, a commitment to employing the best candidates possible can sometimes involve relocation. Whether this a commonplace occurrence or one that is only approved under the most unique circumstances, there are essential components of a successful relocation that can be refined to create a seamless process for the candidate, the family, and the organization.
For any hiring manager who has been involved with handling relocations, the nightmare stories are plentiful. The moving truck breaks down, high school children threaten emancipation, or the family cat is accidentally packed in a moving box (but survived) are all true stories of relocation fiascos. Assuredly, unexpected situations cannot always be avoided, but are there steps that can methodically be taken to minimize those unexpected situations? There are.
If your candidate owns a home and will be selling that home, this relocation just increased in complexity. Add the following to your checklist of must-do’s throughout the interviewing process:
- Contact a realtor to conduct a Comparative Market Analysis for the home, which will provide a more accurate picture of how the property will show and sell compared to others in the neighborhood
- Request that the realtor gather Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data to help ensure the listing price is competitive and will be sold in a reasonable amount of time
- Compile information such as the monthly mortgage rate of the current home, how much equity/negative equity exists, any closing costs or realtor fees associated with the sale
- Know the square footage of the home and any storage areas in order to accurately calculate the approximate cost of a pack, ship, and move
- If the monthly mortgage rate will increase with the purchase of a new home, consider including a mortgage rate differentiator in the offer to the candidate
One of the most ambiguous components of relocation comes down to reimbursable expenses. If there not simply a set reimbursement based on the level of the hire, what (in addition to the expenses from the moving company) will be reimbursed? The easiest solution of course is to offer a fixed fee based on if the candidate rents or owns, and then varies by the square footage of the home. If there is a desire to be more specific, consider things such as:
- Will you reimburse for interim housing if needed? What about home-hunting trips prior to the move?
- What is acceptable for incurred expense reimbursement (paying a deposit for a new cable bill, a maid service to clean the old house prior to selling, the cost of a rental car while theirs is being shipped)
- Will financial assistance be provided for double mortgage or double rent payments, or reimbursement for trips back home if the candidate is relocating prior to the spouse and children?
- The candidate will receive an economic benefit from many of the relocation costs; will your organization cover the tax liabilities associated with those benefits, or is it the candidate’s own responsibility?
Whereas housing and reimbursement decisions can seem relatively straightforward, there is one area of relocation that is nothing but – the family! Many important decisions are made my emotion and then rationalized by facts, and a candidate’s inner circle is going to have a big impact on that emotional decision.
If the candidate is married, get to know that spouse. Is the spouse employed, what do they do, what is their income and will they continue to work in a similar capacity in the new city are all questions that must be answered early on in the recruiting process. Of course children need to be considered, and SRA can assist in putting together a standard “why your city” packet that can be given to every prospective hire. Include information on what makes your town or city great; expand on things such as blue ribbon school systems, city-wide annual events and celebrations, fun attractions to see, must-visit restaurants, or cultural exhibits. This is information that can easily be pulled from your state and city visitor’s bureau, but with some personal details added in, it can be a valuable and professional packet that a candidate can take home with them and review.
The steps covered in this SRA Update are just a few of dozens and dozens our recruiters take when preparing a candidate for the potential of relocation for your opportunity. We are connected with reputable companies who assist with the move itself, and we can set up visits introducing the family to the area, the schools, and the community. We build relationships with all those involved in making (or breaking) the decision, and can provide insights and feedback throughout your vetting process.
We are here to anticipate the unique challenges that occur when relocating your next hire. Of course, when working with Sanford Rose, we will consult with both you and the candidate on an ongoing basis - but our hope is that we have shared insight into just a few the details that must be considered at every step of the way!
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Executive Search Review has recognized the totality of the Sanford Rose Associates® network as being one of the Top 10 Search Firms in North America with 80+ offices worldwide. To learn more about how we can make every hiring process a smooth one (relocation or not), please reach out to your Sanford Rose Associates® executive search consultant today.