Is voluntary relocation the new strategy for luring tech talent?
- A new Indeed study found that tech companies are turning to voluntary relocation to attract tech talent. This little-mentioned recruiting strategy allows current employees to transfer to other offices and entices new hires to move for a job, said Indeed. Although tech employers account for 10% of the nation's jobs, 86% of recruiters and hiring managers still have trouble filling tech openings. Research by the Indeed Hiring Lab found that although Silicon Valley remains the principle tech corridor, tech hubs are popping up in other parts of the country, such as Washington. D.C., Raleigh, North Carolina, and Baltimore.
- Indeed surveyed 1,000 U.S. tech workers to found out how many would relocate for a job and discovered that most would pull up stakes. However, the poll also showed that relocating wasn't new for tech workers; more than half (57%) said they've previously moved for a new job, while 80% said they thought about moving for a job at some point. And while more men (60%) than women (53%) have moved, both considered doing so in equal numbers.
- The reasons respondents gave for moving include: better career opportunities (65%); desire for a change (44%) or fresh start (40%); and lower costs of living in other locations (33%).
The massive expansion in tech hubs is creating more locations for tech employees to work and more tech jobs for employers to fill. As a result, employers have more locations from which to source talent as well as more opportunities to settle workers where they would be happiest. Offering candidates an option like voluntary relocation could give employers somewhat of a competitive recruiting advantage.
In a recent Robert Half poll, 62% of respondents said they would relocate for a job opportunity. But a 2018 survey by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. found that fewer workers were willing to relocate for a new job, largely over uncertainty about the economy, and only 10% actually moved in 2017 and 2018. Interest in relocation may rely heavily on industry and projected income; tech jobs are traditionally highly paid and inherently more flexible.
But as Indeed pointed out, voluntary relocation also can be a highly effective retention tool. When employees have their pick of where they prefer to work, they might be less likely to leave. Widening employment prospects beyond the traditional hubs could provide employers with a happier workforce — especially as unexpected cities continue to land high on best places to work lists. Remote work, also, could be a valuable option for companies that can offer it, as it offers flexibility in finding talent and provides workers with the work-life balance they desire.