By Dan Simmons


As a recruiter I see a lot of clients go through the same process after they hire for a new position. Maybe that’s where you’re at today. You’ve just made a great hire. Congratulations! You’re excited, but in the back of your mind there’s some hesitation. After all your time and effort, could you lose this candidate?

Consider this: According to the Employee Relocation Council, over 70% of employees reported that the top reasons for their reluctance to relocate are housing challenges and family resistance.

A successful relocation process involves both management and HR. A few well-placed questions and steps on your behalf during the interview process can result in a higher success rate for your new hire’s relocation.

First Things First
In your initial talks, preferably during the first interview, ask about the relocation difficulties the candidate thinks they might encounter.

  • Have they thought about selling their home?  What is the market like in their area?
  • Have they discussed relocation with the family? How would it impact the spouse/partner’s career? If there are children, how would they be impacted?

Your questions will steer your candidate into researching what is involved in relocating. You’d rather know now, if the candidate is going to back out due to relocation issues before you have a lot of time invested.

Once you have established interest in the candidate, involve the spouse as soon as possible and identify their concerns, which will most likely include:

  • Selling the house
  • Renting vs. buying
  • Spouses career
  • School for the children
  • Sports and extra curricular activities
  • Finding good doctors
  • …And any special needs the family may have.

When You Know You’re Interested
You’re looking at your next potential hire. You want them to meet with the team and your boss. You’re focused on their potential integration into your environment. Here’s where you need to take additional steps to ensure that the family is just as excited about the opportunity and their successful integration into new surroundings.

  • Involve a relocation specialist

Some realtors are also relocation experts. The right relocation specialist/realtor can help with this integration and answer a lot of questions the family may have. They also possess the knowledge to help blend the family’s interests with their new community.

  • Schedule a family visit before commitment

Give the potential employee an opportunity to bring the entire family to the new city.  They can visit neighborhoods, parks, restaurants, and any special sites your location has to offer.  [According to Mickey Matteson, an Account Executive with Recruiter Relocation in AZ, bringing in the family “sets the stage that you are an employer who is really concerned with making sure the candidate and family find the job and the area to be a good fit.”]

  • Feedback, Feedback, Feedback

After the visit with the relocation specialist/realtor, get feedback from them since they have just spent a fair amount of time with your candidate and their family.  They should have valuable information about what the candidate and their family liked and disliked about the area.

  • Don’t forget the spouse!

If your company doesn’t have a formal process assisting spouses/partners, offer to help make introductions to recruiters and/or networking contacts for assistance in their job search.

  • Good PR never hurts

Do you have an employee who would make a good ambassador for the company who has recently relocated their family? If so, set them up with the potential employee and family during the interview process and after the offer has been accepted.

During the Transition
The offer has been accepted and the candidate and family are in the process of relocation. This is probably their most stressful time and you want to keep them looking forward.  The following suggestions are easily implemented by the hiring manager:

  • Stay in touch with the new hire during their transition.  Keep them excited and interested by letting them know that you’ve ordered business cards and a new computer.
  • Take care of administrative details such as voicemail, e-mail, access to the building, etc.
  • Talk with the new hire about current projects so that they’re involved from day one.
  • Congratulate and welcome the entire family. Give them something special to look forward to. Perhaps send them tickets to an upcoming event or attraction in the city.

Most of all, genuinely welcome your new hire and let them know that you and your team are excited to have them join the company.  Involving the spouse and family might seem like an extra step, but your chances are much better that you will actually see your new hire on their start date.

If you have any specific questions about onboarding, be sure to email me at

Dan Simmons Bio

Dan SimmonsDaniel C. Simmons is a Certified Personnel Consultant who has been recruiting since 1991. Dan has won over twenty awards in the last decade with the Top Echelon Network, America’s leading placement network including Placer of the Year in 2009 & 2010.

Frequently Dan also is a recruiter trainer and has been featured at various Top Echelon Conventions and online as a speaker for various webinars. He has also been published in The Fordyce Letter the recruiting industry’s #1 magazine.

Is Your Company Looking for Great Candidates? Contact Dan Today!