Finding the right employee to relocate to a long-distance location isn't as simple as you might think. A promotion in your current location might only require identifying the employee with the most experience and seniority. However, while experience and seniority may be important factors to consider when identifying an employee to relocate, they aren't the only factors -- or even necessarily the most important factors -- that make an employee an ideal candidate for relocation. Following are some of the qualities that you will need to look for when choosing the perfect candidate for that important long-distance assignment.
Ability to be Flexible
Not everyone handles change well. An employee may be very effective in their current place and position, but unable to adjust well to a different climate and set of responsibilities. This is where knowing the personality of your employees comes in handy.
When you're choosing a candidate for corporate relocation, you want somebody who can handle the occasional curveball; who adjusts quickly and seamlessly to new situations, surroundings, and people; and who has the ability to think on their feet. Employees who are more rigid and slower to adapt, even if they're good workers, may be better off remaining where they are.
Obstacles to Moving
Almost any employee will face some obstacles to moving. It's unlikely that you'll find a suitable candidate who is completely unencumbered, has no family obligations, owns no local property and is at the end of their lease at the time you want them to move. However, it's best if you can find someone with as few obstacles as possible.
Some of the obstacles an employee might face include: a spouse with career concerns of their own, children in school, other dependent family members, a house that needs to be sold, a lease that would need to be broken, transportation issues, and cost of living differences that might make it unrealistic for the employee to have the same standard of living in a new location.
Some of these obstacles are more easily handled than others. Your company might have it in their moving budget to absorb the cost of breaking the lease for the employee or help the employee sell a house, for example. However, if the employee has a spouse who can't move because of their own career track, there may not be much that you can do to make the relocation worthwhile for your employee. In addition to looking for candidates who have fewer obstacles, you will need to look for those whose obstacles can be overcome.
More than anything else, you will need to look for employees who are excited about the prospect of relocating and want to make that move. You may come across employees (who are otherwise very good candidates) that are lukewarm about the idea of moving or who actively don't want to. An employee who does want to relocate will be a proactive partner in helping you overcome any obstacles they may have.
If the candidate is going to be unhappy in the new place and position, they won't be as effective, no matter how qualified they may be. An employee who very much wants to make the move may surpass your expectations because of their enthusiasm for the change.
Look for the employees who are excited about a change of scenery.
Once you've identified the perfect candidate for relocation, you will need to find ways to make the moving process as smooth as possible. For more tips that can help you plan employee relocations, follow us on Facebook.