Lure Long Distance Job Candidates by Supporting Their Spouses

“We found the perfect person for our job, but she lives out of our area. She turned down our offer because she was worried her husband wouldn’t be able to find work if they moved here.”

moving with trailing spouseAn HR Director recently said this to me. Her business often struggles with this problem, and I know of other companies that wrestle with this as well.

Businesses face a tough dilemma when recruiting someone who lives far away.

How do we help their partner find employment as well, so that they can afford to move?

Relocating job candidates stats:

There’s no doubt my HR friends are right about the issues with relocating job candidate’s partners.

Atlas does a yearly survey of corporate decision-makers.

The most recent survey showed that more than 50% of businesses said that spouse and partner employment was the reason a candidate declined an offer to relocate.

Most families rely on dual-incomes:

The reality today is that most families need dual-incomes to get by.

Your job candidate’s significant other — sometimes called “the trailing spouse” — doesn’t just need an income in order to move. He or she is also concerned about making progress in their own career.

Learn what your job candidate’s significant other needs:

When you relocate a job candidate, you must give them a lot of information about your area. But you also need to get a lot of information about their partner.

  • Start off by asking about their parter’s career, desires, and expectations.
  • Their job search probably needs to start immediately, even before the move.
  • Remember, you’re the expert on the local area, so this is where you can assist.

Find out if telecommuting is a possibility:

It’s possible your job candidate’s significant other may be so valued by their current employer that they can work out a way to telecommute.

We live in a virtual world these days, and remote workers are becoming more common.

Even if this is not a long-term solution, it may very well carry them through until the right local opportunity arises.

Spread the word about the significant other:

You can use your own network of business leaders to promote the “trailing spouse” and give them a boost in their job search.

In this job market, it’s harder for all companies to find talented people. You may help solve a problem for another business by letting them know about a new face coming to town.

Check for a local Trailing Spouse Program:

Some communities have recognized this recruiting problem and have created Trailing Spouse Programs formalized through their economic development group or chamber.

With the spouse’s permission, their resume is then shared with every business enrolled in the program.

Check with staffing and recruiting companies in your area:

Don’t forget to tap into staffing and recruiting companies in the area.

Lots of times we know about opportunities that aren’t being openly advertised.

Staffing agencies may also have great temporary openings that will help your candidate’s significant other get by until they find permanent work.

Help the significant other network:

Once the family is here, help the “trailing spouse” start their professional networking.

You know the events and organizations they need to attend.

For instance, they may not know that a Green Drinks event in Bremerton is a great way to meet business and community leaders.

Consider employing the “trailing spouse” yourself:

If your company doesn’t have a policy against family members working in your business, consider how you might employ the spouse.

You may be getting first dibs on talent before they hit the street and a bidding war starts!

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