Human Resources News & Insights

More recruiters care where candidates live

Commuting costs are becoming more of a concern for employees everywhere. But does that mean companies should only hire workers who live nearby?

Some companies are saying yes, according to a story in the Hartford Courant. After seeing employees quit because getting to work became too expensive, some employers have added a short commute to their lists of hiring criteria.

What are recruiters and hiring managers doing? Some are refusing to hire anyone who lives outside a certain radius, while others are requiring applicants to make a trial commute before accepting an offer.

Is this a smart idea? It’s true some employees have started looking for jobs closer to home, but does that mean you shouldn’t consider talent just because you think they might find a reason to quit?

What do you think? Have you changed any of your recruiting practices due to high fuel prices? Let us know by dropping us a comment.

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  • Another factor to consider is whether or not there is comparable work close to where a candidate lives. We have that situation in our area. If a candidate has a long commute, but they have exhausted their search for jobs nearby, they can articulate that in the interview. I flat out ask candidates how they feel about the drive they would have to make. Most responses fall along the lines of, “Well, I gotta do what I gotta do”. Then it’s really up to us to determine the validity of that response – much like the rest of the interview (it’s not like people would ever LIE in an interview to get a job, right? 🙁 ).
    If we run across a really strong candidate who lives quite a distance away, I can’t say that I would automatically eliminate them from contention. But with gas prices the way they are, it has to be one of several factors depending on how the candidate feels about it.

  • I would always bring up the idea of the commute and what they would face every day getting to work and listen carefully to the response. If this makes sense to the candidate to take a job with a commute I go on to the next red flag if there was one.
    I do pay attention to the application we have candidates fill in with all their work history and if any of the reasons for leaving a job had to do with a long commute as the reason, that I examine and if I think our commute was longer then they have just shot themselves in the foot.
    I am finding that is must be getting to very difficult for anyone to find a job with this high unemployment, and all the jobs companies are not filling also, because of the slow down. People seem to be applying for anything, if it is for them or not simply because they have to have a job.
    I am worried this will be a trend we will see for a while to come

  • JCE

    I work 37 miles from home, and my commute has taken anywhere from 35 minutes to 3 1/2 hours (if there’s snow). I have been at this job for 4 years. I would definitely ask a candidate if the drive is a factor, but I would not make the decision for them that it’s too far to drive. There are no jobs on the side of town where I live. I would hate to think that I failed to receive consideration for this job based on the fact that someone else felt that the commute was too long for me. What if all of the employers used this logic? I wouldn’t receive any job offers.