Dual-Career Services Help Sell Candidates on Relocations

Dual-Career Services Help Sell Candidates on Relocations

Millennials are significantly more likely than previous generations to be in marriages where both partners work full-time, career counselor Phyllis Brust points out at SHRM, and for employers, that means it is more important than ever to get a candidate’s spouse on board when persuading them to relocate for work. Dual career services within the HR or talent acquisition function facilitate the transition for these couples by helping spouses find and apply for jobs either within the organization or nearby, in addition to building local networks and learning about the community:

Additional services may be offered for partners who are not seeking positions or cannot work, such as information about volunteer opportunities and educational programs. Some specialists assist with finding language classes, obtaining work authorization, locating schools and other community-based resources, participating in social events, getting housing assistance, and researching special interests (hobbies, for example). These may be done one-on-one and in workshops.

Dual-career assistance can be very individualized and hands on. Professionals “conduct an intake assessing skills and experience, asking partners their passion, reviewing the resume and other documents, and doing a lot of digging to arrange networking meetings,” said Moira Grosbard, the principal of Network Careers Inc. in Minneapolis, whose clients include 3M and General Mills.

Of course, partners of new employees are rarely guaranteed jobs. “Dual-career assistance does not mean placement, nor is it executive search,” Grosbard said. Nor are they recruiters hiring partners for specific jobs. “Some of the partners may have done more research than others, and it works best when they have,” she added. “Millennials will give [us] a list of 20 companies, and we will set to work.”

One major company that has been providing these services for quite some time is Nestlé, which Brust highlights as an example of an organization that has implemented a successful dual career initiative. At CEB (now Gartner), we profiled Nestlé’s program in 2012 as part of an extensive body of research into how the best companies were developing global leaders. Nestlé’s approach to dual career services entails providing direct relocation support to both candidates and their spouses, in addition to partnering with other organizations to develop a self-sustaining network of employee spouses (both men and women) who provide each other with career support as well. CEB Corporate Leadership Council members can read the full case study here.