While we all sweat the latest technology introduction and the onslaught of robots that are touted to replace recruiters, a more serious threat looms. In the US and globally, fewer candidates relocate or move.
In a recent HR Magazine graphic (Spring 2019 edition), there are stats on the relocation/movement of the US population. The U.S. Census Bureau has been documenting these trends since the 1940s. In the 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, somewhere between 17.7% and 20.3% of the U.S. population was on the move! Since then the late 1990s the rate decreased to 16%, and in the 2000s move rates fell to just 11.9%.
In 2017-2018, relocation trends were reported by the U.S. Census Bureau at record low levels. The measure reported is 10.1% of the population on the move. That means 90% of people—candidates and employees—are staying where they are. Finding local talent will become an increasingly important skill for executive recruiters if these relocation trends remain consistent.
This measure is interestingly in alignment with the continued reduction in corporate support for relocation. In the 1990s and before, corporations were often paying full expenses for employees and recruits making a move. That relocation trend has been on a dramatic decline over a 20-year period. Today fixed lump-sum payments and partial support are far more common than full coverage for corporate relocations.
Some cities perceive this trend as a threat and have taken action to change the odds of growing the population of their cities. For example Harmony Minnesota, Tulsa Oklahoma, Baltimore Maryland and New Haven Connecticut have rebates, interest-free loans and other programs in place to entice new residents. The State of Maine has a program in place to reduce state taxes by the amount recent grads are paying for student loans.
Are you finding moving great candidates to great jobs more difficult? Anything you see employers doing to help alleviate the problem?