By Marlene Jan and Nina Brachmann
Recruiting locally within Vancouver, BC, or even Canada isn’t easy, but it sure isn’t the same ball game as recruiting globally. The global talent competition for the best and the brightest is fierce, with candidates taking offers from you and your US, European and Asian talent competition. If you have found the perfect candidate, how do you convince them to relocate to Beautiful British Columbia?
The cold hard facts.
The circumstances have to be right for your candidate to move. Those circumstances often come down to how competitive your offer is and what the financial impact will be for your candidate. The facts have to be accompanied by lots of information – any you’ll need endless patience for the myriad of questions that are bound to arise. Keep in mind that the things we take for granted on a day-to-day basis will be new to your candidate.
Show me the money.
Your candidate will, naturally, convert the salary you offer to their home currency. Everyone always looks for a number that’s bigger than what they have now. Knowing this, you’ll have to help your candidate understand what that dollar figure means in Vancouver. Give them a hypothetical calculation of what their net pay will be (once you’ve taken off all of the standard EI, CPP, and tax deductions, which should also be explained) and what your company pay schedule is (bi-weekly or semi-monthly, isn’t common everywhere in the world). This is a really important number – it represents how much is available in their pockets for spending. Arm them with an understanding of the cost of living in Vancouver: How much will it take to cover the basics and the extras – housing, food, transportation, services, clothing and entertainment.
The next big factor is benefits coverage for the candidate and their family. Understand what they’re used to in their home country. Do they have universal healthcare or is it a pay-per-use system? Set the stage and make sure your candidate understands the Canadian medical system. Explain provincial health care coverage. And explain your company’s benefits program and how that complements what is provided through the province. This should include the numbers — how much are the premiums and are there deductibles? It could be that the premiums are less than your candidate is used to in their home country (which is another great selling feature to keep in mind!).
Moving aint cheap and your candidate will want to know if your company is going to help them get to Vancouver and settle in once they’ve arrived. It’s more than the cost of the physical move (such as flights and movers) but also the cost to sell/buy home, buy/sell a car, pay real estate agents or lawyers, connect utilities and much, much more.
Think about your company’s stance on this. Do you expect the candidate to cover these costs or will you provide some assistance? If you’re providing assistance, how much? Costs can quickly spiral so make sure you understand the costs involved, budget accordingly or set limits. Whatever your company’s position, make sure it’s consistent from candidate to candidate. Make sure you have the internal processes within your team and the company to ensure everything goes smoothly.
The moral of this story — be prepared to provide a ton of information. This includes understanding the financial framework and benefits in your candidate’s home country and how your offer will be perceived. Take the time to explain how we Crazy Canucks do things here and what your company will provide and what you expect from the candidate. We’ve only scratched the surface of what needs to be considered. Each one of these topics can be further explored and there are plenty more issues to be considered.
The softer side of the equation
For the candidate, this is a really stressful decision. You’re asking them to leave behind their friends, their family and their lifestyle to start fresh. It’s an emotional experience. You need to do is capture their emotions. Sell this beautiful place called Vancouver. On the surface, it’s easy. Where else can you ski, golf, and sail all in the same day? But this is more than a vacation destination — this is going to be home.
It’s a great lifestyle choice.
Vancouverites love the great outdoors, value nature and tend to be pretty laid back. We’re (generally) quite fit, don’t smoke (tobacco, that is), but still love great food and good times. Crime is low, it’s safe, and people are friendly. According to Mercer Consulting, Vancouver ranks #3 in the world on their Quality of Living survey. That’s easy to sell!
It’s a land of opportunity.
We’re a young city, a young province, a young country. There are plenty of opportunities for career growth. We have big companies, growing companies, maybe even a chance to establish your own company one day. There is no set career path. Everyone is free to discover what makes them happy and go for it. And with our low, low unemployment rates, the booming economy and the looming Olympics, the potential opportunities will only increase.
It’s a great place to raise kids.
We’re a multicultural society and just by virtue of being a kid, doing kid things in this city, you develop an appreciation for living alongside many cultures. To make your kids worldly, come to Vancouver. Most relocations fail because the family members (spouse or kids) are unhappy. Make the family love Vancouver and it’s bound to be a success.
How to do it.
Sell your candidate on the city and give them a realistic picture of what to expect. Bring them to Vancouver (for interviews or as a pre-move orientation trip) and let them see your company, meet the team and explore the city. Even better, let them bring their spouse, too. You can provide them with websites, pictures, descriptions, magazines and more. But none of that will compare with the experience of actually being here and seeing it for real.
Is your company ready to leap into the global marketplace for talent? Get ready to compete for key talent, sell them on the job and win their hearts and minds. Arm yourself with lots of information, anticipate your candidate’s needs and be convincing. This job, this city, this country is a great fit for them. They’re going to love it here.Tags: recruiting, recruiting advice, recruitment