What Employees Want in a Relocation Package

professional skills

A relocation package can make or break an employee's decision to join a company. Understanding what employees want in a relocation package can help HR establish and plan relocation policies with both the employee's and the company's best interests in mind. Here are a few suggestions on what to offer in your relocation package.

The Relocation Package

Have you ever found the perfect job candidate to fill a position only to discover that the individual is located out of the area? When the potential employee has all of the right qualifications, it's up to the HR recruitment team to develop an enticing relocation package that will encourage the candidate to say yes to the position and to make the move into the company. How do you accomplish this? Here's a look at what employees want in a relocation package.

Take the Stress out of Moving

The relocation package is an important way to demonstrate that your company looks out for and cares for its employees. The key, says consultant Dennis Hung with RecruitingBlogs.com, is to ''offer a relocation package designed to take the stress out of moving far from home.'' Hung adds that ''potential employees are more likely to accept a distant job offer if the hassle of packing, moving, and getting everything settled is handled on their behalf.'' Stress free and hassle free are important when it comes to a relocation package policy. But that's not all employees want in the relocation package, and companies that offer the right incentives may end up with a competitive advantage.

Employees unloading moving boxes from van.

Must Haves in a Relocation Package

Tor Constantino, a writer for the Muse, recently shared his relocating experiences. Constantino relocated his family three different times for job opportunities within a nine year time frame. He knows firsthand the types of relocation package options that make the moving process the smoothest part of job relocation. ''The one thing of which I'm certain,'' writes Constantino, ''is that relocating is always easier if your prospective employer helps with the move.''

As an employee, Constantino found relocation package policies that covered expenses related to 'scouting' a new home, securing temporary housing, and hiring a complete moving service that includes whole-house pack and transport to be must haves for job relocation. Career expert Alison Doyle agrees, citing that basic relocation package policies for hiring or retaining employees should include some form of the following services:

Employee and family celebrate the purchase of a new home.

  • Home Finding - Coverage for expenses related to the actual search for new housing. It can include transportation and hotel costs that are incurred while searching for a new home.
  • Selling and Buying a Home - Coverage for expenses involved in the selling and purchasing of a home (i.e. closing costs, real estate commissions, etc.).
  • Job Search - Assistance for the employee's spouse in finding a job in the relocation area.
  • Transportation Costs - Coverage for expenses associated with moving related transportation needs such as car, train, or airline costs.
  • Temporary Housing - Hotel coverage or rental coverage for housing while the employee and family members make the move.
  • Moving/Full Pack/Unpack - Moving expense coverage for moving van rentals. This may or may not also include coverage for movers to pack, load, unload, and unpack the home.

Additional Necessities

Constantino encourages employees to negotiate with employers for additional relocation necessities that may not be included in the original relocation policy of the HR recruitment plan. ''The first relocation we had included everything,'' writes Constantino, ''so I knew what to negotiate for on each subsequent move.''

For example, Constantino recommends making sure storage expenses are included in the relocation package. During one of his moves, housing fell through and the family had to store all of their household goods for several months before finding a new home.

Constantino also suggests negotiating for a cash stipend to cover miscellaneous expenses. Employees find it much less stressful knowing they have cash available for moving expenses or setbacks that they may not have been calculated into the original relocation plan. ''During every move, unforeseen expenses will pop up,'' he points out.

Successful employee relocation package and move.

Flexibility is a Must

Putting together a successful relocation package to meet the relocation needs of different employees can be a difficult task. The needs will differ based on the employee's current location, the position that is being filled, and the company's willingness to negotiate additional services. The important thing is to keep in mind what employees are looking for and in need of in order to make the move successful and not stressful. Roy Maurer shared in an article for SHRM.org that ''allowing employees to have a say as to what relocation benefits are offered increases engagement and satisfaction.'' In addition, Maurer states that flexible relocation package policies can also enable HR to feel 'more empowered' because they have ''the ability to customize a package to close a deal with incoming talent.''

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By Amanda Johnson
March 2018
professional skills recruitment & compensation

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