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Relocation Nation 2012: How Workers and Employers Are Making a Move

Worker packing for relocationWe’ve talked recently about how voluntary turnover is on the rise this year. As it turns out, many of those workers may not be remaining anywhere near their own backyard when they leave their current job.

A whopping 44 percent of workers say they’ll relocate this year for the right job, according to a new CareerBuilder survey conducted by Harris Interactive© among more than 3,000 hiring managers and HR professionals and nearly 8,000 U.S. workers. Many employers are doing their best to make the stress of moving worthwhile: Nearly a third say they’ll foot the relocation bill in return for great new talent.

(See the Infographic)

A new way for out-of-area workers and employers to get in touch

Fast on the heels of this trend, CareerBuilder has just launched, a site dedicated to helping workers and employers connect and turn job relocation opportunities into realities. Employers can post jobs and search resumes through, and candidates have many options as well when it comes to making the right career move (literally and figuratively). As Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, explains, “ helps workers identify relocation opportunities and understand related costs, so they have the right information in hand for their next career move.”

Through, workers are able to:

  • Run a simple keyword or category search and view a map detailing where the most and fewest opportunities are for their line of work.
  • View actual relocation opportunities in different cities.
  • Learn what they would need to earn in order to maintain their current standard of living in another city.
  • Research homes, property values, mortgage quotes, moving and storage costs.
  • Tap into articles and advice on relocating and hiring trends.

Let’s take a closer look at what’s in store for worker relocation this year:

In 2011, many laid-off workers turned to jobs out of their area to find new work. Of full-time workers who were laid off in the last year and found new jobs, 20 percent relocated to a new city or state, according to a September 2011 CareerBuilder study.

“One of the key trends we saw coming out of the recession is the movement of labor in and out of markets across the U.S. Workers have had to expand their job search geographically and employers in need of hard-to-find, skilled talent have had to recruit across state lines,” says Ferguson.

Positions most likely to pay (for the move)

Employers who are experiencing challenges finding workers for skilled positions said they’re willing to pay to bring on great new people: 32 percent reported they would be willing to pay to relocate new employees in 2012, and 19 percent would be willing to pay a smaller first year salary in order to give a signing bonus to relocate an employee.

While employers say they’re willing to pay both current staff and new hires for a wide variety of positions, the areas which they’re most likely to pay to relocate employees are tied to technology and revenue-generation:

  • Engineering – 30 percent of employers
  • Information Technology – 23 percent
  • Business Development – 21 percent
  • Sales – 21 percent
  • Financial – 16 percent
  • Marketing – 13 percent
  • Legal – 11 percent

Owners of a lonely heart?

We’re all human, and sometimes work changes call for sacrifices we’re not thrilled to make, even if they are best for us in the long run. It’s not a surprise, then, that some workers who relocated last year experienced pangs of loneliness or doubt: 41 percent of them said their family wasn’t able to relocate with them and they had to travel to see them.

Here’s what workers said topped the list when it came to their other biggest relocation challenges:

  • Cost of living was higher – 26 percent
  • Caused more stress on the family unit – 24 percent
  • It was difficult to make new friends – 18 percent
  • They were feeling homesick – 16 percent

No looking back

Seventy-seven percent of workers who relocated in the last year reported they were happy with the move and didn’t regret their decision. How did workers say they benefited the most?

  • Made a fresh start – 30 percent
  • Made new friends – 31 percent
  • Had new experiences they wouldn’t have had anywhere else – 29 percent
  • Earning at a higher level gave their family more spending options – 27 percent
  • Better long-term career opportunities – 22 percent
  • Area was nicer and schools were better – 19 percent

Check out our “Relocation Nation” infographic to get a snapshot of relocation trends for 2012:

CareerBuilder: Relocation Nation 2012

 Are you planning on looking for out-of-area candidates this year to get the right employees in the door? Will you pay for relocation costs?

Amy McDonnell

About Amy McDonnell

Originally hailing from Ohio, Amy is the creative services manager on the content services team and has been with both CareerBuilder and the city of Chicago for nearly a decade. She writes on a range of recruitment topics on The Hiring Site, striving to bring a dose of clarity and humor to sometimes complicated issues around employee attraction, engagement and retention. When she's not working, Amy spends as much time as possible reading, pretending to be a chef, writing short stories, eating Nutella out of the jar, waiting for CTA buses and trains, going to see her favorite bands live, and spending time with people who inspire and challenge her.
Amy Chulik
Amy Chulik

Hi Linda,

Thanks for reaching out. The first thing I’d suggest is to prepare a formal plan. This plan should include specific details on how you have helped the business and your major accomplishments – basically, laying out your value to the business and why you do deserve full-time status. Here’s a video that one of our job seeker experts, Justin, did on this subject that may help:

The video focuses more on a raise, but the same concept applies, whether you’re going after more money, a title, or full-time status. I’d recommend seeing how this approach works, and making sure you update your resume with these important accomplishments. Then, if your company is still not enabling you to move to the next level, start searching to see what your other options are at other companies and where you may have better opportunities to take a step up in your career. Hope this helps and good luck!


I'm looking for advice on what to do. I've work for a retail store for
10 years. I've worked in all department of the store over the ten years
I'm now a cashier for 2 years also a (CSL) a Customer Service Lead.
I get 24 to 32 credit cards a month for the company, I'm number one in our store. I've been part time for all these years. I've tried over the
years to get full time and it every time ,with 4 diffence boss no one will make me full time and also every manager in the say I'm one of the hardes works in the store . Can you tell me something I can do as far as advice?



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