Relocation Means Retention

The Internet has changed the face of recruiting incredibly over the last few years. One of the greatest changes is that the Internet has allowed the world to get much smaller. With the unemployment rate the lowest it’s been in 30 years, combined with over 75% of the people in this country rather spending their free time on the Internet than watching TV, it is more imperative than ever to venture outside our community and consider relocation on many of our positions. Many organizations have already begun paying relocation expenses for most of their positions. However, I still encounter a large number of companies refusing to pay relocation assistance for most of their positions, citing cost as the primary issue. Cost is an issue. But I’m going to attempt to make a case for paying relocation that will actually save you more money than if you were to only recruit from your small community pool of candidates. <*SPONSORMESSAGE*> To understand the benefits of offering relocation assistance, let’s go over what we know to be true if you are able to relocate vs. not relocate candidates:

  1. Larger Candidate Pool. This is rather obvious. When we are able to search outside our own community for candidates, we are widening our candidate pool to choose from. Most of us need a larger pool to recruit from because, let’s face it, it’s a numbers game. For every thirty qualified candidates approached for our position, we will be lucky to find five who are interested and fit the salary, specifications, and corporate culture. For every five people we interview, one will more than likely get an offer. The tough part is finding thirty qualified candidates isn’t it? When you allow some relocation, thirty is not such a bad number to shoot for.
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  3. Higher Quality Candidates. When we are able to search outside our community and attract a larger pool of candidates we are giving our hiring managers choices. Choice usually translates into quality. Rather than bending on the specifications of the position, and thus the quality of the candidate, we can keep the specifications and open up our location to search a wider group of candidates. Quality in this case means a suitable candidate to a well-suited position.
  4. Better Retention/Lower Turnover. When you have a quality candidate for a position, they generally stick around. In the HR world, quality means retention–and studies have backed this up. On top of quality studies, you also have studies that show when a candidate moves for a position into a new area, the turnover rate is lower (especially when there’s a clause in their contract that states they must pay back relocation costs if they quit within a year).
  5. Better Retention Rates Means Lower Costs. Turnover costs a lot of money! Studies have varied anywhere from twice the candidate’s annual salary to four times their annual salary cost impact to an organization when an employee leaves. The turnover figure alone should justify relocation assistance but since the turnover figure does not impact the recruiting bottom line (as much), there is another great cost benefit to paying relocation assistance…
  6. Lower Recruiting Costs. Recruiting using the Internet is one of the most inexpensive forms of recruiting. Sometimes the cost of recruiting using the Internet is literally one-tenth of what it would cost using other more traditional methods. Recruiting using the Internet is most effective when you are able to provide relocation assistance. Whereas other traditional methods would cost more to recruit outside your area, Internet recruiting costs don’t change.

Now that I have you convinced of the need to provide relocation assistance on more than just your high-level positions, let’s get in to the “How”. While some companies with very deep pockets can afford generous relocation packages such as paying for closing costs on a candidate’s home, most of us do not have this luxury. Do all relocation packages need to involve upwards of twenty thousand dollars? I don’t believe so and will explore relocation package options further in my next article. In the meantime, if you have some creative relocation ideas you are using at your organization, I would love to hear them and share them in my next article. Please email me your relocation stories at Thanks!

Audra Slinkey is a leading Internet Recruiting Consultant who has designed the Recruiters-Aid PERS (Proprietary E-Recruitment System) to ensure Internet recruiting success. Recruiters-Aid provides Internet candidate sourcing and screening services, and guarantees results—or the clients do not pay. Recruiters-Aid manages one of the largest FREE recruiting resource sites online. Recruiters-Aid services were created specifically for recruiters who don't have time to source the Internet themselves.

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