In the past, it wasn’t so difficult to find a job prior to moving to a new city. In today’s hyper competitive job market, where there are 6 times more applicants than advertised jobs, employers can afford to be very picky.
Unless they have been in the job market for a while, candidates are still used to past experiences, where employers were starved for qualified candidates. In normalized job markets, a candidate could show they were reasonably qualified and had the capacity to learn the rest.
Not so today, where employers see so many well qualified candidates that they have the luxury to choose the best qualified – and from those best qualified, choose the best fit for the company, department, or manager. Add location into the mix and it can be daunting.
Why Employers In Other Locations Favor Locals
There are some specific perceptions employers have of local candidates:
- Cost: Employer budgets are tight. Local candidates don’t need relocation or even travel reimbursement.
- Flexibility: Local candidates can be more flexible in scheduling and rescheduling interviews, typically with less notice. Local candidates don’t have to make plane or hotel reservations.
- Familiarity: Local candidates are already familiar and established in the area. They have a lower risk of hating the weather, discovering the area doesn’t meet their personal (or family) needs, or moving out of the area for other personal reasons.
- Fit: Local residents are more likely to fit with a company’s local staff. For example, a San Antonio-based employer is less likely to see a fit with a candidate who lives in Manhattan – and more likely to feel biased that a Yankee wouldn’t mesh as well with their employees compared to candidates from the South.
- Risk: Employers are typically biased that non-local candidates present a greater risk at leaving a company more quickly. Personal reasons, family reasons, educational reasons, weather reasons, or simply missing “home” are all perceived as risks that a relocation won’t work. You may not feel that these are risks personally and you may have some great reasons to make a move, but your potential employers often still sees risk compared to local candidates.
There are ways to overcome these risks and be considered as a viable candidate for many companies, even in today’s lousy job market.
Here are 5 great ways to overcome the bias towards local candidates …
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