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RISMEDIA, June 18, 2008-Companies invest thousands of dollars and many hours of time to recruit and hire a new employee that is the right fit for the job. Today, many companies are also investing to foster confidence that the company and the community are the right fit for the employee.

The recruitment and retention of skilled talent is an even more critical business priority for organizations feeling the pressure of dual career families, a contracting labor pool, and the needs of changing demographic populations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national voluntary turnover rate is 23.4% annually, and replacing each lost employee will cost a business one-half to five times the employee’s annual salary.

CORT, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is helping employers recruit and retain skilled workers by providing one of the nation’s most comprehensive suites of touring and destination services tailored for the unique needs of relocating renters.

“In today’s work environment, employees are seeking companies who can provide flexible services to help them manage an increasingly mobile lifestyle,” said Jon Hile, CORT’s vice-president of rental relocation services. “In a competitive job market, companies that invest in touring and other destination services to recruit and on-board new employees will be the most successful at retaining productive employees.”

According to the company, one of the most popular services for recruiters is CORT’s pre-decision support for prospective employees. Area orientation tours virtually anywhere in the nation are led by local experts to introduce the employees to a new community. When a decision is made to accept a new job, the touring services help employees and their families find a place to live that best meets their needs, including a neighborhood that suits their lifestyle.

In addition, CORT’s suite of rental services simplify the transition, the company says, including help finding short-term accommodations with access to millions of apartments and corporate housing accommodations, utility connection services, job search support for spouses, renter’s insurance, and furniture and car rentals.

Connect Employees to Company and Community to Improve Retention

According to a 2008 survey conducted by the Worldwide ERC and Cartus, less than half of companies have a formal policy in place for handling temporary assignments. Historically, relocation services have only been available through real estate agents assisting homebuyers.

Considering that more than half of people relocating for a job and more than 90% of those on temporary assignment will choose to rent, this left a majority of the market underserved until the 2006 launch of CORT’s rental relocation services.

Today, CORT is one the nation’s leading providers of tours and is serving thousands of relocating employees on behalf of company human resource professionals, recruiters and project managers.

According to Gallup research conducted over the past thirty years, an employee’s sense of connection to their organization or senior management consistently ranks in the top five indicators of their longevity with that company. One of the most important factors in feeling connected to an organization is establishing a connection to the community. CORT’s area tours help employees make an informed decision about choosing a place to live.

A recent research study conducted by the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland found that most new employees wished, in hindsight, that they had learned more about their new city.

Graduates cited a desire to learn more about the different areas within the city and information about the social life of the city, including restaurants, nightlife, and concert events. When moving to a new city, most individuals are not familiar with the nuances of different neighborhoods within the city or the social ‘scene’ of the city. The graduates said that if this information was known before actually choosing a place to live, they could have moved to neighborhoods that better fit their personalities.

“The process of relocating for a new job or temporary position is often a stressful and overwhelming experience,” said Mark Koepsell, CORT’s senior vice president of new business development. “Engaging CORT to provide area tours and assist employees in transition helps foster a feeling of loyalty to the company and belonging in the community, while enabling the employee to quickly get settled and focus on their new job.”

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