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Yes, I said Wichita

Yes, I said Wichita. I had just offered a graduating senior, who requested Philadelphia, Miami, or New York, a position in Wichita, KS and she responded with….silence, polite silence, but silence none the less.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t surprised, when I applied to Hyatt my choices were New Jersey, California, or Ohio (I’m a Buckeye). Ultimately when I received my offer, it was for Orlando, FL. Lucky for me I had a patient recruiter who pointed out all the great reasons Orlando was ideal for me and now I had the opportunity to “pay it forward” and do the same for someone else.

Consider Cost Of Living

Although my candidate was shocked by the idea of Wichita, I asked her to consider the benefits. I feel this is important whenever you’re considering an offer. Many college graduates want to live and work in major cities within the United States directly out of college. However, when you consider that with graduation often comes the repayment of student loans and diminished financial support from family, it may be wiser to consider some secondary cities where the cost living is much less. It’s affordable to live in Wichita and my candidate, if she accepts the offer, will most likely have more discretionary income and be able to contribute into a retirement savings account sooner living there than if she lived in one of her initial top three cities of choice.

It’s not forever

Sometimes candidates are hesitant to move to a location because they don’t want to get “stuck there forever”. My response is to consider a company’s growth, size/number of locations, and the career path of the position you’re accepting. Also don’t be afraid to ask a recruiter how quickly promotional opportunities could become available. For example, our company has a culture of promoting from within, my candidate could be eligible for a promotion and transfer to another location or city within 2 -3 years. Accepting this opportunity is just the beginning of what will hopefully be a long successful career and perhaps next time a move to one of her preferred locations.

You’ll make friends

Don’t let the fear of the unknown keep you from moving somewhere new. You may be surprised by how quickly you can actually adapt to a new location. I’ve moved to three different cities since I graduated from college and have lived in nine different cities so far in my lifetime. I can attest that in each city I’ve made friends, found someone awesome to cut my hair, located the nearest Target store, and found my way to the closest airport when I wanted to fly home. When I’ve talked to recent college graduates who have moved to new locations for our company, they created a social life for themselves in their new cities by joining intermural teams, meet up groups, alumni organizations, and reconnecting with old friends living in their new locations via Facebook.
My candidate took a few days to consider the offer, but ultimately she accepted! Although Wichita was not the location she expected, she seizing the opportunity and ready for a new adventure!

 

Author

Ronisha is one of Hyatt’s College Recruiting Managers.  Hyatt’s College Recruiters visit more than 30 college campuses each year recruiting top talent at hospitality programs across the country.  A graduate of The Ohio State University, Ronisha begin her Hyatt career as a Human Resources Corporate Management Trainee.  During her ten years with Hyatt, she has worked at Hyatt Hotels in Orlando, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey.  To learn more about opportunities with Hyatt please visit hyatt.jobs, follow Hyatt on twitter @hyattcareers, become a Hyatt Facebook fan at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts Careers and follow the Campus Recruiter blog at hyattrecruiting.blogspot.com.

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6 Responses to “Yes, I said Wichita”

  1. Fantastic points… working in higher education, I tell students this same information all of the. I’ll be sure to point them to your blog!

    • Thanks Justin! I appreciate your comments! Young graduates are missing out on some great opportunities because they’re not as flexible with their geographic preferences. Thank you for sharing my blog with your students!

      • Ronisha Goodwin,

        I have just received an invitation for an interview for the Hyatt Facilities CMT program. I came across your article while doing research on the company and the program. I just want to personally thank you for your blog. I found the material very informative and motivating.

  2. Hi Calvaire! Thanks for your comment and good luck on your interview!

  3. avatar Ben says:

    Hi Ronisha,

    My company has some similar issues — almost all of my company’s locations are in large cities, except for one or two. When we tell new hires that they’ll have to move to the suburbs, most are willing to take the job. “Well, the pay is good.” “You’ll be able to save some money.” “It’s not THAT far from the city.” “You’ll be able to make friends with your colleagues.” These are all reasons that sound great to the graduates.

    However, we find that even though they initially take the job, their happiness ultimately suffers. Within 2 years, we lose nearly all of them to other jobs, other internal locations, and grad schools — we call it the ‘brain drain.’ Graduates come to those offices to train, and get out as fast as possible. Makes it difficult to keep experienced people at the entry level, and the company gets a bad rep!

    I find that it’s usually better to focus on the people who would be trainable and happy to be in a certain spot than hire extremely qualified people who wouldn’t be so happy there.

    What is your experience with these hires after 6 months to 1.5 years of work?

    Ben

  4. Hi Ben, thanks for your comment! My experience is a little different because of our transfer process. Our employees are eligible to transfer into other roles within the company after one year. As a result our trainees spend about 18-24 months at their first hotel before moving on to a new challenge. It’s only because of our history of promoting from within that I feel comfortable with placing candidates in cities that aren’t in their initial geographic preferences.

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