m-Pact Career Blog

from Marketing Talent Network

The Housing Crisis and the Job Market

Shortly after 9-11, a number of people in the recruiting industry noticed an interesting trend in terms of changes related to the willingness of professionals to relocate.  Suddenly candidates were less willing to move if they were living close to family, and if the were open to relocation there was a strong preference to move close to where they had family ties.  Purely a lifestyle decision, and understandable given the circumstances.

During the past several months we have been noticing a new trend — this time based on financial decisions and brought on by the housing crisis.  Many candidates have lost equity in their homes — sometimes a lot of equity.  This makes it far more difficult for some of them to relocate to a new city.

From a hiring and careers perspective, this creates a variety of different dynamics:

  • People Less Willing to Move with Companies:  often a company makes a decision to relocate either their entire headquarters or just the marketing department to a new city.  This always raises the question of how many of the current marketing professionals for that company will relocate.  The percentages seem to be shrinking.  We are encountering more and more people who are looking for a new position because they do not want to make a move with their company, and more clients who are looking for good talent to fill the positions left vacant after this type of a move.
  • People less willing to move for a new job:  for the same reasons, more candidates want to focus search efforts to a commutable distance from where they currently live.  The biggest difficulty this presents is that it significantly limits the available positions appropriate for their background and this stage in their career.  Result?  A much longer job search, often not because there are less jobs on the market, but because of the narrow limits they have placed on that search. 
  • People who are surprised after they decide to relocate:  This is perhaps the worst of all scenarios.  Someone decides to relocate, accepts the new job, and then they are shocked at the housing market.  It is important that all professionals enter the job market at this time with their eyes wide open.  When it comes to such factors as the length of time it will take to sell your house or the amount of equity you will have from the sale, to be surprised in the early stages of your job search is one thing — to be surprised after you have already accepted a position in another city is something else entirely different. 

What do we suggest given this current set of circumstances?

  1. If you are a marketing professional who believes their company is going to move you, and you don’t want to go — don’t wait until the last minute to look for a job.  Start your job search at the first hint this this situatuon may be in the wind.  Because if you are unwilling to move, your search for a new position will be more difficult and take longer.
  2. If you are a marketing professional that is willing to move for a good career change — don’t wait until the last minute to start shopping your home.  Talk to some realtors.  Get a realistic appraisal and an estimate of how long it will take to sell your house.  Start taking action early.
  3. If you are a hiring manager or human resources manager in a firm that will be moving a group of professionals to another location, don’t blindly expect the best.  Talk to a reputable recruiter early about starting to help fill your gaps as that relocation takes place.  Because filling those positions will affect the efficiency with which that department handles their work, and it will also affect the attitude of those individuals who went ahead and made the move.

Bottom line, plan ahead and take action early.  And don’t take the entire burden on yourself.  Work with one or two good recruiters that specialize in the marketing field.




May 8, 2008 Posted by | Careers in Marketing, Marketing Job Market | Leave a comment