Relocating an employee offers many benefits for companies. You may need to add talent in another city, state, or country. You may want to move top talent to provide new leadership in another location. You may want to offer a high-potential employee broader experience as part of a succession development plan.
Whatever the reason, it pays to have attractive relocation incentives in your policy. Proper financial compensation is always important but, beyond salary considerations, potential relocation candidates want relocation policy options that reduce the impact of moving for their families.
Today’s top talent requires more than just a bigger paycheck to convince them to uproot their families and relocate to another city, state, or country – especially in a competitive labor market. Whether it’s a domestic or international transfer, the relocating candidate’s experience is critical to the success of the relocation. And with so many relocations being strategic as well as operational, ensuring a smooth transition into the new location and position is more important than ever.
Taking a fresh look at your mobility program is a good start. A good mobility program is flexible yet comprehensive, and allows the company to present an offer that is enticing for the candidate while still being cost-effective for the company.
Step 1: Open the Discussion
Be sure you or the appropriate manager(s) discuss the reasons for a relocation with the candidate before you create the relocation offer. Having a detailed discussion gives you the opportunity to create enthusiasm about a new role. A discussion also allows you to understand what elements of an offer will lead to the candidate accepting the transfer.
One of the biggest mistakes in putting together a relocation offer is failing to first ask the talent what they need to decide to make the move. Many offers are just presented without consideration of what the candidate’s priorities are – a mistake which can lead to losing top talent.
Opening up a discussion can increase the likelihood of an accepted offer. It also allows you an opportunity to show that the company values the employee and wants to make an investment in their future and lets you show the employee that they are important to the company’s growth.
Listening for information about the financial and emotional impact of the move helps you create an offer that, if not precisely tailored to an individual candidate, at least contains options that the candidate finds persuasive.
The financial components of a relocation offer could include a temporary cost-of-living allowance to cover costs in a more expensive location, covering costs for moving household goods, helping with home-finding, assistance with selling the old house, and offering tax assistance.
The emotional components may include options to help ease the candidate and their family into their new location. Options such as orientation tours, help locating new schools for the kids, job-hunting assistance for the trailing spouse or partner, temporary housing assistance, help locating elder care assistance, cultural resources, and local services.
Most important: let the employee know that relocating won’t be a painful process for them and that they will be supported throughout the move.
Step 2: Use Pre-Decision Services
HR can reduce the risk of encountering relocation challenges with their candidate and fully utilize the benefits of their relocation programs by making sure the candidate is aligned with the position and the relocation.
Pre-decision services can help avoid costly mistakes. For example, if an employee needs to live in an area with a strong public healthcare system to help care for their special-needs child, a pre-decision consultation with a mobility professional will ensure the company can take this special circumstance into account when considering the suitability of the candidate for the assignment.
Pre-decision services also help companies evaluate potential candidates with a more holistic perspective. Since today’s talent now demands more than just an increase in pay to move, pre-decision services will give a more robust picture of the total costs associated with relocating a particular candidate and the support necessary for moving both the individual and their family.
Pre-decision services may include:
- Cost-of-Living Analysis – Supply a cost of living comparison of origin and destination cities to help HR determine an acceptable competitive salary offer or temporary cost-of-living assistance.
- Housing Market Analysis – Can be done for both the old location and the new location. Determines the likely home sale timeline and identifies potential home sale or home purchase challenges so that their settling-in is not delayed.
- School Reports – Choosing schools are among the most important consideration of families choosing a new community. Reports of public and private schools can help the relocating employee choose a community that they will be confident is a good match for their family.
- Community Tours – Arranging local orientation tours to familiarize relocating employees to their new location, and help them in selecting an area that fits their particular interests.
Step 3: Include the Family
After the initial interview has identified the candidate as a good fit for the position, a second interview with personnel at the new location is often the next step before making an offer. For this second interview, companies should consider bringing both the candidate and their family to the new location for a site visit and an orientation tour before finalizing the offer. Include the spouse or partner when discussing concerns regarding relocation.
Including the family communicates to the candidate that the company values their input, that they care about their well-being, and that they want the candidate and their family to be comfortable and happy in the new location. A relocation professional can offer invaluable assistance to present the new location in the most positive light, highlighting those areas that are of most interest to the candidate and their family. Getting buy-in and support for the relocation from the entire family can ensure a successful assignment.
Step 4: Offer Career Assistance for the Spouse or Partner
In today’s world, two-career couples are most often the norm. For companies considering making a relocation offer to top talent, it means the offer needs to consider the spouse or partner’s needs, too. A new job for the candidate will likely mean a job or even career change for their spouse or partner, adding to the stress of moving to a new home and location. Services such as providing spouse or partner employment support or job hunting services can go a long way towards reducing family tensions. The more support your company can provide spouses and partners during this stressful time, the more you can help reduce stress for the relocating employee and increase the likelihood that the relocation will be successful.
Step 5: Provide Valuable Information
Talent, especially highly-desired talent, who are considering a relocation as part of an employment offer are looking for information to help convince them that a relocation assignment will be a valuable career experience, as well as being personally satisfying. To get the highest acceptance rates for assignments involving relocation provide as much information about new locations as possible. This will help candidates and family members develop a favorable impression of the new location and make it more likely that they will be enthusiastic about accepting the assignment or transfer.
Companies that utilize a professional relocation services provider to access specialized services find that relieving HR of activities outside of their expertise lets HR stay focused on department priorities while providing candidates with services that would stretch HR’s capabilities.
For example, a relocation services firm can plan and host a destination tour to highlight locations, resources, and activities that have been identified during the pre-decision interview as important to the candidate and their family. Such a tour will help boost the confidence of the candidate that they are making a good decision and provide peace of mind for them and their family members.
NRI Relocation, Inc. has helped hundreds of clients to structure and create successful relocation offers, even in challenging locations. Our team of experienced relocation consultants delivers the knowledge and valuable insight to help your company increase job acceptance rates and ensure that your overall relocation costs are congruent with your business goals.
Connect with us HERE or give us a call at 1-800-598-8887 today to discuss your relocation needs.