How to Recruit the Immobile Candidate – Chief Learning Officer

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Recruiters looking to poach fresh talent for jobs far away from where targeted candidates live might have to put a little extra hot sauce in their pitch.

In the latter half of 2011, an average of just 7.5 percent of job seekers relocated for a new position, according to recent data from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. In the first two quarters of 2011, an average of 9.4 percent of job seekers relocated for new positions.

What’s more, the annual average percentage of job seekers relocating for new positions has steadily declined since the mid- to late 1980s, when companies were expanding and more workers were willing to relocate. The latest lull brings into focus the ongoing challenge recruiters face in finding and attracting the best talent, regardless of location, in an economy still weighed down by a major decline in the housing market and with unemployment still above desired levels.

“It appeared that relocation was beginning to bounce back after plunging in the wake of the housing market collapse and the deep recession that followed,” John A. Challenger, the firm’s CEO, was quoted as saying in a press release announcing the latest figure. “However, the latest numbers indicate that picking up stakes remains a last resort for the majority of job seekers, many of whom are unwilling to take a loss in the sale of a home for a position that may or may not last.”

Even as the housing market continues to slow the pace of some job seekers’ relocation, Gerry Crispin, a principal and co-founder at recruitment research and consulting firm CareerXroads, said the rise in the number of teleworkers, digital working environments and the contingent workforce is also at play. Many people aren’t moving because more positions are enabling them to do the job from wherever they are.

“It’s [becoming] an advantage of both the job seeker and the employers to put together teams of people and have them work from wherever they are,” Crispin said.

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