October 10, 2023

Relocation isn’t a repeatable hiring strategy.


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

File under: Should be obvious but isn’t.

Relocation isn’t a repeatable hiring strategy. It’s catching lightning in a bottle.

Some companies confuse “going to the office 2 days a week isn’t so bad” with “looking to uproot my entire family to move someplace I never heard of.”

There’s two scenarios we’re seeing:

1. Current employees. Where companies hired remote. Then realized they wanted onsite after all.

Somewhere on the spectrum between “whoops” and “total bait and switch.”

The reasoning is usually “Amazon is doing it so why can’t we?”

Except you’re not Amazon. (Example #493 why you shouldn’t follow every FAANG trend.) And even Amazon is seeing it’s not that easy.

(Don’t worry. Amazon will be fine. They’ll find easy replacements for those who bail. Because they’re Amazon and you’re not.)

2. New hires. Usually in small markets where less talent exists.

Relocation was never easy. But pre-covid it was doable. It required either finding someone with a personal affinity to your location. Or someone looking for a lower cost of living.

The issues with both of these scenarios now:

👉No one wants to drive 5 minutes out of their way. Let alone uproot their entire life.

The permanent change of covid? Even with the return push, there’s exponentially more remote jobs now than before. That’s not changing.

People don’t want to relo because they don’t have to. Certainly not for the privilege of commuting.

👉No one wants to take a bath in the housing market.

62% of Americans have an interest rate under 4%, per Redfin. Rates are hovering at 8% as of this writing. You’re looking at a 60% increase in monthly expenses for the same value home. And that’s skipping over the whole housing shortage issue. 

Yes, it still works with executive and high-skill niche hires. You know, because you’re ponying up for those types.

Which is what it would take for relo to work at any kind of scale. Paying top dollar.

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

More blogs from James Hornick

12% unemployment?

Awful time to be in your 20s. Work wise anyway. The unemployment rate is under 4%. Unless you’re in your 20s. ...
See all Talent Insights Blog entries....

Our Latest Featured Episode

Our Shows