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Relocation 'Pre-Check' (and Timing)

One of our current (and wonderful) clients was telling me a story of a recent search they were conducting (this client uses multiple firms depending on the level and/or function of the role).  The story was about a candidate they loved for a high-travel senior leadership role.  The search firm had vetted the candidate; the candidate loved the client and the client (up to the owner/CEO) loved the candidate.  The position is based in Minnesota; the candidate lives in another state.  The owner/CEO wanted to put together an offer.

The rest of the story . . . . . . .

The candidate had zero interest in moving to Minnesota; the owner/CEO wants his senior team to be here - part of the organization's culture.  The search firm assumed the candidate was open to relocation - the candidate knew where the company was and had interviewed with them.  Oops!  Starting over!

Rule #1 in working with a position that requires relocation - start the conversation early.

Candidates (and apparently some search firms) believe that if a client loves them (the candidate) enough, not relocating - working remotely - will miraculously be allowed.  For some clients, working remotely is acceptable and part of the work culture.  For others, this is not the case and not negotiable. Start the conversation early - and make sure that the candidate has discussed relocation with anyone/everyone that will be impacted by the decision (spouse/partner, children, etc.).

Relocation Timing

While we are on the topic, relocation timing needs to me discussed as well.  Popular folklore says it is best to relocate families during the summer.  Research would say something else.  Relocating families during the school year is actually easier for the children and parents.  The child (often a student) comes into a structured environment with an instant network.  The parent has a place for the child/children to go daily.  There are instant connections through school - for the student AND parent.  The summer is a lovely, less stressful-feeling time until the child/children is/are bored and knows no one.

The moral(s) of the story:

  • Start the relocation discussion early.
  • Bring everyone here in the fall.

Happy summer (almost)!