Making the move: tips for relocating for a job in Kansas City

kansas city skyline at night

So you want to relocate for a job, but where do you start?

Networking, applying for new positions, attending in-person interviews…these were all things you would do if you were applying within the same city you live in now. Thankfully, a lot of that can be done virtually, and we have some tips to help you throughout the virtual process. But, you can only learn so much about a company through a computer screen.

With more than a decade of experience as a recruiter in Kansas City, I’ve found the process of finding a job in a new city is much easier with the help of someone who lives and works in that area already. And in my case, bringing new talent to Kansas City has been a growing part of my job over the last few years as more and more candidates leave the coasts or larger metropolitan areas for KC. Below I share tips for navigating the job market in a new city and why specifically Kansas City is such a jobseeker’s destination.

Why relocate to Kansas City for a job?

It’s growing.

Kansas City is a hidden gem that more and more people are becoming aware of. In fact, a recent article published by KCUR, Kansas City’s NPR station, found more than half a million people live in KC according to 2020 census data, which it said is the city’s highest population on record.

The people are happy.

Kansas city was ranked as one of the happiest cities in America according to WalletHub. Its highest score fell in the Community and Environment category. This was determined by things like acres of parkland per 1,000 residents and the number of hate-crime incidents per capita. That score was closely followed by income and employment. These metrics were calculated based on things like income-growth rates, job security, unemployment rates and commute time.

It has a low cost of living.

KC has the perks of a big city—like New York or Los Angeles—but has the cost and feel of a small town as well. According to the KC Economic Development Corporation, Kansas City’s cost of living is nearly 3% lower than the national average. Housing, groceries, healthcare and transportation are all much more affordable in Kansas City than they are in large cities across the country.

Things to consider when relocating for a job

Fear of the unknown is one of the most intimidating things about relocating for a job. Not only are you taking on a new position, but you’re also moving to a new city with new neighbors and a new school district if you have kids. There’s a lot of pressure that can compound when ensuring you’re making the right move for you and your family. So, before making the jump and accepting a position in a new location, the best advice I can give is: research, research, research.

Look into things like:

1: Cost of living: Make sure the salary you could be taking on will be sustainable for you and your family.

2: Commute time: If you’re moving from Los Angeles, the 15-mile commute to work in KC could feel much shorter than what you’re used to. While this may feel like a small detail at first, it will impact you every day, so it’s important to keep that in mind when choosing where in the city you would like to live.

3: Nearby school districts: If you are relocating with your family, it’s important to research what the school districts are like in the area. This may determine which neighborhood you live in or if you need to budget for additional funds if you plan on utilizing private schools in the area.

How a recruiter can help you relocate to Kansas City for a job

We’re in this together. No, seriously—Morgan Hunter won’t make you take on the journey alone. I have helped many candidates find their new career here in Kansas City. For a look at how smoothly the process can go, let’s walk through a candidate I met with back in August. This jobseeker wanted to relocate from Texas to Kansas City. While finding a new job more than 600 miles away sounds challenging, the process can be done with ease with the help of a recruiter.

Like any job candidate I work with, our process started with a conversation about their work history and why they were looking to move to the Kansas City area. After discussing the candidate’s goals, living adjustments and differences in commute we were able to find two different roles for the candidate to choose from. From there, the most difficult choice the jobseeker had was determining which opportunity was the best fit.

Our help doesn’t end when job offers are extended. Recruiters can always help with negotiation tactics. Whether it be moving expenses or a change in start date, we can help you navigate the entire process. And Morgan Hunter partners with local organizations like TeamKC, The Kansas City Area Development Council and various Chambers in the area, which means we can share plenty of resources with you to help with your decision to move.

Whether you’re looking to relocate to get away from long commute times or high cost of living, are looking for a more well-balanced lifestyle in the Midwest, or you’re just seeking better job opportunities, we work with candidates from across the country and in all stages of their careers to successfully relocate to KC and start their lives on the right foot. If you’re interested in looking at opportunities here, contact us today to learn more about how we can help you relocate for a job.

Dan Hilboldt is a recruiting manager for the Sales, Marketing & Operations division at Morgan Hunter, serving Kansas City-area employers to help them meet a range of hiring needs, from temporary staffing to direct-hire placements. Share your thoughts on Facebook, LinkedIn or on Twitter @MorganHunterCo.