Does a Destination’s Wacky Weather & Climate Impact Relocation?

Ever have a candidate turn down a prime job offer because they didn’t want to relocate to your [too cold/hot/wet/dry/fill-in-the-blank] climate? Or have an employee decline a promotion because they wouldn’t move to, say, “Tornado Alley”?

Chances are, you have, because location does influence job acceptance rates—in no small part, due to weather and climate.

For some employers, location is an asset. For others, not-so-much. And, it’s a moving target. So, where do Americans want to live right now—and why? More importantly, what can employers do when they’re not in an optimal climate, but still need to recruit long-distance talent?


Relocation Destinations: What’s Hot, What’s Not  

More than 27.3 million Americans moved in 2022. That’s 8.6% of the population, the highest percentage in more than a decade.

According to address-change requests received by the U.S. Postal Service, many appear to be heading south. The 10 states that have recently gained the largest populations are (in order of growth):


  • Texas
  • Florida
  • South Carolina
  • North Carolina
  • Georgia
  • Tennessee
  • Nevada
  • Maine
  • Delaware
  • Idaho


As you see, many are migrating to warmth and sun. But where are they coming from? Apparently, these 10 (often chilly) states have lost the largest percentage of residents (in order):


  • California
  • New York
  • Illinois
  • Pennsylvania
  • Massachusetts
  • Washington
  • Colorado
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Wisconsin

Migration Motivation: Why Americans Move     

So, climate is one of the undisputed factors people consider when contemplating a move—and, not surprisingly, most people choose warmer weather over colder climes. But there are other factors, too.

According to research, many Americans are drawn to areas that offer a lower cost of living, including lower taxes. They’re leaving big, congested cities for smaller, less populated areas. (This explains why, although California offers a great climate, residents are fleeing its high cost of living and overcrowded freeways.)

Interestingly, about one-third of respondents in a recent survey cited the effects of climate change, like worsening wildfires and more larger, frequent hurricanes, as a reason to move.

However, work remains the #1 reason Americans move. If the job offer is appealing enough, many candidates will happily take it—regardless of rain, sleet, heat or hail.


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4 Ways to Attract Candidates When Climate’s Not a Plus  

So how does an employer offset its wild weather/harsh climate? These strategies can help.

Accent the Positive

Low cost of living…friendly people…fabulous recreational attractions. Whatever your area has going for it, make sure your candidates know. For example, maybe you have fearsome winters, but the cold-weather sports are outstanding. Maybe you’re in a busy city, but there’s restaurants and cultural events on every corner. Look to your relocation company to help you get your message across.

Polish Your Creds as a Great Employer

Do you have great retention rates? Do employees rave about your culture? These are big pluses, too. Whether you provide stellar benefits, allow for flexible schedules, or offer generous PTO, these are qualities employees value. And if your people enjoy superior work/life balance, talk it up. This is something everyone wants.

Wow Your Candidates on Visits

When long-distance candidates come in for face-to-face interviews, it’s a huge opportunity to sell them on your location. Use every minute to showcase your worksite and city in the best possible light.

Give them a warm welcome to your office. Book them in the top hotel. Treat them to tours of the city—ask what they want to see. Then, reimburse them promptly for their travel expenses (something many employers fail to do). If you can’t accomplish this inhouse—and many employers can’t—outsource it to a pro.

Offer Outstanding Relocation Benefits

One of the best ways to win over long-distance candidates is by offering a world-class relocation experience—and it doesn’t need to be expensive.

For starters, choose a tech-based relocation solution like ours. Your recruits will appreciate the ease of planning their move online, as well as how-to guides, a pre-screened vendor network, and a real-time spending tracker—plus, access to relocation specialists to call on anytime.

At the end of the day, what most workers want is gratifying work, a positive work environment, and an employer that genuinely cares. While climate may be a dealbreaker for a small percentage of candidates, it won’t be for the ones you want to bring aboard.

Need help attracting long-distance candidates? Whatever your weather, talk to us!

Human Resources Today