Executives Willingness to Relocate Trumped by Economic Fears

A study released by Korn/Ferry Institute earlier this year reported that a whopping 82% of global executives are willing to relocate should the right career opportunity come along. Most of these respondents cited “career acceleration” as the top reason to move, while half said the “quality of life” in a new location was the next motivating factor.

With executive-readiness to move these days, we wondered what might be holding back this kind of relocation expansion. As ready to move as execs say they are, the truth is there are often a lot of factors that hold people back, including:

Fear: Moving is a major life change and causes many families to uproot their lives. They must take into account schools, family and friends when deciding to move for a career. The toll moving takes on a family isn’t always worth the potential financial gain.

Recession: The global recession is another factor why many of today’s top talent are staying put. It is difficult to move to a place that is economically depressed; however, relocating to a city that is in recovery or thriving mode can bring about a more promising career outlook for many.

Housing: Selling a house in today’s lousy housing market is one deciding factor that forces many execs to avoid moving. Some companies pay to relocate a family (the average relocation costs $60,000 for homeowners and $18,000 for renters), which also means taking care of the executive’s home sale, but more do not.

In this MSNBC article, “Moving for a Job? Be Prepared to Pay the Price,” the reporter says that many employers aren’t looking at out-of-town applicants because of the dismal housing market. If anyone wants to move, Kimberly Smith of CorporateHousingbyOwner.com says these owners should be prepared to “pay their own relocations” and that employers can discriminate against you based on the value (or non-value) of your home.

Overall, we have learned that a willingness to move doesn’t always translate in a full fledged relocation. That said, companies looking for stand out talent these days can take their pick, as long as they’re willing to pick up the tab.

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