Not Finding Local Talent?

Maybe it’s time to relocate your office or offer relocation to job candidates. Sometimes it’s difficult to find employee candidates in the same geographic area as your company.

You have a few options when this happens. You can have distributed teams where employees work remotely. You can move your company offices to a more populated or popular area. You can also consider employee relocation. In this article, I will discuss some factors to consider when relocating an office or offering relocation to job candidates.

Office Relocation

I work with startups and small businesses in the greater Philadelphia area. One of the biggest HR difficulties startups face is finding developers and engineers. Some companies are located in the surrounding suburbs to avoid the business taxes, but find it so difficult to hire talent that they need to move their entire office into the city. The process is disruptive, expensive, and drastically impacts productivity.

The following are some costs to consider when relocating an office where business takes place:

  • Will you need a business privilege license? In Texas you do, it will cost $300.
  • What new business taxes will you need to pay?
  • How much will it cost to lease out an office with greater than or equal the square footage of your current office?

On the people side of things, how will your employees react? They will have to adjust to new commutes, new schedules, and new routines. Some may not be able to stay with the company as a result of the move. When relocating an office, you need to give employees a reason to stay other than continuing their employment with your company.

Consider the following:

  • Communicate consistently and often. Don’t leave space for any confusion or rumors.
  • Reimburse commuting costs or offer transit vouchers.
  • Develop an orientation program to help employees adjust.
  • Listen to any and all concerns from your employees. Then, address them. Again, don’t leave room for confusion or rumors!
  • Employee morale boosters like new office equipment or catered lunches once a month can go a very long way.
  • Offer severance to any employees who leave the company as a result of the move.

Do everything you can to smooth the transition. Last but not least, don’t ask your employees to do the moving work. It sounds obvious, but I’ve seen it happen before.

Relocation for Job Candidates

Candidate relocation isn’t limited to offering reimbursement for moving costs. As an employer, you will need to consider the following factors associated with offering relocation:

  • Address the change in cost of living, which differs for each state.
  • If the employee has or will have children, recommend schools and childcare in the area.
  • Communicate differences in transportation, and offer transit vouchers if possible.
  • Offer a list of reliable realtors who can assist the candidate in finding a new home.
  • Describe the taxes for your state and consider assigning a tax specialist.
  • Address any concerns regarding quality of life, including family adjustments and employee opportunities for a spouse.

You will also want to consider a salary adjustment to offer a greater incentive. In addition, a relocation bonus may further secure the candidate.

Because the costs of relocation are so high, you may also want to consider locking the candidate in with an explicit employment contract.