Candidates who are prepared to travel anywhere, anytime, with a real ability and desire to relocate frequently are rare. Many don’t mind travel as part of their position, some aren’t willing to step outside their doorstep, yet almost everyone is reluctant to take on a long daily commute.
So although it is not acceptable from the client side to state its location as the driving force of any application (no-one wants to hear they have been chosen just because they were convenient!) It is without doubt, one of the most influential factors in the candidate’s decision-making process.
It is therefore important to know your local geography and to do your homework regarding route planning and methods of transportation available. With fuel costs rising and congestion bringing many towns and cities to a standstill, it is not enough to base your criteria on a mileage basis alone. For example, if you want less than an hour’s commute, it may mean you can only travel 5 miles in one direction at certain times of the day and up to 40 in another! Make sure you quantify a location.
Postcode route planning on the Internet is very useful, but also consider different transport choices and the timing of your journey. Some companies may have one or more possible location for the post, flexi work times, or work from home options maybe on offer. You won’t know unless you ask. If you are tied to a particular route, really question the precedent you have set and explore all alternatives. It is like the example given that when buying a house, many people end up focussing on whether their current sofa will fit the layout of the proposed front room, yet, buying a new sofa would be far more cost effective and insignificant in light of the importance of finding the right home in the long run?
If it is an unchangeable factor get to know the locale as well as you can. Drive around and make notes on nearby companies. Visit any local business parks, many have their own websites and publish directories of all the businesses on their site with contact details – handy:) Great example here for Slough, UK.
Stay in touch with local business news, trade press, local papers, remember to follow their twitter streams. Pay particular attention to those items which cover companies moving into the area. Why not try a local ‘tweetup’, its a great free way to meet people in your area, you may make new friends, or hear about another role or learn about other organisations.
Use LinkedIn’s Company search to identify possibilities in your area. I have made a quick video to take you through step by step on how to run this search.
Hopefully you will have found some organisations in the perfect location, perhaps some names that were new to you, or you passed by everyday without realising they were there. Great, now perhaps you can make your schedule workable, find the balance you were looking for or just make up / save the time you needed.
Yet please don’t let them know that. Focus your hunt, first geographically, then refine by investigating how you can connect to them personally.
Take time to get to know them, visit their websites, check out their online profiles, network with their staff or ex-employees. Identify your interest in what it is they do, how they do it and the type of role they have to offer and not just the postcode they happen to have. Also remember that offices can move, especially those growing or in serviced flexible arrangements.
So jump in the car, take a stroll around the business parks and dig out the train and / or bus times and see where it could take you?
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Sarah Cooper has over 14 years Recruitment experience gained in both an internal and agency environment. As one of the founding Directors of McGinnis Loy Ltd, specialist Finance and HR Recruiters, she is still actively recruiting in the marketplace today. Follow her tweets @approachmarket