Relocating Millennial Employees vs. Hiring New Ones

April 21, 2016

Relocating Millennial Employees vs. Hiring New Ones

Moving into Q2, businesses are optimistic about the growth of the economy and starting to execute 2016 growth plans. According to a study by The Harford, nearly half of mid-size organizations have plans for geographical expansion.

A company is only as successful as its talent, so for HR professionals, bringing on talented employees to a new market is an evolving challenge. Company leaders and HR teams must decide between recruiting fresh talent from the new location or to relocate employees currently working for the organization.

According to a study by Runzheimer, 78 percent of HR professionals say they are less likely to relocate Millennials due to their “job-hopping” reputation. However, the same study found that 48 percent of Millennials have been with their current employer for at least three years, so when businesses are ready to expand, they should seriously consider relocating their millennial talent.

There are two major benefits to relocating current talent instead of hiring new employees in a new office:

  • The first is to keep culture consistent throughout the entire organization, instead of having a disconnect of culture and values that varies by location.
  • Another benefit is to ensure your company retains its top talent. By relocating a top-notch employee where’s there’s a familiarity of working style, there’s a greater chance of success.

But relocating an employee can be a hurdle for HR teams—it’s not as simple as hiring someone from the new market. One of the biggest challenges HR professionals face is enticing their employees to relocate in the first place. According to Runzheimer research, only about one-third of millennials say it’s important to relocate at least once in their career.

The Runzheimer study uncovered three things that millennials want most when it comes to relocating for a job.

  1. Location. According to the study, an office located in an “undesirable” city is considered a deal-breaker for millennial workers. Gen Y employees prefer urban areas over small cities or rural towns. Similarly, region matters as well. Millennials are more likely to relocate to Pacific region states (31 percent) and the Midwest (17 percent).
  1. Specific Incentives. HR departments offer employees a wide variety of perks when it comes to relocation packages, but the most common perks are unaligned with what employees and job-seekers want most. The top two benefits employees want most are “guaranteed employment” and “relocation bonus,” and guaranteed employment is a benefit least offered by HR teams. But HR departments can compensate in other areas, like bonuses. Thirty-five percent of Millennials feel that a bonus is a key perk, compared to 25 percent of Baby Boomers. Millennials are also more likely to look for family and spousal assistance in their package.
  1. Workday Flexibility. Eighty-four percent of job-seekers say that regular remote workdays would largely impact their decision to relocate. While traditional benefits, like salary and assistance, are generally negotiable, employers and HR teams need to create flexible and operable remote solutions for Millennials across the board. And while these programs are important to employees, HR professionals have an inflated notion around how much Millennials value remote workdays. In fact, HR professionals are seven times more likely to rate this as a relocation deal-breaker than Millennials themselves.

Geographically expanding a business is an important decision, and onboarding or retaining the right talent is key to an office’s success. HR departments need to establish their goals for relocating millennial talent, and then garner a better understanding of what millennials actually want when it comes to relocating for their job. From there, revamping programs and packages to cultivate employees’ needs will motivate employee relocation.  


The Authors: 

Donna Koppensteiner is senior vice president of business Development at Runzheimer International, where she is responsible for driving business growth through strong business knowledge, analytical skills, and a dedication to fostering a collaborative team environment. She has more than 20 years of sales and business development expertise, with a particular focus on industries like consumer travel, commercial fleet, and logistic services markets.