Whenever you’re working with a candidate who will have to relocate, it adds a lot of wrinkles to the situation and it generally requires a bit of ‘slow play’ on the hiring manager’s part.
You need to establish mutual interest with a phone interview and that’s when you gently plant the idea of moving and begin to see how it grows. Often a candidate – and the candidate’s family – will indicate that they’re open to relocating.
But it’s still early in the process.
Find out what kinds of recreational activities the candidate and family enjoy. You want to sell your city, but you also want to discover what type of city would be ideal for them, so you can get a feel for how good your match really is. This can give you an early indication of your ultimate success or failure.
I think we can all appreciate how big this decision is for the candidate, so you can’t rush it. Ultimately relocation candidates will judge issues such as:
- The company itself,
- The chemistry with coworkers,
- The feelings of family,
- The distance to extended family members, and more.
Look for action
As the process moves along, stay in close contact and be sure to ask, ‘Have there been any changes?’ and ‘What does your family think about moving?’ Further, be alert to actions…or inactions. For example, has the candidate contacted a real estate agent or explored housing options yet? On the other side of the coin, have you noticed a decline in communication? Has the email pipeline gone dark? People tend to avoid delivering bad news.
Lack of action is a big warning sign and sometimes candidates who initially say they will move, balk when they realize that selling the house, having their spouse find a new job, and taking the kids out of school can be overwhelming.
When you’re finessing an out-of-area candidate to make the move, it will require your best people skills. Be sensitive to candidates, their families, and the process because when all the pieces fall in place, the odds are very good that you will have an excellent new member of your team on board.