Survey Reveals Executives Unlikely To Relocate For Better Job Opportunities

MENLO PARK, CA -- Home is where the heart is, at least for most financial executives. In a recent survey, 68 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) polled said they would be unwilling to relocate to a different city in order to pursue a better job opportunity.

The survey was developed by Robert Half, the world’s first and largest staffing service specializing in the accounting, finance and information technology fields. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with more than 20 employees.


CFOs were asked, “How willing are you to relocate to a different city to pursue a better job opportunity?” Their responses:


Very unwilling  48%
Somewhat unwilling 20%
Somewhat willing 23%
Very willing 7%
Don’t know/no answer  2%

CFOs surveyed said that compensation (31 percent) and the quality of life available in the new city (30 percent) were the factors most likely to affect their decision to relocate. Surprisingly, neither current job satisfaction (1 percent) nor the distance of the move (4 percent) were as relevant.

“While it can be a valuable career opportunity, moving to a new city is not without its share of personal challenges, particularly if it means leaving behind friends and family,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half. “As a result, many professionals are hesitant to accept a transfer or new job offer without a sizable salary increase or an indication the move would result in a significant improvement in their quality of life.”

Messmer suggests considering the following before making a relocation decision:
• Are you evaluating the “big picture”? Make sure you’re not so enamored with one particular aspect of the offer – the fact that the position is in Hawaii, for instance – that you overlook other issues, such as how well the job matches your career goals.
• Do you really want to live there? Visit the area and talk to residents to get a better idea of whether it suits your lifestyle. Take into account issues such as the climate and average commute time.
• Can you afford to make the move? Clarify what portion of the relocation expenses, if any, the employer is willing to cover. Also check that the compensation offered will allow you to maintain your current standard of living, particularly if the new city is significantly more expensive.

Robert Half has more than 330 locations throughout North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and offers online job search services at

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Note to editors: The Robert Half and Accountemps Salary Guide provides salaries for accounting and finance professionals in markets across the United States. Additionally, the guide offers regional variances for selected U.S. cities to help professionals considering relocation to assess compensation in other areas. Please visit to download a free copy of the guide.

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