Does Your Relocation Policy Align With Your Compensation and Benefits Plan?

October 21, 2019
Does your relocation policy align with your compensation and benefits plan?

Attracting the best talent to your business often comes at a price, and robust relocation policies can send a message to prospective employees that they’re genuinely valued. Unfortunately, relocation policies, if they even exist in the first place, often don’t cover the full costs of relocation. 

Indeed, health benefits and retirement savings are usually front-and-center concerns both for employers and their employees. Still, it’s worth considering adding a strong relocation policy to your benefits plan, especially if you’re serious about broadening your employment outreach beyond your local area. 

Depending on your industry and competitors, pitching in more resources to help with a move can make all the difference in landing a talented employee. 

Why Is Relocation Worth the Investment?

Considering how easy it is to search and find employment in different cities and states thanks to the prevalence of online submissions, the value prospective employees place on ease of mobility is high. You can expect many of the prospective employees who are interested in your company are also looking for jobs with companies in other parts of the state or country, which means relocation will be relevant to landing them. 

As a company, you can take advantage of the fact that, while many businesses might offer comparable benefits and pay, they might not take relocation as seriously. Though the upfront cost is high, this can and does make a difference when the talent you want is seeking to relocate. Some companies might offer their own versions of relocation packages, but they might fall woefully short of what their prospective employees actually need for their relocation. 

Often, companies will differentiate their relocation packages depending on the position or the experience of the person they’re hiring, though having a uniform relocation package policy is ideal. For companies who can’t afford to pay for everyone’s relocation in full, this might be the only recourse. 

Nevertheless, relocation packages can be a massive differentiator that communicates to employees in the realest sense that you value them. 

Consider The True Costs of Relocation

In case there was any doubt about how an employee would feel about a comprehensive relocation package, consider the true cost of relocation. 

According to the ERC U.S. Transfer Activity, Policy & Cost Survey 2016, the average cost for a homeowner is $79,425 and $61,622 for a renter.  What portion of that cost, if any, a company chooses to compensate is a decision that reflects their overall culture, policy, and budget. 

Depending on the circumstances, an employee might not be expecting a major relocation stipend from their new employer. However, in many cases, an expectation exists that a large majority, if not all, relocation costs should be covered by the employer. 

Without question, a relocation policy will be valued by the employee. To what extent they value the policy will depend on the competitive landscape and the expectations you’ve set as part of the hiring process. 

Crafting Your Own Relocation Policy

Maybe you’ve considered adding a relocation policy to your benefits or maybe you already have one in place, but understanding what employees sacrifice if they need to move for work can help you create a policy that’s more attractive to the talent you want. 

Consider too that having a partner that can help coordinate moving for your employees can and should be a major component of your relocation policy. It’s one less thing you have to think about and it says quite a bit to an employee about what they can expect when they finally start working for you. 

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