Back of moving truck filled with boxes for relocation.

You’ve just been offered an amazing career opportunity, but it requires a move – now what?

For most, relocation can be a challenging and stressful experience due to the amount of time and resources it takes to undergo such a big change. Packing and unpacking, scheduling moving services, booking flights, breaking leases, buying and selling property, and family situations are just a handful of common hurdles that can be faced during the process. However, all the work and effort it takes to relocate can lead to a brighter future for your personal and professional life.

According to our 18th Annual Casino Executive Satisfaction Survey, 82% of respondents are willing to relocate for the right job opportunity. With so many open to moving, it is important to understand the decision-making and negotiating process for relocation to be as pain free as possible. We asked our executive recruiters to provide their input when it comes to executives relocating for a new job.

 Factors to Consider when Relocating 

  • Family – If you have family members that will accompany you in the relocation process, it is essential to keep in mind how the change in environment will affect them. Will your family be able to adjust well in the new area? Is your spouse willing to leave their current job? Does the location provide quality education if you have children? Alternatively, would they potentially not join you in the move? Continue to keep an open dialogue with your family to ensure a smoother process.
  • Cost of Living – Research the difference in cost of living in your current location versus the potential location. If the daily cost of living is higher, ensure you will be sufficiently covered with your new benefits package and yearly salary. Evaluate whether the compensation will realistically allow you to sustain your current lifestyle. If your cost of living will reduce and the compensation is much lower in the area, make sure that the new salary still equates to an increase.
  • Company Culture – Going into a completely new work environment without fully understanding the company culture can be risky. There is a lot of work that comes into relocating, so it is crucial to learn as much information through your own research and the interview process to decide whether the company will be a good fit for you. This is obviously important for a move to a new company, but the importance intensifies when it also involves uprooting and moving.
  • Convenience – Consider the place you want to live and how far the drive will be for your work commute, distance to grocery stores and restaurants, schools, etc. How accessible is the public transportation if you prefer that to a personal vehicle?
  • Timing – Think through the potential timing of the relocation. When should you inform your current employer of your leaving in order to plan and execute the move in time?
  • Weather & Personal Lifestyle – Be prepared for any change in weather at the new location. Keep in mind your personal lifestyle and any hobbies that could be affected and if you are willing to make adjustments.

How to Negotiate the Relocation Package

Most of the time, companies offer a relocation package if you need to move for them, but keep in mind that this is not always the case.

If the cost of living is higher in the new area, real estate needs are one impactful area to carefully think through and bring up during negotiations.  It can get tricky with different markets and figuring out what to do with current property. In rare cases, employers will offer relocation packages that offer bridge loans.

Relocation packages typically cover the moving of household goods, temporary housing and a couple of “to and from” trips to finalize the relocation. Relocation assistance is either reimbursed upon the submission of receipts or a lump sum check is cut upfront to cover the entire cost, similar to that of a sign-on bonus. The amount of relocation assistance, number of days of temporary housing and number of return trips can be negotiable.

Another potential factor is asking the ability to bring your spouse to a real estate visitation pre or post offer at the company’s expense. Allowing your spouse to garner maximum information about the local community, neighborhoods, and school systems can be a way to decipher together whether relocation can be a good fit.

Most companies will bend where needed to make the new hire’s transition easier. However, it can have a negative impact if you make too large of a request in any one area. Be thoughtful of what you would need to transition with the least difficulty possible, and be reasonable. Companies want transitions to be smooth, while having their new executives up and running quickly with as little distractions and complications as possible.

Relocation Resource Links

We put together a list of helpful links to start your relocation research.

Cost of Living Comparisons*
cgi.money.cnn.com
www.bestplaces.net
www.numbeo.com

*Note: For best results, use more than one calculator for comparison. Keep in mind that cities that are near each other can have quite different costs of living.  Also, calculators do not always make a distinction between buying and renting, and this can significantly change the overall comparison.

State by State Taxes
www.bankrate.com

Profiles of U.S. Cities
www.city-data.com

Information on Real Estate
www.zillow.com
www.realestate.com
www.redfin.com

Home Affordability Calculator
www.mortgagecalculator.org

Cost of Moving
http://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/storage-and-organization/hire-a-moving-service/

Protecting Your Move
https://www.protectyourmove.gov/

While relocation can seem intimidating, preparing, doing your research and having open communication with your potential employer will lead to a smooth and exciting process.


Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with over 50 years of excellence in recruiting nationwide. Bristol specializes in recruiting for companies in the casino gaming, food manufacturing, hospital & healthcare, hotels & resorts, travel, tourism & attractions, facilities & concessions, nonprofit, and restaurant businesses.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer or here if you’re a job seeker.

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Kelly Nelson sitting in a prior Bristol office in 2004

Pictured: Kelly Nelson in a prior Bristol office in 2004

April 17, 2019 – Today marks Senior Vice President Kelly Nelson’s 24th year at Bristol Associates. Kelly joined Bristol in 1995 as an executive recruiter in the Hotels & Resorts industry. He became a key contributor in the development of the Travel/Tourism, Theme Park & Attractions, and Facilities & Concession Services practices that further expanded our Hospitality industry practice to what it is today.

He is a native of the Midwest and a proud alumnus of The University of Iowa as a member of the fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta. He is a past and/or current member of numerous professional associations, including AHLA, HSMA, SITE, MPI, USTOA, PATA, ASTA, CLIA, and IAAPA.  Prior to Bristol Associates, Kelly served as Vice President Marketing, Lady Luck Gaming; Sr. Vice President Sales and Marketing at Hawaiian Airlines; and COO of The Carlson Travel Group.

We asked Kelly a series of questions to reflect on his career journey thus far.

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Experience isn’t the only aspect that employers look for when it comes to hiring. Having worked with clients for over 50 years, Bristol understands the complex wants and needs of employers searching to fill a role at their company. It takes the right mix of experience, skill, personality, and fit within company culture for a candidate to land an executive position. Our seasoned recruiters share their insight regarding what employers commonly look for when searching for executive candidates.

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In today’s job market, employers are competing to attract quality candidates into their companies. Because candidates have more opportunities available to them, it is important for employers to understand what they can do to be distinguished as a viable choice of employment.

Bristol recently posted the results to last year’s Casino Gaming Executive Satisfaction Survey Results, which received a total of 1,363 respondents. Executives were asked to rank six factors from highest to lowest priorities when it came down to choosing their employers. The six factors include: Career Opportunity and Growth; Compensation (i.e. base, bonus, stock, grants, and options); Corporate Culture (i.e. receiving recognition in job, relationship with co-workers and immediate supervisor, company values); Job Security; Location; and Weather and Lifestyle.

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We are excited to announce the results of the 18th Annual Casino Gaming Executive Satisfaction Survey. The survey, conducted in partnership with Spectrum Gaming, received a total of 1,363 responses, which is our highest respondent count to date.

The survey analysis conveys how the attitudes and preferences of casino gaming professionals have changed over the past decade and how they relate to overall market conditions.

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When it comes to recruitment, people tend to have common misconceptions about the process for both candidates and clients alike. As a candidate or client, it’s important to understand the recruitment process in order to ensure that the practice is being utilized effectively.

We asked our executive recruiters to share and debunk recruitment myths they have come across while working in their field.

Recruitment Myth #1: All search firms are the same.

There are different kinds of recruitment firms that focus on specific industries, position levels, and types of work. It is important for candidates and clients alike to research if the search firm is a right fit for their experience and needs, respectively.

Simply put, if a candidate that specializes in the Casino industry tries to submit their resume to a firm that focuses in Healthcare, the chances of the recruiter reaching out to the candidate for career opportunities are slimmer. The same idea applies for a client who is searching for a specific type of candidate that may not be predominant in the search firm’s existing database.

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When a position opens within a company, most organizations consider the option of extending the application to internal and external applicants. The internal interview may appear to be a smooth and easy process for employees who already work for the company, but it still requires the same amount of time and effort as an external interview to succeed.

Tip #1: Act Like an External Applicant

As an existing team member, be prepared to submit an updated resume when applying for the open position. It’s important to respect the internal process as one would for an external process by researching the position, dressing in appropriate interview attire, and preparing for the interview.

Even though you may know the interviewers in the panel, being too lax during the interview may come off as arrogant. Keep in mind that even though you may think you are the most qualified for the position, other internal or external candidates may prove to be a better fit for the role. Not taking the process seriously may decrease the likelihood of attaining the job.

>>> Read: Oops! Common Interview Mistakes Candidates Make

Tip #2: Use Your Knowledge to Your Advantage

Unlike external candidates, internal candidates have the advantage of having an inside perspective by already working for the company. It’s important to refresh your basic knowledge about the company while tying in what you have learned from your first-hand experience working for the organization.

If there are any changes that can be made within the company that can lead to the growth and success of the organization, be sure to address it in a constructive way, using solid examples from work experience. Showing proactivity in consistently improving the company can be a positive way to stand out from the other applicants.

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On October 10, 2018, Bristol’s President Benjamin Farber moderated the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) panel, Taking Charge of Your Career to Achieve Your Preferred Future. Joining Ben on the panel were Bellagio’s Human Resources Director Brenda Dysinger and Affinity Gaming’s Director of Human Resources Greg Kite. The three executives discussed two major areas of development to provide professionals with the necessary tools to prepare for their future: Effective Networking and Nailing the Interview Process.

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This piece is an adaptation of a previous article written by Roberta Borer in 1995, who was a former SVP here at Bristol Associates, Inc. Roberta was in the executive search business for over 30 years and specialized in the healthcare industry.

The competition to attract, recruit, and retain employees is keen. As an employer, how do you make your job offer the one top candidates accept?

Before starting the hiring process, use the need to hire a new employee as an opportunity to examine the organization and the reason why past employees left. Take an objective look at the program and use this vacancy as an opportunity to correct or amend what can be done to benefit the organization.

Is this a “fill-able” job? If the company is experiencing high turnover, consider the following: Is the compensation offered appropriate for the position? Is the position the right need for the company? Is the company in a geographic location that makes it challenging to attract top-notch candidates?

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A strong letter of recommendation can distinguish a candidate’s application from the rest. Taking the time to obtain a letter of recommendation will leave a positive impact with the employer or recruiter reviewing the application. On the other hand, writing a letter of recommendation is a great way to pay it forward and contribute to the success of the candidate’s career.

Whether you are the candidate requesting the letter, or the employer responsible for writing the recommendation, it is essential to understand how to write a letter of recommendation that will leave a lasting impression.

What makes a compelling letter of recommendation?

Here are some helpful guidelines to write a strong letter of recommendation:

  • Print the letter on company letterhead
  • Personalization and sincerity is key – avoid using letter of recommendation templates
  • Explain the professional relationship and the duration spent working with the candidate
  • Give specific examples of the value and impact that the candidate has made in the company
  • Highlight the candidate’s hard and soft skills that greatly benefitted the company
  • When signing off the letter, include a handwritten signature along with the employer’s typed name, job title, and contact information
  • Proofread to avoid typos or grammatical errors

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