Tips for Employers Offering Relocation Packages

July 2015

In today’s candidate-driven market, it can be tough to find local top talent. Hiring managers in some of the more difficult-to-recruit for industries like IT often extend recruitment efforts far beyond the city/state in which they work. That being said, many candidates in those markets expect incentives to relocate. Is the extra cost of offering a relocation package worth it to companies? That of course depends on the candidate. However it also depends on what you decide to include in your relocation package. 

These days, employees aren’t just expecting companies to cover the cost of a moving truck. Relocation packages can include lease break coverage, home sale/purchase assistance, spousal job support, temporary housing, and child care (to name a few). While many organizations offer standard relocation packages, a highly sought-after candidate is likely to drive hiring managers to offer incentives beyond what is typically offered. It is important to consider the costs associated and know how far you’re willing to go to lock in a strong candidate. Here are some helpful tips for employers to keep in mind when offering relocation packages:

Be Aware of What Other Companies Are Offering
When considering a candidate who requires a relocation package, be sure that you are aware of what other companies in your area are offering for similar positions. If you are really interested in a potential employee, you want to be prepared to make an offer that they will take seriously. 

Think Outside the Box
Having said the above, there are ways to mitigate the inability to offer the same relocation packages as your competition. Unable to offer spousal job support? Consider offering a sign-on bonus that will provide extra assistance during the candidate’s spouse’s job search.

Maintain Open Communication
If your organization does not have a standard relocation package in place, be sure to sit down with the potential employee and discuss what their expenses will be to move and how much your organization is willing to cover. Set realistic expectations about what percentage of the cost your organization can absorb early on so that you are both on the same page. 

Be Prepared to Negotiate
Just because you’ve researched the standards for your area and industry doesn’t necessarily mean that the potential employee will accept and agree. Be prepared for some back and forth and run the numbers ahead of time so that you know how much wiggle room you have.

Have Things in Writing
Once you have agreed upon a relocation package that you feel is beneficial to both the organization and the new employee, be sure to have everything included in the contract. Relocation is typically a stressful experience, and complete transparency and documentation of agreements will eliminate further issues.