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Old 12-17-2018, 02:19 PM
dogbite1337 dogbite1337 is offline
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Default Difficulty of Landing Job in Different Geographical Region

What is the difficulty in getting a job offer in a significantly different geographical region from where you currently live? I've heard and experienced that companies prefer employees that already live in a given area as they are more likely to stay longer. So how hard is it to get hired halfway across the country (given that you are a high level candidate)?

I'm more interested in the EL market, but would like to hear opinions on any level. My assumption is that getting hired across the country would be easier if you have experience and aren't part of the current cluster **** of an EL market. People often give EL advice such as "don't limit yourself geographically," but honestly how often does a New York applicant get hired in San Francisco? I suppose this advice might better mean that you shouldn't be afraid to work in bum **** nowhere.

Are there certain areas where it's easier/harder to get hired from a distance?
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Old 12-17-2018, 03:41 PM
yerromnitsuj yerromnitsuj is offline
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I'm in SF. If the right candidate was from NY we would hire him/her. Most applicants are from CA though so that's where most people are hired from. I was hired from AZ. and I was hired in AZ from CA. And I was hired in CA from UT. So every job I've had has moved me interstate. In my first job in San Francisco we hired another entry level person from New York a few months later.

So in my experience, you're fine. Maybe there are some companies who resist hiring across state lines but in my experience they just want the best candidate. If you're not getting hired for positions in different states it's probably an interview problem rather than a location thing, IMO.

When it comes down to it a company would much rather spend a few thousand to relocate someone than hire the wrong candidate which would cost them much more than the relocation package, especially for something as specialized as actuarial work.
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Old 12-17-2018, 04:18 PM
Westley Westley is offline
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As you say, part of the concern is that you won't stick around, so an important part of the interview process is convince them that this is not true. As amazing as I am, I had interviews in my early years in cities I had never visited, and didn't get the offer, mostly because they could see I didn't know what I was getting into.

I'd just say that overall, for a "high level" candidate, they can get hired where they want. Many consulting firms and even some large insurance companies recruit nationally in order to get the best talent, so they just think that's part of the normal way of acquiring talent.

As OP implies, if there are job openings in NYC and Topeka KS, all else equal, the NYC gets many more applicants. So, the "don't limit yourself geographically" is more about that, and not necessarily for the "high level" candidate. But there are def people from all over getting hired into the major actuarial markets like NYC, Boston, Philly, Chicago, Hartford.

That company in Topeka probably wants to hire somebody local, but that doesn't mean somebody from far away can't convince them.
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Old 12-29-2018, 11:40 PM
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KimboSlice KimboSlice is offline
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Originally Posted by dogbite1337 View Post
What is the difficulty in getting a job offer in a significantly different geographical region from where you currently live? I've heard and experienced that companies prefer employees that already live in a given area as they are more likely to stay longer.
I think this becomes more true when you talk about significantly different economic regions rather than geographic regions. What I mean is, if you consider those jobs in NYC and Topeka from the post above, both may have significant concerns about hiring someone from the other market. Iíve definitely experienced both sides of it in my career.

I am not from Topeka specifically, but from a region like it. I was born and raised there, so it was easy for me to get hired there. But I saw hiring processes where good candidates were excluded because they did not have ties to the area. The fear was that someone without ties to the area would jump ship as soon as they got the chance. And for that company in Topeka, that was a huge risk and would come at a big cost - it would take lots of money and time to train that person to be effective, and itís not like they could easily replace that person if they left.

I did decide to leave, and set my heart on going to The Big City. As I interviewed places, I ran into people (lots) who were reluctant to hire someone with no ties outside of Topeka. In fact, my now-employer was really upfront with me about it, and in the interview process asked me a lot of questions about why I thought it would work, whether I was prepared for cost of living differences, and how I would build a support network. These seemed like fair questions - they didnít want to relocate me all the way across the country just to see me head home after a year because I missed Topeka, my family, and low cost of living.

On the other hand, at my current position (in The Big City) we recently had no problem hiring an EL candidate from the complete opposite coast. That person lived in another big city, and wasnít from that area originally. Itís easy to assume that theyíll be fine when they move across the country to work in their new role.

So yeah, I do think it can be more difficult, but itís more about regional differences than physical distance.
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:29 PM
Dr T Non-Fan Dr T Non-Fan is offline
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Short answer: difficult, but not impossible.
Might be impossible at one firm where the one hiring manager has a bias or has a few data points that create a bias.

When I was looking for jobs outside of SoCal, I had the impossible task of convincing every one of them that my family and I would be comfortable in One-Horse, USA.

From the desperate employer side, convincing the right person to move might require more money to move away from their comfort zone. When that amount exceeds what the company wants to spend, then it looks elsewhere, for less expensive hires. Usually closer by.
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