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As FoxHire discussed in a previous blog post, relocation is often the last resort for workers left idle due to the economy. But according to a recent article, the state of the housing market has prevented many workers from relocating.

Most people would probably assume that relocations would surge in a recession, but according to a survey cited in the article by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray, & Christmas, 2008 and 2009 were the worst years for relocations since the survey began in 1986. Brookfield Global Relocation Services also reported in the article that they had experienced a 10-15 percent reduction in relocations in an 18-month period.

The main culprit? The disastrous housing market. Workers who may have considered seeking work elsewhere couldn’t sell their homes. And financially-strapped potential employers who may have bought new employees homes in the past no longer had the means to do so, and they really didn’t have a need to seek workers elsewhere with so many people out of work locally.

Are you having trouble placing top candidates due to their inability to relocate? Contracting may be the answer. Contract workers are often eligible for per diem when working on assignments away from home. Per diem covers temporary living expenses, such as maintaining a second residence, while the contractor is on assignment. For companies, they can seek talent outside their geographic boundaries without footing the bill for a house that won’t sell. And of course you benefit by gaining a steady cash flow from the contract assignment and by enhancing your reputation as a problem solver!

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