When senior talent doesn’t want to relocate

January 05 2020

With dual careers and commitments outside work, along with the developments in remote working, might organisations that base their senior team out of corporate HQ be missing out on the best talent? From our research it’s evident that some top talent either can’t or won’t relocate meaning the ideal candidate could be overlooked in favour of a candidate with the propensity to move, rather than potential to do the job!

Of course, not all roles are flexible on location and require face-to-face interaction with their teams but it’s worth asking the question. Before you draw up a shortlist, or even a job description, it’s important to have a broad view of your talent pool including; talent supply and demand, talent location, attractiveness of your corporate locations, and what your target candidates are looking for from an employer. Having this data to hand enables you to make more informed decisions about the role.

Using external data to understand talent supply

We were recently asked to provide insight into Medical Affairs Directors in Europe. Our Paris based client was looking to recruit someone to lead medical affairs for their growing oncology division. Our data, via our Stratigens platform, showed that there was a supply of just over 1000 people with the right experience and competencies in Europe.

Supply was sufficient and although the competition for talent was strong, our client had a good employer brand and a strong R&D pipeline so should have been able to easily attract the right talent. However, relatively few people with oncology medical affairs experience were near the client’s European HQ plus the client’s hub city scored low on attractiveness compared to other major European bases for cost of living, education and working conditions and so there was a concern about the attractiveness of the role to international candidates.

Zooming in on the right candidates

Having supplied the client with this view, they asked us to carry out some bespoke research. Our research found that many of the best candidates were with a partner in the same industry and that dual career and family commitments meant an international move would not be possible in the near future.

We ended up finding an ideal candidate close to their country headquarters in the UK. The candidate has accepted the role based on a flexible working arrangement with travel to HQ in Paris but a base from home and the use of office facilities in the London office. The insight provided by Stratigens at the start of the process has enabled the client to recruit a high performing candidate who is leading European medical affairs for the organisation.

The added benefits of a distributed workforce

It’s a commonly held belief that having the entire senior team in the same corporate HQ is vital to creating a strong corporate culture. However, having key talent spread across different bases within a region can actually improve corporate culture as a whole.

Having a strong corporate culture in one major base, whilst your country affiliates bear little resemblance to what is happening at the HQ, can actually be damaging to culture. If employees in bases outside HQ feel alienated or out of the loop, they can become disengaged and disconnected from the business and its culture as a whole.

When done well, it’s our belief that you can use remote and hub working to spread the corporate message further. New technology makes communication and remote working easier than ever before. Supplemented with regular face-to-face gatherings, successful team working need not be compromised by location.

How much does location matter?

At Talent Intuition we live this philosophy. Having met as a team at our HQ in Cardiff last week, we’re now working remotely and in small teams until our next meeting in the new year. We need to excel at communication, coordination, collaboration, project management and measuring our productivity.

Why did we choose this model? Because we know that this is the best way for us to access the people we need to deliver on our business plan. Remote working is part of our culture and it allows us to get the right people in the right roles above all other considerations.

At Talent Intuition we can help you understand the talent landscape through our platform which provides access to almost 1,400 external people data sources, paired with our consultancy that provides detailed insight into your talent pool. To see a demo of Stratigens please contact us.