This blog post is part of a collection created by various Human Resources professionals. This “Carnival” of HR posts centers around the theme of HR and Home. To read the rest of the collection click here. You’ll be glad you did!
When I first started in HR I would pre-screen candidates for various positions. Some jobs required relocation and some didn’t. When I talked with an out -of-town candidate I had to ask the question: “are you willing to relocate for this position?” I checked the “yes” or “no” box. And that was that. People relocated or they didn’t.
It was only when I relocated myself that I really started to think about what it meant to move to a new town, state, or country…
I moved to Richmond a little under 5 years ago with my husband. In many ways, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was moving from the Midwest city of Cleveland, Ohio to the city of Richmond, Virginia located in the southeast part of the country.
Some might say an upgrade; some might say a downgrade…whatevs I was just looking forward to less snow! My family hails from Chicago (Go Bears!) and we relocated to Cleveland (Go Browns!) when I was pretty young. So most of my experiences growing up are primarily Midwestern: I say “pop,” I can drive in the snow, I don’t think Canada is that far, [insert any other northern/Midwestern thing].
So take this nice, Midwesterner and put her into the former capital of the confederacy….why exactly didn’t I get a reality TV show?
There wouldn’t have been much to show. Richmonders are some of the nicest, friendliest and hospitable people and usually have all their teeth (you know I had to throw a redneck reference in). Regardless of what you think you know about Richmond, it is an eclectic, southern city with a great mix of people from all over the country.
I was getting my driver’s license when I discovered that the person in front of me was also from Cleveland and the person behind me was from Philadelphia.
This happens a lot in Richmond and it is great for me. I love hearing where people come from, what they do, why they moved, how they like the area, etc; I’ve met people from all over the place living in Richmond: Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York, Dallas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Canada, & Ghana to name a few.
These discussions have given me a much deeper understanding of the things we do for work: pick up and move our spouses and kids, spend our own money and time to move, miss a family crisis back home, spend every holiday on the road, the list goes on. Depending on your circumstances a move can be a bump in the road, a pleasant segue or a very stressful event.
Since I have become much more aware of what it takes to relocate, I put extra effort on both the personal and the professional side to lend a helping hand to newbies in the area. It could be something as simple as offering traffic advice to help someone avoid the well-known bottlenecks. Or maybe it’s giving out the name of my trusted handyman…it took me a while to find him so why not spare someone all that time?
So here’s the thing, what I’m talking about isn’t in the HR manual. It’s rarely talked about in most circles. It is that part of HR that we forget about sometimes: the human in human resources. I’m not suggesting you become the Angie’s list of your company instead I simply suggest that you promote an environment where people are welcoming and considerate to out-of-towners. Moving to a new place can make you feel like a fish out of water; let’s help kick that feeling down a notch eh?