Can’t Find Good Help?
Don’t Overlook Out-Of-State Candidates
Time to broaden your horizons? One of the biggest challenges for employers is finding qualified candidates, especially technicians (but that is a whole different topic). We will be the first to admit that good help can be hard to find, but you may need to broaden your horizons. Many employers in the powersports industry often overlook out-of-state applicants. That is a huge mistake!
Automatically dismissing out-of-state candidates before they are even given a chance to let the employer know about their qualifications and experience automatically and dramatically reduces the odds of finding the right candidate. The concern of having to pay for relocation is offset by the fact that there are plenty of great candidates who are looking for a chance to get back to their hometown or a desired residence.
Advice To Employers
Let’s talk about mechanics for a minute. As we all know, Motorcycle Mechanics Institute has a location in Florida and there is another MMI campus in Arizona. These newly minted MMI graduates will go just about anywhere to get their start and most likely in any state they can best land a job. If you have automatically discounted any resume coming from the 85027 zip code or failed to take the candidate’s call from a (407) area code, congratulations you just eliminated the entire graduating class from MMI from your list of applicants!
Let’s take it one step further. It stands to reason that as these grads gain experience and possibly even find a significant other, like most Americans, they will try to work their way back to their hometown. Strange as it may sound, I have personally spoken to some elusive and endangered species “A” level techs who were completely ignored by prospective employers because their resume had an out-of-state address on it.
Some employers exclusively use the MIJ advanced browsing feature to narrow down the candidate search specifically to their local area. I encourage all employers to widen their search parameters and then if someone out-of-state pops up who looks promising, pick up the phone and take 5 minutes to find out why the candidate is looking to relocate.
Now Some Advice To The Job Seeker
One of the biggest challenges of conducting an out-of-town job search is getting a potential employer to consider you. As stated above, many hiring managers aren’t looking at candidates outside their own zip code. A major reason for this is that they have local candidates who can interview and start sooner, making the hiring process easier for them.
However, if you are willing or want to move, what can you do to get an employer to consider you? Here are a couple of strategies to catch the eye of a hiring manager. Make your move seem like a done deal (e.g. you have a moving date). Another tip is to put the new location on your resume.
Many employers read resumes before they look at cover letters that explain in detail about a relocation desire. Take steps to convey your desire right on your resume to fight the “out-of-town candidate” stigma. For instance, you can put “relocating to California” directly below your address, or even use a local address if you have friends or family already living in the location you’re targeting. If you do the latter, though, be sure that you are prepared for the possibility that you will be called to come in for an interview as soon as tomorrow.
Putting It All Together
If your goal in hiring a new employee is to get the best of who is available, then take the extra few minutes to widen your search, and learn more about possible candidates that are out-of-state. You might be surprised at who is looking!
If you are seeking a job and have a goal of relocating, make this clear and up front by customizing your resume to that out-of-state position. Once you better understand how the employer and job seekers are looking for candidates and opportunities (online keyword, job title, location, and other advanced search options), you can better cater your search to the right audience. Job-seeker or employer, the bottom line is the same: broaden your horizons!