Dual-career couples are on the rise! But you probably already knew that. It’s a trend that’s been steadily growing over the past few decades, so why are so many employers late to the game when it comes to developing talent strategies that appeal to today’s dual-career couple?
Many large organizations today are using the same talent development strategy that they used 10 or 20 years ago. High-potential employees looking to rise to the top do so by taking on successively larger roles, each one often requiring relocation as they work through the various divisions of the company. And historically, this model has worked. It has produced some of the top business leaders around the world. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain for employees who have a partner with a career equally important to their own.
The fact is that relocations are hard for dual-career couples. It’s an incredibly tough decision to uproot your family and ask your partner to leave their job or change their career track on short notice. So, sometimes even employees who like their jobs and would like to continue to progress with their company, turn down a promotion because relocation isn’t in the cards for their family, at least not right now. When an employee turns down an opportunity like that, it can be a big blow to the company that has invested in them.
Does that mean we should stop asking talent to relocate? Of course not. We’re in the relocation industry after all. But it does mean that we need to introduce more flexibility into relocation offers. It’s time for more out-of-the box thinking to meet employees where they’re at, and to come up with flexible solutions that work for everyone. At the end of the day, your overarching goal is to retain the talent you’ve invested in, the talent you’ve developed, and the talent that will lead your organization into the future. That might mean you need to reevaluate your stance on commuters, refocus on short-term assignments, or even be open to developing roles with a blended format – commuter, assignment based and remote.
Organizations that will win the war on talent are those that are willing to design leadership development paths with less focus on where and when work is done and more focus on achievements.
The job market is evolving, let’s evolve with it.
A New Talent Strategy Designing effective leadership-development paths for members of dual-career couples requires two changes: a revised notion of what is needed to achieve growth and advancement, and a shift in the organizational culture to embrace flexibility in the talent development process.