Monster Poll: Three-quarters of workers would relocate for a job

In a job market where talent is still hard to find, being able to bring talent to you is crucial. According to a new Monster poll, three-quarters of workers are willing to relocate for a job, while the other 25% would quit if asked to relocate.

“If you’re single and you’re 25 and you kind of like where you live but you don’t really care, you’re going to go,” says Laura MacLeod, an HR expert and consultant with From The Inside Out Project, an employee-morale company. “Even if you have a family, if it’s a lot more money and a place where the taxes are lower and the cost of living is lower, you’re going to go.”

What Motivates Job Seekers to Move

When it comes to moving for a job, the most important factors are a desirable new location (37%) and high enough salary compensation (37%), according to Monster’s data. Companies have to consider their value proposition: If you’re in a not-so-great city, for instance, you might have to sweeten the deal to get workers on board. Are you offering to pack and move them? Flexible schedule? A raise? 

“I think about post-COVID New York City — the cost of living here is outrageous,” MacLeod says. “If somebody offered me a job somewhere else where the cost of living would be about half, I’d go in a heartbeat.” 

In terms of convincing workers to relocate, 75% said they’d pack their bags if they received a salary increase, and 63% said a relocation package to assist with moving costs is key.

“The package is a huge part of the puzzle,” says Jill Santopietro, a human resources consultant at 21Oak HR Consulting. “You need to have some kind of group that’s going to white-glove it the whole way, so that person feels really supported in the process.” 

Forty-four percent of workers also say they’d move for a promotion. “I have seen people move to a great city for a great opportunity,” says Mikaela Kiner, founder and CEO at Reverb, an HR consulting firm. 

What’s Keeping Job Seekers in Place

It’s just as important to understand the things that make workers think twice about relocating. More than two-thirds (68%) said the cost of living in a new location is the most preventative factor to relocating for work. And nearly half (47%) pointed to the housing market in a new location.

“I live in the Boston area, and our market is horrifying right now,” Santopietro says. “I see people saying, ‘I have this nice house in Michigan, and if I move to Boston I can afford this tiny condo, why would I do that?’” 

Forty percent of workers noted that the climate or geographic location of a new job might prevent them from going, and 30% cited the political landscape in the new spot. 

“This is something I definitely hear people talking about,” Kiner says. “I’ve known a handful of people who’ve moved from Seattle to Texas. And then they realized that it’s progressive for Texas, but it’s not progressive in the way that Seattle is.” 

Near the bottom of the list but still significant, 27% of workers said they wouldn’t move because it would uproot their spouse or children. 

“One young woman has a growth opportunity with her current company that would require her to relocate, and she has a child in elementary school,” Kiner says. “She told them flat out ‘No.’” 

The Role of Flexible Work

In Monster’s poll, 41% of workers said they’re more willing to relocate due to increased options for remote work, and 44% said a job with a flexible, hybrid schedule would convince them to relocate. Three in 10 said they wouldn’t relocate because they can do their job well from any location. 

“One of the reasons not to relocate is, ‘Why do I have to?’” Santopietro says. 

If remote or flexible work is an option for your firm, this is something to consider. Hiring for a remote position means you can hire anyone who lives anywhere, which vastly expands your candidate pool. And flexible work, particularly post-pandemic, keeps companies competitive for talent. 

“Everything has to be flexible,” MacLeod says. “I have to be able to do it from home. I have to be able to come in when I feel like it. That’s just become a thing now.” 

Hone Your Recruitment Strategy

In an uncertain market, your recruiting plan is crucial. Weigh approaches — should you actively engage talent or scale back? — with Monster’s Confident or Cautious recruitment strategy guide. You’ll get a sense of how organizations are approaching the issue from both sides, how recruiters are addressing the skills gap, and how you can combine tactics to reach your goals.