Ask Barb: Candidate Relocation Costs

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Apr 11, 2012

Dear Barb:

We place nationwide and the real estate situation is killing us. Clients don’t realize they need to pay higher relocation packages and our candidates are not able to sell their homes. We are not seeing the improved real estate conditions that the news is reporting. We have an MPC who has been trying to sell his house for almost 18 months. It’s not overpriced but he doesn’t want to give it away. How do we convince clients that the only way to attract this top talent is to greatly improve what they are offering in their relocation packages? They have to start buying homes of the executives they want to attract. They think signing bonuses offset the real estate costs, but they’re not sufficient. We’re losing so many deals because our candidates can’t sell their homes.

MaryAnn K., Bowling Green KY

Dear MaryAnn:

This has been a major problem for the past few years. At very high levels, you are seeing companies purchase real estate for top executives. It is not a common practice however, because the real estate market is still volatile. Rather than try to convince your clients to increase their relocation packages you could provide one of the following three solutions:

  1. Only submit candidates who do not own a home or are in a financial position where they can lease their home until it sells.
  2. Work more of a local market to avoid relocation issues.
  3. Surface talent that lives within commuting distance of your client

It is still a buyer’s market, which is why you will continue to face these issues in the future. As the market continues to turn to a candidate driven market, employers may begin to offer more to attract the top talent they need to attract.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

Would you like to Ask Barb a question? Email her at Each month in The Fordyce Letter print edition, Barbara Bruno answers questions from individuals in the Recruiting Profession. We will bring you some of these Q&A responses from Barb each week on

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