When I graduated college ("back in the day" according to my kids), finding a job was as difficult as it is today. Would I have relocated for a position? This was something my wife (fiance at the time) and I discussed and the answer was a definite YES. After we married and our family grew, the answer was still 'yes' for the right opportunity. As the kids got older, the answer turned to 'no' based on age/stage of the children. (And then I started my own company and the question stopped being asked.)
My father-in-law relocated to get into the union
When my wife was growing up, her family relocated because it was a chance for her father to get into the electrician's union. There were no jobs in Minnesota; he had a brother-in-law in Arizona that could get him into the union - and get him a job. The family was off to Arizona!
At the fall International Association for Corporate and Professional Recruitment (IACPR) Conference in 2008, relocation was one of the key topics. The housing market was already troublesome (prices falling dramatically). Corporations that hired employees for management development-related programs needed employees who would relocate. They were finding employees who would initially relocate. These same employees, however, were becoming less mobile as time went on. Age, stage and housing issues were causing the start of a crisis for these companies and their development/succession plans.
National Mobility has Fallen to its Lowest Point Ever Recorded
This is the title of one slide from a recent presentation (Minnesota and the New Normal) at the October Human Resource Executive Forum. The title speaks for itself - people are less likely to relocate for positions. We have virtually stopped moving to where the opportunity is. The StarTribune, in an article on October 13th, titled their article on this very topic Stuck at Home. Their article is less career focused; it is more about staying in your current home because you feel you have no choice.
Is mobility the answer?
I guess that depends on the question. Recruiters used to joke that the only thing that was harder than getting people to move to Minnesota was getting them to leave after they had lived here for as little as two years.
One can argue about the job market and number of opportunities. Regardless of where you are in this arguement, people open to relocation may open themselves up to opportunities that others are turning away. On the other hand, organizations in need of people need to take this trend and economic reality into consideration.
Write to us - if you have the magic solution!