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Recruitment and HR Blog

Frustrated by applications from candidates who don’t live where your vacancy is based?

11th May 2022

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You open the perfect CV, with the ideal experience you’re looking for, and then clock the candidate’s location. Frustrated, you think to yourself: “why would they apply for a role 200 miles away from their home?!”

We know how discouraging this can be, especially in this candidate-driven market where there are more jobs out there than people looking, and those stand-out applications are difficult to come by. But things are changing, and we’re glad to say there might be some ways to work around this…  

The Great Resignation… Or the Great Relocation?

The most obvious solution is to consider whether the role can be done remotely. But we appreciate it’s not always practical to offer the option to work from home. When you really do need applicants to work from the company premises and therefore live locally, it can be disheartening to spot that the perfect candidate lives hundreds of miles away. But don’t discount them straight away. Not only was there a record number of job vacancies of 1.32 million between December 2021 and February 2022, as recorded in a recent report by the Office for National Statistics. There’s also a record number of people moving house, rising 165% in London over the course of the pandemic.

People’s priorities and perceptions changed during the pandemic. Introspection was encouraged, and people began asking questions like “what really matters to me in a career?”, revolutionising the recruitment market. And at a time when companies are struggling to attract the talent they need, it may come as somewhat of a relief that the latest research conducted by Totaljobs revealed “1 in 2 UK workers are open to relocating if the right job offer came along”.




But what does that mean for you? In essence, it means that perfect CV from a candidate living 200 miles away might not be such a stretch after all. Candidates will usually be searching within a commutable radius of a specific geographical area they have inputted into the search function on a job board. So in theory the vacancy will have come up in response to their specific search criteria. Candidates might well be planning to relocate to the area they are searching in. Or perhaps they have already relocated and not yet updated their CV!

Tips you might want to follow when filtering through CVs…

Our advice would always be: never make any assumptions. Especially in this recruitment market. Here are our key tips to take away:

  • Check if a candidate has provided a cover letter alongside their CV – sometimes an explanation of planned relocation may be mentioned
  • If you’re unsure whether your stand-out candidate’s residential location will work, email (or even better, pick up the phone and call, as more often than not emails will end up in their junk folders) to ask whether they are planning on relocating, or have recently moved to the area.
  • If candidates have the option to combine working from home with working from the company premises, perhaps consider asking those that live further afield whether they’d be open to commuting a couple of days per week.
  • Assess whether you’d be prepared to offer a relocation package (typically depending on the level of seniority for the role) to encourage applications from those stand-out individuals with the ideal experience you are looking for. 

Consider where your vacancies are being posted…

One thing that may still be impacting the quality and relevance of applications you receive is where your job advert has been posted. In this market candidates can be choosy about the employers they apply to. And there are millions of vacancies out there for them to wade through. So job adverts need as much targeted exposure as possible both on job boards and on social media to ensure the right people see them and are encouraged to apply.  

That’s where our multiple job board network of over 200 job boards comes in, which includes regional job boards focused on specific locations, along with leading and industry specialist job sites too. On behalf of the employers we support, we also post extensively to localised and industry specific social media groups (some with over 60,000 connections!) to encourage relevant applications from those that might not be actively looking on the job boards.

Of course, this is just one of the many approaches we take to ensuring your job advertisement leads to a successful hire. If you’d like to find out more about how JVP Group can help your vacancies receive as much targeted exposure as possible so that the right people are aware of your opportunities and encouraged to apply, please get in touch.

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