University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources
http://www.umn.edu/ohr
612-625-2016

Information for Hiring Departments

Recruiting Relocation Tips

This is a key recruiting season for many University colleges and departments.

Recruiting Relocation Tips (pdf) offers resources to help you in the recruitment process.

RAP's services, which are complimentary, include tailored information packets, personalized service, spouse/partner employment assistance, and assistance in recruiting for diversity. For additional information on each of these aspects, see below, and visit the remainder of our website.

Who may use RAP's services?

RAP's services are available to any new hires or final candidates in the following classifications:

  • faculty members
  • professional and administrative (P&A) staff, including post docs
  • civil service staff
  • bargaining unit staff

Due to staffing issues, RAP is able to offer only limited spouse/partner job networking assistance to postdocs.

When in the search process should a department/unit or individual contact RAP?

When is the best time to bring RAP into the recruitment or retention process? The sooner, the better. (People sometimes contact our office even before a position is announced!) Individuals considering the University of Minnesota form their opinions early. They have questions and concerns long before they reach final-candidate status. RAP can help dispel misperceptions and provide them with information that will influence their decisions. Please mention RAP's Web site in the acknowledgement letter you send to people who have applied for a position.

In the acknowledgment letter, you may also want to highlight RAP's spouse/partner employment assistance. Employment prospects for a spouse/partner often influence a candidate's ongoing interest in a position. See Spouse/Partner Employment for additional details.

To those unfamiliar with Minnesota, the state is a "frozen tundra." Metro area tours are an effective way to show candidates the beauty of our metro area and its numerous cultural attractions. Tours are available through Relocation Today, a relocation company that works closely with RAP. The cost of the tours is $150. Tours should be scheduled directly with Relocation Today and well in advance of candidates' visits.

What can RAP do to assist a Department/Unit in its search?

RAP offers the following services and information to departments/units and individuals:

Tailored Information Packets

RAP compiles information about the University of Minnesota and the Twin Cities community in packets that may be sent or distributed to recruits or new hires. The packets include information on:

  • University benefits, policies, programs and services
  • Moving companies
  • Housing
  • Real estate – home prices, rental assistance services, etc
  • Partner/spouse employment
  • Child care
  • Education – preschool through college/university
  • Maps and commute times
  • Neighborhoods
  • Diversity
  • Communities of interest
  • The Minnesota economy and taxes
  • State and local Web sites
  • Arts and entertainment
  • Sports, parks and recreation
  • Parking and transportation
  • Shopping and other attractions
  • Weather

Packet materials are generally updated during the summer. However, new benefits and moving company information is added when it becomes available—often in January.

Relocation packets should be sent to individuals in the final candidate pool or to those to whom an offer of employment has been extended. Packets are available in either a candidate or new-hire format. The two packet types are similar, with the new-hire packets containing additional information that is not relevant until the person has been hired.

To obtain packets, send an e-mail to raprequests@umn.edu. Specify:

  • the department or academic unit requesting the packets
  • the departmental/unit contact person, campus mail address, e-mail address and telephone number
  • the number of packets needed
  • whether the request is for candidate or new-hire packets.

Packets are typically sent through campus mail and are thus subject to the vagaries of that system. If you are facing a deadline, please send a department/unit representative to pick up the packets. The packets can be picked up in 545 WBOB or, if the request is made enough in advance, at the central HR office on the first floor of the Donhowe Building.

Per the department's/unit's request, packets can be sent directly to candidates/new hires through U.S. mail. If this direct service is desired, specify the complete name and address of the person to whom the packet should be sent.

RAP attempts to maintain a stockpile of packets. However, during the peak recruitment season, the supply is quickly depleted. Please allow 2 working days for your order to be filled.

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Personalized Service

New and prospective employees and their families may request personalized and confidential assistance from the RAP staff to address their specific concerns and questions. Individuals are often uncomfortable discussing personal needs with a search committee or new colleagues. In the past, RAP has provided information on such topics as elder housing, disability services, religious communities, Montessori schools, and rowing clubs.

Spouse/Partner Employment Assistance

The employability of a spouse or partner is a major issue for most candidates—and one that many are hesitant to raise with a search committee. Encourage applicants to contact RAP to confidentially discuss the issue. RAP will provide spouses/partners of candidates/new hires guidance in a job search, including networking assistance, job search resources, and referrals to campus and community resources. Each fall, RAP offers a job search workshop for the spouses/partners of new employees.

Assistance in Recruitment for Diversity

RAP can also provide information about diversity resources, and connect candidates and new hires with multicultural communities. RAP partners with the State of Minnesota's Chicano Latino Affairs Council, Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans, and Council on Black Minnesotans to supply updated information on local resources. RAP maintains a list of minority scholars who are willing to talk confidentially with candidates and new hires about life in Minnesota and at the U of M. If you have a candidate or new hire who would be interested in speaking with someone on this list, contact RAP. Faculty and staff of color have the option of working with the Black Relocation Association (BRA)/New Connections. BRA can help recruits/new hires finding housing and meet other black professionals.

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Housing Assistance

Finding suitable housing is the main concern of candidates and new hires. Housing influences school choices, commute times and options, and spouse/partner employment. RAP strongly encourages you to assist new hires in their search for a home, especially those moving from out of the country or those who will not be able to make a special house-hunting trip.

Cost-of-Living. Candidates will need reliable housing information to determine if the salaries they are being offered are commensurate with the cost of living in the Twin Cities. Refer candidates to the BestPlaces.net for cost-of-living comparisons. For your information, the median home price in the Twin Cities is $230,000 and the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $775 a month. A typical 3-bedroom house rents for approximately $1200 a month.

Pillsbury Court. This University-owned apartment complex for new faculty and staff fills early in the year and has a long waiting list. Encourage new hires to apply to Pillsbury Court, but apprise them of the low likelihood of them obtaining a spot. Visit the Office of Housing and Residential Life Web site for Pillsbury Court details and an online application.

Housing and Rental Assistance. RAP partners with a local relocation company called Relocation Today to provide house purchase and rental assistance. Relocation Today offers real-estate focused tours of the metro area and purchasing or rental assistance. Fees vary according to services rendered and either the candidate/new hire or your department/unit can cover the charge. If your candidate or new hire wants to meet with a real estate agent or the rental specialist while he/she is in town, call early to schedule with Relocation Today. RAP does not schedule appointments, you must contact Relocation Today directly at:

Relocation Today
Mary Lou Cohen
952-513-5913
marylouc@relocation-today.com

Temporary or Short-term Housing. RAP maintains a list of temporary housing. The homes on the list range from town homes to shared-living situations and, for the most part, are not advertised elsewhere. Many of the landlords are seeking only University employees as tenants. Some of the homes are furnished and others are not furnished. Short-term housing is very limited in the Twin Cities. Leases of 1-6 months are difficult to find. For new hires coming to the U of M on short-term assignments, check RAP's temporary housing list and the Office of Housing and Residential Life's temporary listings. Extended-stay hotels are a practical and convenient option, but run about $1200 a month.

Other housing resources can be found on the Housing page.

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What else should we tell candidates and new hires?

  • Child Care. The University of Minnesota's Child Care Center is an excellent facility, but has limited openings. There are nearly 350 children on the waiting list. Encourage new faculty and staff to apply to the Center, but to also consider other options. The University provides access to free child care referral services and offers employees dependent day care flexible spending accounts. See Child Care for more information.
  • Health Insurance. New hires are not eligible for health insurance until the first day of the month following 30 calendar days of employment. This means that new employees will have to secure bridge coverage for the interim 4 weeks. Encourage new hires to contact Employee Benefits for more information.
  • Moving. The U of M has contracts with four moving companies for discounted moving services. A new hire may get estimates from any or all of the four. Once a mover has been selected, the department/academic unit can send a letter to the company, indicating that the person is a new employee of the University and that the department/academic unit should be billed directly. Individuals may also choose a non-contract mover and still have the move paid for by the University.

    Details about moving reimbursement policy and process, along with definitions for qualified and non-qualified moving expenses, can be found in the University Policy on Relocating New Employees. Nonqualified moving expenses, while reimbursable by the University, are counted as income by the IRS. These expenses may cause a hardship for new employees. When determining an employee's moving allowance, consider appropriate compensation to offset the tax ramifications. For further assistance with specific move-related questions and help with filling out the corresponding forms, contact Beth Tapp in Purchasing and Travel Services, 612-624-5255 or bethtapp@umn.edu.

  • International Moves. A new hire coming from out of the country may require extra departmental assistance. It is likely that the person will not have the opportunity to search for housing before he/she arrives. Therefore, he/she will need a "housing advocate"—someone from the department who is willing to look at apartments or houses, make recommendations, and secure a unit. Unlike in other cities around the world, it is very difficult for someone to find immediate housing in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

    International faculty and staff are also confronted with a host of other relocation issues (e.g., getting a driver's license, obtaining a Social Security number, and purchasing 120 volt appliances). To help your employees ease their transitions to life in the United States, consult the attached checklist (Word). For additional assistance with international hires, contact the Office of International Student and Scholar Services, 612-626-7100.

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