Recruitment & Retention

Are you willing to pay for a candidate to relocate?

Many organizations will pay to relocate the right candidates, according to a new survey.
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You’ve combed through a maze of applications and put candidates through the ringer. Finally, the ideal match has emerged, but there’s a problem: They live across the country, and the position requires at least some in-person attendance.

As the workforce has eased into a post-pandemic normal, relocation budgets have increased: 68% of companies reported an uptick in relocations from 2021–2022, according to a survey from the national moving company Atlas, which queried 584 corporate leaders across 19 industries.

We asked HR Brew readers about their willingness to pay for new hires’ relocation expenses. Among respondents, almost half said it depends on the candidate, around a third said they wouldn’t, and the rest said they would.

On the rise. The ongoing shifts in our work habits are still leaving corporate office buildings relatively deserted compared to their pre-pandemic levels. In downtown Los Angeles, for example, office buildings recently reached a record-high vacancy rate of 30%, and the shift to remote work has rendered many office districts lifeless compared to neighborhoods with more bars and restaurants, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Yet, the Atlas survey indicates that employers still want workers in the office to some extent—and they’re willing to pay to make it happen. According to WorkLife, workers are also interested in pairing a new job with a change of scenery.

Laurie Chamberlin, head of recruitment solutions for North America at talent solutions provider LHH, told WorkLife, “The change that comes with relocation is daunting, but by embracing it, job-seekers can open themselves up to potentially life-changing opportunities and cut down the time it takes to find a well-suited role.”

More money, more hires? Contrary to claims that full-time in-office work is “dead,” nearly 60% of the companies polled by Atlas expect their relocation budgets to increase in 2023. Although the exact number of remote workers in the US is challenging to gauge, the New York Times reported a decline occurred in 2022.

The Atlas survey advises leadership to acknowledge the significant changes that have occurred since the pandemic upended many workplace standards, writing, “many changes (such as telework/remote work) are here to stay, changing the norms of corporate relocation.”—SB

Quick-to-read HR news & insights

Our HR newsletter delivers need-to-know industry news and insights to HR pros every weekday for free.