Friday, November 28, 2008

Relocation...Yes! -> No! -> Maybe!

My posts might indicate a strong inclination towards recruitment- but then, that’s exactly hat you get at a Start-up! A variety of experiences! Really, getting work done at any start-up begins with getting your candidates ‘Across-The-Line’! That's the case in all companies, gets a lot harder at a it makes you think and utilize your grey-cells for optimal results!

Many obstacles seem to crop up while hiring, but one particularly throws a stiff-challenge! Candidates somehow find it very hard to ‘RELOCATE’! Really, this happens 9 out of 10 times with candidates you would love to hire (your first choice candidate) – right? At least, that’s been my case. So what’s exactly happening? Here’s my understanding on it….

Questions that maybe a candidate might ask themselves:

Hmmm…the offer is exciting but let me think about it and get back to the company…
How much will I lose if I’ve to let-go of my departure-side house?
What’s the cost-of-living in the new place? Is it going to drain my savings’?
Does the company take care of my family transition too? Else, what’s the cost to move the family?
Will they help my spouse get another job at the same location? That would be fantastic…
What happens to my tax planning? Does the company help out there?
Take this job for now and think about an alternative later on
I’ve never worked in a company away from home…now’s the chance! I’ll take it…
I’m moving only if I don’t get anything in my home-town.
Maybe, I’ll shift if I do get a better role or designation.
What’s the new city like? Is it worth the effort of setting up things again?
Do I need to go through the legal hassles, immigration and work permit? Is it worth it?
I’ll surely move for the MONEY!

Answers that companies believe that they have:

Ok…we have finalized on a good candidate…it’s the first choice hire…let’s go full steam!
We have a good relocation package as part of the compensation structure
By the way, we still need to make sure we’re frugal in our spending…
Will the relocated candidate stay with us for a long time? Retention means ROI
Our relocation policy is great…the candidate gets most of his transition handled by the company! What more can they ask for?
We’ve had seamless transitions in the past…how difficult can one more get?
Our Relocation-Manager (Yes! That’s a real role!) is a Subject-Matter-Expert…we don’t see any issues..
The legal advisor/counselor can handle complicated work permits, so the legal part of relocation is in safe hands

Unfortunately, no matter what plans or strategic thinking the candidate or the company devise; there’s always an element of doubt in the mind of the candidate regarding relocation. I suggest it’s best to present the facts straight and set expectations at the recruiter level itself. Really, if we don’t do that we’ll end up with making exceptions that cost a lot of money! That’s because we failed to communicate the right thing and effectively too. The recruiter’s get so caught up in closing the job opening that they end-up over-promising and under-delivering. A very costly mistake!

It’s also good to take feedback from the relocated hires and make necessary changes to the policy (wherever required). This will be the best pro-active step that HR could take in their relocation policy. Also, payback clauses in the candidate offer letter will discourage them from departing early. Most importantly, make sure the company listens to the relocated hire and addresses the ‘promised’ deliverables. It’s key to future relocation hires.

The recruiter plays a significant role in getting the candidate to relocate from their comfort-zone. It depends on what you choose to communicate. Please make sure you read the company’s Relocation Policy very well. You don’t want to get caught promising things that the company will eventually reject. If it does, you can start looking for your next-best candidate!

- The HR Store