Executives that were being recruited learned an important lesson over the last few years: they could leverage the high demand for talent to create their ideal work arrangements. They learned they could avoid relocation.
Though the job market is now shifting towards an “employers market,” companies and hiring managers will still face challenges when recruiting executives that do not reside within an easy commute.
Not long ago, high-potential talent was willing to move every 24 to 30 months at the behest of their employer to climb the corporate ladder. However, even pre-pandemic, executives have become less willing to relocate to a different metro area. With relocation at a 70-year low, career aspirations are being weighed against other lifestyle factors and candidates are staying local.
Why are candidates reluctant to move? A few reasons include the following:
Engagement, collaboration, and learning are the primary reasons CEOs cite for returning to the office, and many C-suite executives fear remote work reduces spontaneous collaboration and interaction.
However, the evidence doesn’t support requiring being in the office five days a week, and candidates are aware of that. Remote workers continue to collaborate and have proven to be effective with virtual meeting software like Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
There are more one-on-one meetings, too: 17% of meetings were one-on-one in 2020, compared to 42% in 2022. Meetings are also spontaneous, thanks to features like Teams’ “Meet Now” function.
New Talent Strategies
How do these new attitudes affect recruiting strategies? While hiring managers try to convince executive talent to relocate now, top candidates will still want flexibility.
To see more in-office time from newly hired executives, consider the following:
Consider an allowable “happy medium” for the right candidate during negotiations. Instead of insisting that a top hire move from Boston to Los Angeles, allow for a mid-range relocation to, say, Denver or Dallas to reduce travel while still allowing work-from-home accommodations.
Candidates have had the upper hand for the last few years and one of their most frequent demands has been remote work flexibility. While technology certainly has its place, most employers argue that it does not completely obviate the need (and desire) for in-person presence.
With a looming market shift, employers are regaining more control when it comes to recruiting. That said, we do not envision a world where candidates are packing up their bags to relocate for promotions every 2-3 years. Instead, we expect to see more creative arrangements, as outlined above, to strike a balance between employers’ and candidates’ needs, particularly at the C-suite level.
This article was co-authored by Christie Babinski a Managing director for Allegis Partners.