GeneralHr Library

“Open to Relocate”

Source  | Babu Vittal, Head HR at ShopClues

Last few weeks…

If you are a regular reader of newspapers or if you have access to Internet (You bet! Since you are reading this online), you are probably aware of recent happenings in the industry. The buzzwords which you would have heard over the last few weeks would have definitely included mass retrenchment, right-sizing, let-go of employees, managing work force effectiveness, increasing efficiency, an eye on margins, etc. Yes, our industries are going through challenging times and we are trying to do our bit to help our colleagues.

I see some interesting yet unfortunate trends emerging. Before looking at these trends let me also give you a glimpse of my journey so far.

I spent my first few years in Chennai, moved on to work in Hyderabad for a while, next few years in Bangalore and currently in Delhi. Work has taken me to multiple places across the globe also and these aren’t just visits. I have always put my quest for learning on top of anything and am very fortunate to have an extremely open minded family.

I have always advised and suggested my fellow colleagues, friends and peers to move around from one location to the other for the sheer joy of learning and experience the new place has to offer us. You also get to have a different perspective of your once-home city when you see it from the outside. You will have to travel to believe it. All those city migrants like me will understand this.

Some conversations

Let’s now come back to those trends I mentioned earlier. Over the weekend, I was chatting up with my friends in leadership hiring, and these are renowned headhunters. From our conversations, I gathered that almost every other candidate spoken to in the past few weeks claim that they are “open to relocate”

I also sat down for couple of hours over the weekend to clear up those pending requests in LinkedIn and accepted about 100+ requests. Over the next 2 days, something unexpected happened. About 40% of them ended up sending some sort of a message.  A good number of them were marketing their services and a sizeable set of folks asked for a ‘suitable’ job and stated, “Location is not a constraint”

Emerging patterns

The underlying pattern I saw over last few weeks was that every job-searching individual was very much “open to relocate”.

This was surprising since these were the same individuals who refused to move out of their bases when opportunities came knocking at their doors.

The pattern was odd and I was puzzled. Is location really a constraint or not? Let’s take a closer look to understand this question. If yes, then why?

First Job towns

There is a high level of probability that our hometown, education town (base location of our college) and our first-job towns are different. During this journey of getting a good education and good first job, location is never a constraint.

We pick our first job, stay with friends, and get acclimatized with new organizations and new locales and slowly start to create a liking for this first-job town. This is the case with most graduates in India, from Tier I and Tier II institutions. One could be even more certain if the discipline is either engineering or management.


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