Generator Group Hiring Trends Survey Results Reflect Economic Issues

Relocation and transportation costs impact recruiting and retention

PORTLAND, OR, NOVEMBER 2, 2008 - Generator Group, a leading search and selection firm specializing in recruiting for Consumer Products and Technology companies, releases the first findings from the firm's 2008 Hiring Trends Survey. The results of the survey show an increasing impact of the housing market and gas prices on companies' ability to attract and retain key talent.

With depressed housing values and the mortgage crisis impacting the ability of many to relocate for career opportunities, survey respondents indicate that relocation remains the most common reason given when a candidate turns down an offer. In addition, 55% of respondents state that “candidates not willing to relocate” is one of their top three challenges in recruiting strong talent. “It's a challenge because southern California is extremely expensive when candidates are trying to sell a home somewhere else and buy one in our location,” said HR Generalist Jessica Clayton of Patagonia. “We definitely have had people that we have interviewed and, when it comes down to it, they have decided not to accept the position because the cost of living is too expensive in southern California.” With nearly one in five homeowners owing more to banks than their properties are worth, according to First American CoreLogic, relocation will continue to be a trend affecting recruitment.

Though gas prices have come down in recent weeks, this year's record transportation costs have also had a significant impact on attracting employees. Twenty three percent of survey respondents cite “commute too far” as a common reason given when a candidate turns down an offer. This is an increase from the 2007 survey, where only 13% of respondents stated this reason. Transportation costs have had a negative influence on retaining talent as well. Eighteen percent of respondents also cite “commute too far” as a common reason when an employee leaves their company, up from only 5% in 2007. “It's not just gas prices…it is traffic, parking, auto insurance,” says founder of and industry expert Sue Levin. “It will be interesting to see how this phenomenon affects where businesses choose to locate and where people choose to live.”

In the release of the survey findings to respondents, Generator Group offered several recommendations to combat these issues. “Companies really need to develop a strategy for hiring that compensates for the obstacles to attracting and keeping key employees,” said the firm's Consumer Products Partner, Roy Notowitz. “Organizations should really consider hiring virtual employees or teams as a strategy to get top performers that are not interested in long commutes or relocating. Companies will adapt by implementing creative solutions to address the real issues associated with relocation. One recent example included an employment offer that allowed for a six month transition period to provide sufficient time for the candidate to sell their house and relocate.”

About the 2008 Hiring Trends Survey
The Generator Group Hiring Trends Survey is an annual analysis of hiring trends with a focus on economic impacts, hiring priorities and recruitment. The survey is in its second year and has collected data from forty four well-known consumer products brands. The breakdown of company types includes 75% manufacturers, 27% retailers and 16% other industry firms. Individual respondents included C-level, executive and HR professionals from companies of varying sizes ($5MM to $1B+ in annual sales). For more information or to obtain a copy of the survey results, contact Candie Fisher, Director of Client Development, at 303-618-9495 or

About Generator Group
Generator Group is a talent management firm offering a variety of recruiting and consulting services to support growth through human capital. Generator Group has been delivering superior results to clients since 2000 with its proprietary Sure Hire Processâ„¢, a proven recruiting methodology designed to ensure consistent high quality hires. The firm works with leading consumer products, technology products and services, non-profit and public sector organizations nationwide. Website: