Attract Candidates by Broadening Your Definition of Partner

Relocating for a new job or new role can be overwhelming for anyone - moving of any kind is often stressful and disruptive, but even more so when relocating to a new city, state or country. Not to mention the uncertainty and unknowns that await: Will I be able to find my way around? How will I find a new favorite brunch spot? Will I make any friends?

recruiting millennials

Take a Value Based Approach

For people already plagued by fears of loneliness, considering a move to another city or state can be absolutely terrifying, and many candidates/employees will decline the offer simply due to fear of increased loneliness. 

According to several studies, there’s an entire generation of today’s workers who are already suffering from extreme loneliness, and in fact loneliness is the number 1 fear of young people today - even ahead of losing a home or job. At the same time, millennials make up 40% of the current workforce, and are critical to candidate recruiting strategies. So how do you attract them to jobs that will require relocation when their instinct is to stay where they’re comfortable?

Look at your relocation program and make sure you’re offering what your target group wants.

Aside from the usual relo benefits, you may need to think more strategically about non-standard incentives. This is becoming more common in competitive recruiting offers as well as relocation offers for key employees in order to increase acceptance rates, and can include things like pet shipment, increased home-finding assistance, or other benefits. 

If your recruiting, hiring, or general organizational success is dependent on relocation, and the millennial generation is a huge talent pool for you, you need to think outside the box to attract them. So what does this talent pool look like?

According to PEW Research Center, 56% of millennials were unmarried in 2019 - the highest proportion of any generation to date. That leads us to consider that a common part of many relocation packages are “trailing spouse benefits”. In fact, 40% of organizations provide some type of relocation assistance to partners, but that definition is typically limited to a legally-recognized spouse - traditionally referred to as a “trailing spouse”. For unmarried millennials, those partner benefits are unavailable. But what about best friends, siblings or other family members?

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You may want to take a look at your relocation policies and how you define “partner".

What if you expanded that definition to include domestic partners or family members? Or remove the definition altogether? Offering candidates and employees relocation assistance for a support person of their choosing could be the make-or-break piece of the puzzle. You would certainly stand out in your recruiting and relocation efforts. Something as simple as offering job search services for an undefined companion could be the deciding factor for a millennial worried about relocating. And really, what does it matter who the support person is, as long as your transferee is happy? The cost is the same whether for a spouse or college roommate.

As moveBuddha notes, for a transferee considering a new job offer, the relocation package should alleviate stress, make the transition relatively easy, and allow them to be productive in their new position. If your candidate knows they’ll have someone to accompany them on their move, it can address the fear of loneliness and drastically reduce their reluctance to accept a job in a new location.

Further, it’s been proven over the years that partners are key to relocation success - at least 50% of executive relocations fail and the majority of those are due to personal or family dissatisfaction. By offering non-standard relocation benefits, such as companion relocation assistance, you can not only increase offer acceptance rates, but also improve your chances of enjoying long-term relocation success.

Creating a positive first impression as an employer sets the stage for a long and successful employment term. Not only will you help transferees more easily transition into their new roles, you’ll be able to attract top talent away from competitors and show employees how much they’re valued - which at the end of the day is exactly what relocation benefits are meant for!


Human Resources Today