We talk a lot about mobile recruitment here in terms of finding candidates, but what about when you find the right candidate (perhaps a mythical purple squirrel candidate) and need to convince her to take a job? If you’re hiring for jobs in a small city, far from where your main talent base is located–hiring for tech jobs outside big cities, perhaps–you may be hard pressed to attract top talent to move from an urban hub to a rural location. Here are a few ways you can make small-town positions more attractive and the relocation process more pleasant for your candidates-turned-employees.
Sell the Savings
Companies typically claim that salaries adjust for cost of living variations, which is true in some cases, but not in others. And, in expensive cities like New York and San Francisco, any salary bump that does exist can be quickly spent on housing, utilities, entertainment, and food, considering the many spending options available. In a smaller city, even with a salary that stays the same or reduces slightly, a person’s purchasing power can be multiplied. Less expensive amenities and fewer opportunities to spend can combine to make workers feel much richer. That’s an attractive prospect, particularly for people interested in settling down and starting a family in a place without exorbitant housing and consumer prices. For those who need to save for children, college, and retirement, a similar salary in a much cheaper city can be a big attraction.
Push the Microcommute Bonus
Even if you live fairly close to your job in a big city, a 4-mile commute could take 20 to 40 minutes or more when driving, biking, or using public transit, and driving typically brings with it major parking costs as well. And for the 8% of Americans who are megacommuters, traveling 90 minutes to work, living closer to a job in a small city with less traffic is an appealing opportunity. Sell people on the time, stress, and money saved with an easy commute. Imagine driving–or, better, walking or biking–jus 10 minutes to work every day. You may miss out on some colorful experiences on Muni, but two hours saved every day adds up to 20 days a year! That’s a nice bonus vacation package for your brain.
Becoming the Big Fish
People who have been accustomed to fighting against highly qualified colleagues for promotions and recognition may, at a certain point, be attracted by the ability to become a big fish in a small pond. Being an experienced worker in a small market can bring with it significant opportunities for leadership and initiative that may not be available in a more competitive firm. This approach might not be the answer for everyone, but it may appeal to some people seeking responsibilities that are not available or too hard to achieve at their current firm.
When you break it down into more money, less commute, and more responsibility, it’s hard for a candidate to say no to a small market. Think about our techniques next time you’re placing someone in a smaller city and need strategies for overcoming the relocation hurdle!