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Local Hiring Less Important for Executives

Local Hiring Is Less Important Now

At the height of COVID-19, companies seeking leadership talent were in a pickle. It was hard to recruit, much less relocate, candidates. Consequently, focusing on local talent made sense for a lot of organizations. When you can’t hop on a plane, recruiting talent within commuting distance makes sense. Though many offices were closed down, workers living nearby could commute once the pandemic lifted.

Increasingly, Remote Work is the Norm for Executives

Post-COVID local hiring is no longer the imperative. For work that can be done remotely, employers and senior leaders prefer it. One major benefit is that companies can hire leadership talent that would have said “no” if relocation were required. Senior executives simply fly in for occasional meetings with the executive leadership team and then return to home base.

Families Are Benefiting

As a result of the shift to more flexible remote and hybrid arrangements, C-level leaders seem less pressured and jet-lagged. Their families seem happier too — children aren’t forced to disrupt their studies or say goodbye to best friends by having to move because mom or dad got promoted. Families don’t have to worry about emergency trips to manage the health of older parents. Loved ones can grow roots in their communities and build relationships that benefit everyone, including employers. Happiness translates to the workplace.

The Work/Life Balance Tips Toward Life

Of course, local hiring and relocation remain imperative for in-person work. Only after you have exhausted the pool of viable, top-performing local talent does it make sense to venture beyond your commutable backyard. But for positions that don’t require a physical presence, remote work has made recruiting easier and tipped the work/life balance a little more in favor of life. Another reason remote work is now more of an option is because fewer executives are willing to relocate.

Executives No Longer Want to Move for Work

Rate of Moving Down For Decades

In fact, Americans’ rate of moving for any reason has fallen for decades. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in the 1950s and 1960s, one-fifth of Americans moved every year. By 2021, that rate had dropped to 8%. High housing costs are one reason executives are less willing to move for work. A major reason is the rise of two-earner households. Two careers are keeping families in one place when before it was one career.

Relocation Not Required

Increasingly, relocation is not required. Executives are less inclined to uproot their families these days. One reason is that corporations are not as loyal to their employees as they once were. So executives prefer to stay put and change employers. Also, it used to be that to move up in the company, you would rotate through different divisions — relocating as you went. However, companies are flatter organizations now, with fewer levels available for promotions. Advancement within a company is less possible.

Great Economic Balance Across the U.S.

With required relocation on the wane, increasingly Americans get to live where they want to live. That is creating a more balanced economic map with more communities thriving. Already, the economic differences between geographic regions in the U.S. are less glaring than they were a generation ago. Interestingly, Connecticut is one state that has benefited from remote work. It is a top destination for remote workers.

To learn more about how work has changed, check out The Lasting Impact of COVID-19 on Executive Recruitment,

Thanks for reading! What trends are you seeing in remote work and relocation? We welcome your comments.

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Krista Bradford

Krista Bradford

Krista Bradford is CEO of the retained executive search firm The Good Search and of its research division Intellerati. A former award-winning television journalist and investigative reporter, Ms. Bradford now pursues truth, justice, and great talent in the executive suite.View Author posts

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