How to help new hires acclimate to their new city

Moving to a different city or state can be jarring for new recruits, but here's how companies can make them feel at home.

How to recruit the best hire for your company Companies are using a range of new recruiting tactics to win the tech talent war.

Recruiting new hires from out of the local area is a great strategy for expanding a company's talent pool—especially since many candidates are willing to make the move. The majority (87%) of tech employees between the ages of 25 and 34 have considered moving to a new city for work, according to a recent Indeed report.

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This desire to move isn't reserve for young professionals however, as 80% of all tech workers said they have or would consider moving for a job, the report added. Making a big move isn't an easy decision, however, leaving companies with the responsibility of convincing the candidate that it would be worth it.

Hiring managers should be vying for out-of-state talent now more than ever, according to Liesl Bernard, CEO of executive search and staffing firm Cannabizteam. "With the unemployment rate being as low as it is right now, it is essential for companies to put their best foot forward from the minute they start interacting with any candidate, whether it's online or in person, or through the onboarding process," Bernard said.

"Employees often have multiple offers on the table at any one time, and then usually they get a counteroffer as well when they leave their current company, because the unemployment rate is so low," Bernard said. "Companies need to realize that employees are their key asset, and both hiring and retaining their best people is essential to maintaining a competitive advantage."

Here's how employers can help recruits acclimate to their new environments—both in and out of the office.

Onboarding

The onboarding process is crucial to a new hire's experience, said Stephanie Daniel, senior partner at Keystone Associates. With how fast the enterprise moves, many companies sacrifice an extensive onboarding process so new hires can jump into their role, Daniel said.

Onboarding is essential for retaining new hires, especially if they made a big move for the job, said Bernard. "Often we see the onboarding going really well for a couple of weeks, then we get a call [from the new hire] three months or six months later saying, 'I'm not sure this was the right move.' We find is that onboarding process stopped too quickly," she said.

The onboarding process should actually begin during the interview process, Bernard said. The interview experience is when the candidate begins interacting with the company, so they should automatically be onboarded into understanding the company's culture and expectations, she added.

For candidates moving locations and bringing families, the onboarding process should extend to everyone involved, Bernard said."It's essential that companies embrace the fact that they're bringing a whole family to a new environment," she said. "Have resources available to make sure the wives and the children, if that's the situation, or the husbands and the children, acclimate very well, as well."

Mentorship

Companies should consider providing mentors for new hires from out of state. Not only could the colleague help them adjust to work, but they could also help them adjust to the area, said Daniel. "Assigning people within the organization who have been living in the area for a while, and are cheerleaders if you will, can speak about what's happening in the local area," she said. "And they can give the newcomer a sense of excitement and belonging early on."

Mentors can also provide new hires with resources one might not consider when moving, Daniel added. Between recommendations for local doctors, dentists, realtors, hairdressers, accountants, and more, providing the candidate with those resources can help set their mind at ease, she said.

Social events

Mentors and other programs are also a chance to integrate the candidate into the company socially. Whether hosting a welcome event or work happy hours, companies can hold events that help new hires adjust, and assign a mentor to attend with them, said Brittany Hale, senior enterprise recruiter at Mondo.

"A lot of companies, depending on the industry, have events two to three nights a week," said Hale. "There's definitely opportunities that companies can create for employees to get engaged from day one."

Introducing the new hire to people or social groups in the community is helpful too, said Daniel. Many cities have newcomer meetups, club teams for sports, trivia nights at restaurants, and more that could help a new hire feel more at home.

For tips on how to properly onboard an employee, check out this TechRepublic article.

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Image: iStockphoto/fizkes

By Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.