Recruitment Radius and Commuter Concerns


Most candidates are overly optimistic about commuting to a new job before they start experiencing the daily commute. The total cost and feeling of the time and money spent on long commutes takes it’s toll. The burden of determining how far is too far to drive falls upon the employer. Recruiters who choose to ignore this topic end up increasing employee turnover rates.

The negative impact that long commutes have on employees is complex. It is much more than miles and time. The Internal Revenue Service has a standard mileage rate used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business. In 2014, the rate was 56 cents per mile. Commuters may believe that this indicates the true cost to drive one mile. In reality it is closer to $1.00 to $1.50 per mile when all factors are considered.

The costs that commuters are aware of tend to be fuel, car payments and parking. This conservative estimate fails to take into account vehicle depreciation, maintenance and the cost of accidents. Add in hidden taxes and it really adds up.

The cost that is harder to monetize is commute time. If a worker travels one hour to work each day plus another hour to get home, that is ten hours each week. The annual total is 520 hours or 21 days. That is three weeks per year spent in a car getting to and from the workplace. Now, before getting disheartened over yet another hiring hurdle, consider this fact – every employee has their own unique tolerance for the length and time of a commute. It is a matter of conditioning over time.

There are ways to help predict the length of a commute a candidate is willing to make. Start by looking at the resume. If the commute to your company location is one hour, has the candidate ever commuted that far before? If so, for how long? Did they ever leave a job for a shorter commute? Look for a pattern in job changes. If every job they’ve had has been 15 minutes from their home, it is likely that a longer commute will not be an easy adjustment. Have they ever left a job for another position that extended their commute and why? All of that data can be collected during an interview and from the resume. Look for a pattern and ask the right questions.

To overcome any reluctance on the part of the candidate, it may be helpful for recruiters to be armed with benefits to offset the perception of a long commute. A few cards to play include offering a company car, telecommuting, fuel gift cards or fuel credit cards. Often a simple base pay increase can solve the problem as well. Three weeks spent in the car can be compensated by a $3000 pay increase for a $50,000 per year employee. Always be aware that some candidates will simply never commute further than they are used to. Recruiters must analyze each candidate situation based upon the unique set of variables that apply.

Now take this new information and use it to recruit the best talent. Drive your company to the top!

For more information on this or other recruitment topics,
Please contact Stan at Stan@ADS4HR.com 813.236.4858 ext 2#