Benefits & Compensation, Recruiting

Travel and Relocation Preferences Are Shaping Candidate Decisions

When it comes to finding employees, location often crops up as a challenge for recruiters, talent executives, and hiring managers. Specifically, when it comes to sourcing top talent who may happen to live on the opposite side of the city, or in another state altogether. How big of an obstacle is it? And what effect does it have on a candidate’s willingness to apply for a role they’d be perfect for?relocation

A new Ladders Third Page™ report, Beyond the Resume Part Two, features data from more than 56,000 candidates seeking $100K+ roles to uncover their preferences around issues related to travel. From commute and relocation preferences to the locations that candidates are most and least likely to want to leave, sourcing and recruiting professionals can use this data to understand what motivates their candidates.

Location: What Really Matters to Candidates?

According to Ladders, most people don’t really consider work-related factors when deciding where they’re going to live. The report findings indicate that “distance from work” ranked fourth (14%) out of six factors when choosing where to live, with distance from family (33%) and the cost of living (22%) ranking much higher, nationally.

Interestingly, the neighborhood candidates choose to live in also ranked higher (22%) than the distance from work. Only 9% of respondents cited weather as an important factor in where he or she lives.

The desire to remain rooted to family and friends is strong. Ladders finds that nationally, some 61% of people earning more than $100K would not move out of state for an additional $10K in pay—a stat that underlines challenges of recruiting top talent from outside of a local market.

Ladders also finds that more experienced candidates tend to also be more resistant to the idea of relocation. Just 40% of people with less than 5 years of experience would not move for their dream job—significantly lower than the rates for people with between 5 and 15 years of experience.

How to Entice Candidates to ‘Make the Move’

When weighing issues such as the costs and benefits of a longer commute or whether a career opportunity is sufficiently attractive to make relocation worth it, the job itself is only one factor that candidates consider.

However, recruiters should not be discouraged by this prospect—in fact, the more aspects of a candidate’s life that can be recognized and anticipated, the better the chance that a recruiter has of landing that candidate. Ladders offers four tips and considerations for dealing with candidates when it comes to travel and relocation.

  1. Sell the sense of mission. The best way to get candidates over the mental hurdle of relocation or a longer commute is to focus on how they can have an impact in the role. Candidates are much more likely to accept a tradeoff for a role that they are excited and passionate about.
  2. Focus on highlighting benefits. If the issue of distance does come up during the recruiting process, it’s important to acknowledge it and, where possible, highlight any attempts the company makes to mitigate this. If applicable, inform the candidate that the company offers reimbursements for commuting costs or helps candidates through the process of relocating for the role.
  3. Remote possibilities. Regardless of where candidates are based, the opportunity to work remotely is a highly sought-after perk. The ability to offer telecommuting opportunities—even on an occasional basis—can help a company to sway candidates who might otherwise be resistant to changing locations or es­tablished commuting routines.
  4. Location, location, location. The extent to which people prefer to live in large cities—and the levels of dissatisfaction of those who live in less desirable locations—is one of the most striking trends in the Ladder’s data. According to Ladders, this represents a clear opportunity for companies in more popular markets when it comes to finding people willing to relocate. For those in less desirable locations, candidates may have to be sold on strong career growth opportunities and the company’s mission, as well as factors such as increased compensation and remote work opportunities.

To learn more about this report, click here.