What We Do

The How and Why of it…

How Tech Valley Connect Works

Tech Valley Connect helps area employers by offering specialized support services for new hires who are relocating to the Capital Region.

The Need for Support

For decades, employers have focused resources on traditional recruitment efforts enticing prospective talent with salaries and robust benefit packages.  Responding to a very black and white workplace culture, there were limited options afforded toward measures aimed at retaining valued hires after they accepted a job offer.   Employers saw their sole responsibility as matching a particular skill set to the human capital that could fill the slot. We later learned this shortsighted focus on recruitment, however unintentional, led to a growing and costly challenge for employers: retaining the high-level prospects they fought so hard to attract. Today we have more information and the inability to retain professionals is a problem too expensive to ignore. A 2012 study by the Center for American Progress projected that it costs employers up to 213% of the employee’s annual salary to replace a highly educated executive (i.e. estimated $213,000 to replace a $100,000 salaried CEO).

And employees are on the move. In the United States alone in 2013, 41 percent of companies saw an increase in relocation volume over the previous year, with mid-size and large firms experiencing the highest increases. Another 37 percent saw international relocation volumes increase. Industry analysts expect that employers can expect to see similar trends in 2014. Those professional candidates who choose not to relocate often do so for reasons that have little to do with money. In fact, family ties/ issues topped the chart as the main reason employees declined corporate relocation in 2013, with spouse/partner employment taking second place. Nearly half of firms surveyed by Atlas in 2014 indicated that spouse/partner employment “almost always” or “frequently” affects an employee’s relocation. This has been a ‘known’ obstacle for hiring leaders in the academic sector for decades.

It is no longer enough to view a professional candidate as a “set of skills.” If a new hire relocates for “just a job,” it is entirely likely that he or she may relocate for “just another job,” especially if neither they nor their partner had formed meaningful connections to the community. Individuals are made up of their networks; personal, professional and family.  Workplace culture has been forced to recognize that recruitment planning must encompass the dual-career couple, not just the individual hire. The thinking has shifted from “What can we do to get them here?” to include “What we can do to keep them here?” This means embracing a multidimensional recruitment and retention template that provides comprehensive dual-career support.  By coordinating face-to-face networking, the newcomer can gain critical access to decision makers in their profession who would know of local movement within the region. In a 2011 interview with National Public Radio, Matt Youngquist, a nationally recognized expert in the field of professional employment counseling, said 70-80 percent of available jobs are not published. Despite this, he says, job seekers spend the majority of their time “surfing the net versus getting out there, talking to employers, taking some chances [and] realizing that the vast majority of (professional) hiring is friends and acquaintances hiring other trusted friends and acquaintances.12  Big business agrees. Larry Nash, director of experienced and executive recruiting at Ernst & Young, said that referrals put candidates “in the express lane” and that applicants from corporate websites and Internet job boards often get lost in the shuffle. In 2013, The New York Times cited a study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, revealing that referred candidates are twice as likely to land an interview as non-referred applicants, and that “for those who make it to the interview stage, referred candidates had a 40 percent better chance of being hired than other applicants.” By helping couples forge community connections, finding appropriate employment for accompanying spouses, and assisting with cultural integration, the necessary networks individuals thrive on are created to build an overall quality of life that roots them to the new community. Bringing accompanying partners into the decision-making process for recruitment is now taken very seriously on both sides of the table. For employers, it’s about retention; for the dual-career couple, it’s about finances and keeping their family unit intact and happy.

 Relocation often forces new hires to disconnect from personal, professional and familial networks—critical connections that help them thrive and define themselves and their place in the world. “Research shows that the need to connect socially with others is as basic as our need for food, water and shelter,” writes Matthew Lieberman, UCLA psychology professor and director of the university’s Social Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, in his book Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect. “Social and physical pain are more similar than we imagine. We don’t expect someone with a broken leg to ‘just get over it.’ Yet when it comes to the pain of social loss, this is a common—and mistaken—response.”2 Lieberman points to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to prove that the human brain reacts to social pain/pleasure and physical pain/pleasure similarly. It is no wonder, then, that the sudden loss of social and professional networks for recently relocated new hires and their families can lead to serious recruitment and retention challenges for employers.

According to the Department of Labor, 70 percent of all people employed obtained their positions through some form of networking. Much attention has been given to the’two-body problem’ – a major challenge for professional hiring employers, costing anywhere from two-to-four times the salary for each professional hire they lose. Tech Valley Connect representatives assist job seeking spouse/partners to meet with decision makers in their field through high-level coordinated professional networking. These informational interviews serve as valuable professional networking which can accelerate the partner’s job search.

Ways to Partner with Tech Valley Connect

Consortium Member

  • Enhanced recruitment – referring new hires for transition support
    • One year of support services for newly relocating professionals and those with families
  • Retention – referring valued employees with dual career challenges
    • One year of dual career support services for spouse/partner’s of valued employees
  • Employer commitment to informational interviews for spouse/partners
    • Access to top quality talent – informal professional networking
  • Access to password protected client resumes
  • TVC  links to employer’s job listings
  • Participation in monthly social events
  • Submissions to quarterly newsletter
  • Web page on TVC website
  • Logos on website and marketing materials

Community Partner

  • Employer commitment to informational interviews for spouse/partners
    • Access to top quality talent – informal professional networking
  • Participation in monthly social events
  • Access to password protected client resumes
  • TVC links to employer’s  job listings
  • Option to host events
  • Submissions to quarterly newsletter
  • Web page on TVC website
  • Logos on marketing materials and website

Annual Member

  • Employer commitment to informational interviews for spouse/partners
    • Access to top quality talent – informal professional networking
  • Participates in monthly social events
  • Access to password protected client resumes
  • TVC links to employer’s job listings
  • Web page on TVC website
  • Logos on marketing materials and website

Sponsorships

  • Various levels available – for more information contact Tech Valley Connect at 518-283-1812

Resource

  • Website advertising for local businesses. Local businesses convey their “wow” factors on Tech Valley Connect ‘Recommended Resource’ page

Join our regional employer consortium