Episode #148 – What Relocation Statistics Mean for Animal Health and Veterinary Employers

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #148 - What Relocation Statistics Mean for Animal Health and Veterinary Employers
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Julea: Welcome to “The Animal Health Employment Insider,” podcast brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, Animal Health Executive Recruiter and Veterinary Recruiter, Stacy Pursell, founder and CEO of The VET Recruiter, provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary employers hire top talent, while helping animal health and veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

In today’s podcast episode, we’ll be talking about relocation statistics and what they mean for employers and for hiring. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: Hello, Julea, It is great to be here as always.

Julea: Stacy, forgive me for jumping right in, but I thought I might as well ask the question that today’s podcast episode is posing. What do relocation statistics have to do with hiring in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession?

Stacy: I don’t mind you asking that question right away. After all, as you mentioned, it IS the subject of today’s podcast episode.

The fact of the matter is that the percentage of Americans who are moving is at an all-time low. According to the Census Bureau, just 11% of U.S. residents moved in 2017. I can tell you this affects the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession, as well. I can say that because I know fewer people I speak with on a daily basis want to relocate for a new employment opportunity. They tell me this. More people want to stay where they are in their current geographic location and many are requesting opportunities to work from home.

Keep in mind that 2017 was two years ago. It’s now 2019, and the job market and the employment marketplace is even hotter than it was back then. In other words, the need for employers to hire top talent is even greater than it was in 2017. And this is also the case in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession.

So think about these two facts for just a moment. First, the demand for talent was great in 2017 and it’s even greater now. Second, only 11% of Americans moved in 2017. Although we don’t have the numbers for 2018, it’s quite possible that the same percentage of Americans moved last year. Or it could be that even fewer people moved in 2018, which would be another all-time low. Regardless, these facts that I just presented tell us something.

Julea: They do? What do you think they tell us?

Stacy: They tell us that even though employers have open positions and even though they want to fill those open positions with top candidates, these employers are not doing what is necessary to successfully attract and hire the candidates they want to hire, especially when the position requires a relocation.

Julea: So the onus in this situation is on the employers and not on the candidates?

Stacy: The majority of the onus is definitely on the employers. That’s because they have to do what is necessary to convince these candidates to consider their employment opportunity. Then they must convince these candidates to want to work for their organization. And then, if they’re in another part of the country, they have to convince these candidates to relocate for the opportunity.

Julea: So this is a case of employers not being proactive enough in their hiring efforts? I know that you’ve spoken before about the importance of being proactive when it comes to hiring.

Stacy: Yes, I have, and with good reason. In a candidates’ job market like the one we’re currently in, employers can’t afford to be reactive. As an employer, you can’t be reactive when you’re trying to hire. You just can’t sit back and wait for candidates to come to you. It’s not going to happen. And here’s the really crazy part. Even if, as an employer, you are proactive and you do seek candidates out, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to convince them to consider your job opportunity or accept your offer of employment, should you make one.

Julea: So you’re saying that even if an employer is proactive, identifies a top candidate, convinces that candidate to enter the organization’s hiring process, and then makes an offer of employment, it’s not a done deal? The candidate might still back out?

Stacy: That’s exactly what I’m saying, and that’s exactly what today’s podcast episode is all about. Because if you get to the offer stage of the hiring process and you make an offer to a candidate and they don’t live in the area, then that candidate has a decision to make. That candidate has to decide to accept the offer and relocate, quite possibly with their entire family, or decline the offer and stay where they are.

Julea: And the statistic you shared earlier about the percentage of people moving would seem to show that employers are convincing fewer people to relocate for new jobs.

Stacy: Yes, that’s what the statistic is showing.

Julea: So what can employers do then?

Stacy: There are a number of things that employers can do, but what I want to focus on for the purposes of this podcast episode is the offer stage of the hiring process.

Julea: Stacy, let’s talk about the offer stage of the hiring process.

Stacy: Julea, the job offer stage is quite possibly the most important part of the hiring process. The interview stage is another important part of the process, but the offer stage is where you find out whether or not you’re going to hire the candidate you want to hire.

First of all, an Animal Health or Veterinary employer should not try to low-ball a candidate during the offer stage. After all, this is the candidate that you covet the most. If they weren’t, then you wouldn’t be making an offer of employment to them. This is the person that you want to work for your organization, so there’s no reason to low-ball the person when it comes to the offer. If you place a high premium on the value that you believe the person will bring to the organization, then you should make a high-quality offer.

But it goes even beyond that.

Julea: It does? What do you mean Stacy? Tell us more.

Stacy: Once you get to the offer stage, a hiring manager must realize that they must overcome the relocation objection in the mind of the candidate if the job requires the candidate to relocate.

Julea: What’s the relocation objection?

Stacy: If a candidate is considering an employment opportunity that is going to require relocation, there is automatically a relocation objection in their mind that must be overcome. That’s because the possibility of relocation immediately becomes a reason for the candidate to NOT accept an offer of employment. Even if the candidate does not realize it and even if the candidate does not articulate the objection to the employer, the objection still likely exists in the mind of the candidate, even if it’s only subconscious.

Julea: So you’re saying that the employer must go above and beyond to overcome that objection?  Stacy, because it is easier for the candidate to stay where they are now and not to relocate isn’t it?

Stacy: Yes, that’s what I’m saying.

Julea: So as an employer, when you get to the offer stage of the hiring process, you have to make the offer good enough to overcome the relocation objection? Even if the relocation objection is not something that has been talked about or verbalized in any way?

Stacy: That’s absolutely correct. Employers must make the offer good enough to convince people to relocate for it. In this current job market, if you don’t make the offer good enough, then top candidates will not decide to make a move for your organization’s opportunity.

Think about it for a moment. A candidate is unlikely to say to a hiring manager, “Look, if I take this job, I’m going to have to relocate and move my family. I’m not looking forward to that, so you’d better make the offer a really good one. In fact, it better be a great offer, because that’s the only reason I would leave my current job and sell my house.”

Julea: What if that candidate was represented by a recruiter? Would the recruiter tell the hiring manager at the Animal Health Company or Veterinary Practice what’s going on?

Stacy: Yes, an Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter would remind the employer that relocation is definitely a factor, especially at the offer stage of the hiring process. This is especially the case if the recruiter and the employer have worked together for an extended period of time or if the recruiter and hiring manager have a history of having conversations like these.

Once again, this underscores the value of working with a recruiter. An experienced recruiter will know what to look for during the hiring process, especially the offer stage of the process, and they’ll know how to handle things as they arise. The offer stage is a sensitive part of the process, and the subject of relocation is a sensitive subject. All it takes is one little miscommunication or misunderstanding to derail everything.  A good recruiter would have spoken with the candidate upfront about the relocation aspect but like we talked about before, it is typically easier for the candidate to stay where they are in their current geographic area and not relocate so this is going to be a factor in the candidate’s decision making  process. The recruiter needs to continue to discuss this aspect with both the candidate and hiring manager.

Julea: Yes and it seems Stacy, like the margin for error is really thin for employers right now.

Stacy: That is definitely the case. The margin for error is really thin. Every mistake and every oversight is magnified. While that’s unfortunate, it’s also the reality of the employment marketplace. Employers must recognize that reality, understand it, and plan for it. That includes when it comes to relocation and candidates’ overall unwillingness to relocate for an employment opportunity. This is a huge challenge for employers, and they need to be proactive and strategic about how they overcome it.

Julea: Stacy, thank you Stacy for all of this great information. And I want to remind our podcast listeners today that there are more career tips and hiring advice on The VET Recruiter website and be sure to check out our employment opportunities as well. The website address is www.thevetrecruiter.com  Contact Stacy if you need help hiring or if you have experience in the Animal Health Industry or are a veterinarian and Stacy can keep you on her radar as new job opportunities become available.

Stacy: Yes, there are new jobs posted on our site on a regular basis. For those listeners who want to change their current situation and are interested in exploring Animal Health jobs or Veterinary jobs, I invite them to visit our website at www.thevetrecruiter.com.

Julea: Once again, the website address for The VET Recruiter is www.thevetrecruiter.com. Stacy is a workplace workforce expert serving the Animal Health Industry and Veterinary Profession and is ready to help you.

Stacy, as always, thank you for joining us today.

Stacy:  It has been my pleasure Julea and I look forward to our next episode of The Animal Health Employment Insider!