Extreme Commuters, Virtual CEO’s, and Other Mobile Executives Part 2
Last week’s blog post considered the many relocation issues candidates and hiring managers navigate during the hiring process. This week, the topic is continued and relocation solutions are explored.
For executives who are unwilling to move due to family issues or community ties, a company must either “sell” these executives and their families on the merits of the new location or consider a more flexible approach to address specific concerns. These executives are more likely to propose “extreme commuting” arrangements or working remotely rather than from the company headquarters.
“Extreme commuting” is defined as travel to the workplace that involves either a plane flight or a car trip lasting at least 90 minutes. And it appears that more and more executives are open to an extreme commuting arrangement. Extreme commuting could involve considerable expense if a company agrees to pay all or part of an executive’s travel costs plus provide lodging or temporary housing near the headquarters.
Other executives have embraced the use of smart-phones, e-mail, instant messaging, Internet phone service, video conferencing, and other available technology which allows them to conduct business from almost anywhere. Instead of face-to-face meetings in an office, these executives conduct most of their team meetings either through conference calls or video conferencing from remote locations. For a virtual or remote arrangement to work, the company must already have the necessary technology in place or be willing to invest in that technology.
Some companies elect to take a blended approach. An example would be to allow extreme commuting or working remotely for an initial period and then requiring relocation following the end of that period. This type of arrangement frequently includes an incentive such as a relocation bonus if the candidate moves prior to an agreed upon date. Another approach is negotiating a schedule with an executive that requires her physical presence in the office a certain number of days per month or per week but allows her to work remotely the remainder of the time.
Extreme commuting, working remotely, and other flexible arrangements have other costs that should be carefully considered. First and foremost, corporate leadership should determine whether an executive, who is not physically in the office, some or most of the time, can perform the essential functions of a particular position. In other words, is it possible for a senior executive to effectively manage his team without “walking the halls” everyday?
The refusal of a top executive to relocate can lead to unwanted speculation regarding a possible move by the company and a decrease in employee productivity and morale. Also, the physical and mental strain of extreme commuting can decrease effectiveness and quickly lead to burnout, which means opportunities in closer proximity to the executive’s residence will start to look more appealing. Therefore, a company that has invested considerable time and expense in adopting a flexible arrangement for a top-level hire may end up conducting a search for the same position much sooner than anticipated.
Navigating a Complex Issue
To avoid the complexity and associated costs of relocation, decision makers may be tempted to limit searches to the local level. However, unless the company is located in an area with a deep pool of executive talent, it is unlikely that the company will find the “top-tier” candidates who can drive the company’s success. In what has become a global market, effectively addressing relocation issues and developing flexible arrangements will be critical for any organization that wishes to attract the top executive talent.
The executive recruiters at BrainWorks are experienced in negotiating solutions to candidate relocation issues that benefit the company and the candidate. Get the highest return on your recruiting investment – let BrainWorks find the most qualified candidates in your next Digital Marketing & eCommerce search.