When the competition for top talent is fierce – and when is it not? – you will want to ensure that executive relocation is a pleasant experience for your new hire. After investing time and energy into screening, interviewing and choosing the right person for your team, you certainly don’t want them to regret their decision because of a frustrating move. We assist with relocations all across the country and have found many things you can do as an employer to avoid a negative executive relocation experience.
Providing your new hire with the proper resources can not only alleviate frustration, it can also have lasting benefits. On top of being thoughtful, this preparation elevates your organizational brand and confirms the decision of accepting your offer in the mind of your new employee.
“Family First” for Long-term Executive Relocation Satisfaction
We work with leaders throughout the world. No matter where you are relocating – from state to state or country to country – many aspects are the same. However, one factor stands above the rest.
In our experience, the most important element of a successful relocation is the family‘s level of happiness. The entire family must be engaged and happy – not just upon acceptance and start of the new job, but a year after the relocation.
As an employer you want to have resources available to address the factors that are most important to the family. Consider what websites, pamphlets, people and organizations can be most useful to your new hire and their family. Collect this information and have it ready when the need arises. This list may make the difference in a job acceptance at the beginning and a satisfied employee years beyond starting the new role.
8 Categories Top Leaders Research When Considering a Relocation
Here is a list of 8 categories that are very important to families, and therefore very important to the family member that is initiating the relocation. These are topics, in no particular order, that have presented themselves frequently as we help executives make the transition to a new city. We hope you find it helpful as you think about how you can woo top talent to your city and organization.
- Schools – This is a big one if your new hire has, or hopes to have, children. Be aware of the options in your community – private, public and homeschooling. Connect them with local superintendents, principals, teachers and parents. Provide them options as well based on their interests and desires.
- Personal interests – People enjoy a wide variety of leisure activities. Create a list of websites that touch on some of the top considerations: golf courses, gyms, running and biking trails, professional sporting events, clubs, parks, performing and visual arts, etc. Don’t forget to ask your new employee what they were engaged in within their previous community so you are sure to have his or her preferred activity researched. Ask them what they are curious to learn more about or get involved with and make a few calls to create connections for them in advance. A few phone calls go a long way.
- Accessibility – Public transportation, airports, acceptable commuting distance and overall ability to get around is important. Include bike trails as well as walking or running trails. A growing number of people have this at the top of their list. What is available in your area and how will this influence the neighborhood that your new hire picks to call home?
- Neighborhood offerings – What do the local communities offer? Consider coffee shops, bookstores, grocery stores, bakeries, parks, gyms, dog parks, dry cleaners, sports activities, and other local community favorites. Consider how this convenience may be met with traffic and make note of that as well.
- Things to do – What does your city offer in dining and culture? What are the hot spots for restaurants, performing arts, art galleries, curated groups, and gardens? Provide local experiences quickly so that they can enjoy their new community. Remember: Go beyond the employee and understand the personal interests of those who are coming with them.
- Community engagement – Ask if anyone has an interest in joining a board or committee to serve in the new community. Think about the strengths of the individual and/or family and make a few suggestions. This could include your local chambers of commerce, local community efforts and non-profits. What is important in the community and what is important to the new employee or a family member? Connect young talent with the right groups– that could include a Lego league, STEM initiatives, book clubs or libraries.
- Sports – For spectating and participation, what sports are available? Lacrosse, ballet, soccer, swimming, football, polo, baseball, tennis, squash, and any others? These activities can mean a lot, especially to middle and high school students who will find friends in these activities. Many adult teams exist in most communities too.
- Traffic Pattern – Help your new hire know which areas to avoid because of regular traffic snarls. Make him or her aware of back road options.
- Place of Worship – This is often a significant part of a family’s life so having resources available to point them in the right direction will mean a lot. Many people develop their friendships and support networks from their place of worship, especially when extended family is not nearby.
The Lasting Benefits of Creating a Positive Relocation Experience
You may not have thought of all your city has to offer to new residents. Once you start gathering the resources, you can be even more confident about asking someone to uproot their family to move for a job. Thinking through your new hire’s needs will allow for a positive experience that will reflect well on the organization and lead to a more satisfied employee.
Our experience has been that the more you help everyone create an emotional connection to their new community the more successful the relocation. This has been true with leaders moving from other countries, states or cities. Creating connection and retention often begins with the relocation.
If this is the first time you have thought about the points above and need some additional help or resources please let us know. Your success relocating a leader is important to us. We are happy to provide a consultation on this. We will do our part to navigate you toward the right resources or provide thoughts on how to elevate your executive relocation expertise.
If you are an executive relocating and happen to find yourself reading this article, we are happy to help you think through options. Please call our office at 888-366-3760. We take this aspect of our work very seriously.