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Outplacement Services Should Be Part Of A Effective Talent Mobility Strategy

Developing a talent mobility strategy is a key part of smart organizations build their talent pipeline.  

Many firms report that they cannot find the right people for their key roles within their local markets which require them to go to outside markets to recruit.

This process of recruiting new candidates that are not local or relocating existing employees requires planning and investment. The typical cost accounting for managing relocation will factor in housing, the physical move and temporary housing.

What is often overlooked is the spouse/partner of the candidate. Why is this important and how can it dramatically impact the talent mobility strategy? 

Please continue reading to find out how.

According to a 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the percentage of households where both married parents are working is 60.6%. I could not find a comparable statistic for how many two career households are represented by couples living together outside of marriage.

It is safe to assume that this will be a meaningful number and will increase the overall percentage of two career couples. For this discussion we will say that 66% of households are two career couples.

The importance of this percentage is that it shows how the impact of the relocation of one person will have the other person in the relationship. Things are not as simple as they were in the past of one career households.

It is then interesting to note that many organizations have not yet completely addressed how to balance their talent acquisition plans with the growing trend of increased two career households.

Atlas Van Lines published an interesting study the challenges that organizations will face in trying to recruit outside talent or move their own employees without a spousal relocation strategy.

Consider the following:

  • 67% of large organizations (5,000+ employees) had employees who turned down opportunities to relocate.
  • 62% of those who turned down relocation cited “Spouse’s/Partners Employment”.

This shows that while there may be other mitigating reasons (housing market, cost of living, etc.) the impact of relocation on a spouse/partner is a major factor in a candidate/employee deciding to accept the offer.

The Atlas Van Lines study also shows that there is a gap between the percent of companies who said that they provide relocation support versus the percent of companies who offer spousal/partner career transition support.

  • 72% of large companies report that they provide employment assistance to travelling spouses
  • 37% of these same companies provide professional career transition services for these spouses. 

The low level of companies offering professional career transition services highlights an opportunity for these organizations to these services as a recruitment incentive to their candidates.

This can help them differentiate themselves from the competition and show how they provide a holistic approach towards employee development. This seems like a smart approach when you consider that nearly two out of three of the candidates that you engage will be part of a two career household. 

To manage spousal/partner relocation well a professional career transition/outplacement firm needs to be engaged to provide the tools to engage is a successful job marketing campaign.

I realize that this may be a shameless plug for my firm but I can speak with all sincerity on the benefits a program like this can have.  It helps smooth out the transition anxiety by getting the travelling spouse/partner re-employed quicker and back into their careers. It also helps with the overall cash flow impact that the relocation may have.

Career transition/outplacement service for travelling spouses/partners should be part of a well thought out talent mobility strategy.