I am sick, sick, sick of hiring managers who won’t pay to relocate candidates, and candidates who won’t consider relocating to take a great job. Everybody wants what they want the way they want it – aren’t we in a tough economy right now? What ever happened to adjusting to reality? I need some suggestions to sell both sides better, because begging just isn’t cutting it. What do you recommend?
Beggars Can’t Be Choosers
I’m sure by now you’ve thought through the obvious: this topic goes to the heart of complex decision-making for both managers and candidates. And although as recruiters it would be convenient and oh-so-nice to have access to a larger and more easily influenced candidate pool, the truth is that this one isn’t (and never will be) about your brilliance at overcoming objections.
Here’s a news flash: People management is easier when you pull than when you push. But enticing candidates and hiring managers begins with an understanding of what they need, what they have, and the gap between those two points. And for great recruiters it always, always ends with choices that support retention for the business you serve – which means closing off candidates who don’t meet the requirements or don’t want to.
That said, here are some things that may help when herding the cats:
Don’t argue relocation. Know your numbers.
Data is your friend and the best option when making a business case to open the checkbook. If your local candidate pool is inventory, it’s your business to know how many people have the needed skills in the recruit-zone. How many schools train for it nationally, regionally, locally? How many competitors use it? Find out, and go into the conversation armed with facts. If the answer is still no, at least you understand why and can easily tell the difference between tier one and tier two candidates in the search.
When two isn’t better than one.
This sounds pretty basic, but desperation can lead to rationalization and we’ve all been there. If you can’t place a relo candidate, don’t waste your time interviewing one – no matter how good their skillset. They are Tier Two in the search, and wishing won’t make them anything else. Keep track of them, come back to them if the search requirements change, but don’t use your precious time interviewing and thinking you’ll change the hiring manager’s mind. Target your visibility strategy into areas where only locals will tend to respond, and use clear language up front about the requirement for locality.
When pushing is a good thing
Speaking of basics, the level at which you are recruiting plays a role in the objections you might expect. Line level candidates may not have settled into a career path yet, and may strongly weigh the value of a great opportunity against the need to commute an extra 30 minutes every day. Gas is expensive, salaries are lower at this level, and quality of life is important to most. On the other hand, staff or executive candidates who object to relocation are telling you volumes about their priority list when declining to consider relocating. Property values, family requirements, or simply geographic preferences may weigh heavily in the decision. Listen and apply what you learn to the matchmaking process.
Bottom line is that recruiters live in the world of what is
, and not what we wish it could be
. Have the right discussions early with hiring managers and candidates to uncover the reality of the situation, and then get down to the business of matchmaking.
In my day job, I’m the Head of Products for Improved Experience, where we help employers use feedback to measure and manage competitive advantage in hiring and retention. Learn more about us here
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