As we wake up to 28 below zero wind chill temperature in Iowa this morning, this article from The Today Show's Healthiest, Wealthiest and Wisest Cities in the U.S. segment could not have been better timed to remind us of all the great things about living in the Des Moines area. Let’s face it, there are all sorts of stereotypes floating around out there about Iowa. But once you live here, people then understand the positive things about Des Moines just as this article discusses.
This reminds me of a recent discussion I had with a candidate. They were looking at relocation for an exciting opportunity with a client company I was assisting. In this instance the opportunity being considered was in a geographic location which was considerably lower in overall cost of living in comparison to where the candidate resided at the time. My approach is always to be certain the candidate does their homework. Not only is it in the candidate's best interest to be sure they do their research, but it's in the client company’s as well. This important as you don't want to find yourself getting too far down the road when looking at a relocation opportunity,
Now there are many things to consider when making a geographic change, and each person has their own personal scenario to consider. So we went through all those variables and considerations, and it definitely was a very doable move. I encouraged the candidate to explore sites that compare cost of living to determine where their buying power would be on this relocation. The first site they sought my opinion was www.salary.com using the "finding salaries" feature. Understand that these resources can be valuable, but can also be misdirecting. However, I can only speak to the insurance industry as that is the area I serve exclusively. When using the “salary” feature the question becomes, "How is this information determined?" Within the insurance industry, for example, a VP title can vary greatly from position to position. One VP may have a much broader scope of responsibility than another VP. There are differences between home office salaries and regional salaries, and even life/health salaries and property/casualty salaries in some instances. These are just some of the variables that do not seem to be taken into account. So I caution people when they look at these resources, don’t base decisions off of what you may see on these sites when searching for salaries. The information may not be providing you a realistic picture of what you really want to know.
I’d be interested in personal stories from others out their regarding these resources. Helpful or skewed? Any other resources you would recommend?