- More than a quarter of job seekers look for work in cities outside their metro areas, according to a new Glassdoor study. In the online study of 668,000 applicants, Glassdoor examined real-time job search patterns and the jobs, cities and companies prompting job seekers to relocate.
- The study found that men were 3.3 percentage points more likely than women to move beyond their metro areas for a job. Applicants were also seven percentage points less likely to move away for every decade they aged. Company culture is a bigger factor in the average respondent's decision to move than salary, Glassdoor said, drawing this finding from ratings data on its site.
- The top 10 destination cities for those relocating to a new job are listed in order: San Francisco (12.4%); New York City (8.4%); San Jose, Calif. (6.9%); Los Angeles (6.8%); Washington, D.C., (4.3%); Boston (3.7%); Chicago (3.2%); Seattle (3.1%); the Dallas-Fort Worth area (2.8%); and Austin, Texas (2.3%). Only one of these cities — San Jose — also ranked among Glassdoor's top 10 list of cities from which workers are moving away.
In the competition for scarce talent, geography plays a large role, if for no other reason that in-demand workers with the advantage of choice will logically prefer to work in areas that appeal to them. Employers located in distinctive locales might tout this as a perk in and of itself as part of broader recruiting and hiring strategies. The same applies to employers located in metro areas that are losing job seekers.
It's not surprising that younger job applicants are attracted to large metro areas like San Francisco and New York City. By some accounts, these generations prefer living in or near cities for the social, cultural and public transportation they provide. One study found that 84% of millennials would consider relocating if it meant advancing their careers. To attract young workers, employers might offer tickets to cultural events and restaurant discounts, or play up advantages of working in small metro areas, such as free parking or periodic sales on the premises by local vendors.
Employers also don't want to ignore workers who are less likely to relocate. Providing flexible work options, benefits that suit different life stages (including access to eldercare services or college scholarships) and/or financial planning programs could help aid retention of this contingent.