Relocation Assistance: How to Entice Top Talent to Say Yes to the Move
Competition is fierce. Your offer of relocation assistance better stand out.
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If you think relocation assistance isn’t a competitive differentiator, think again. As employers compete for talent, an offer of employer-paid relocation assistance can sway hearts.
Relocation Assistance – It’s Not Just About Money
A competitive relocation assistance package isn’t just about dollars. Numerous studies have confirmed that Millennials and Gen Zers want an employer who cares about their well-being.
Younger workers will expect their employer to cover essential moving costs. But more money (such as a larger lump sum or expense cap) will not necessarily convey that the employer truly cares. Employers can demonstrate care and concern by paying special attention to their needs throughout the move and after.
Survey Says: Relocation Stress & Loneliness is Up
Sixty percent of HR leaders say that issues associated with relocation — such as employee’s anxiety, stress, and loneliness — have surfaced more in recent years, according to IMPACT Group’s Relocation Services & Talent Trends study. Starting over in a new city can be stressful, even if you have a job lined up!
Solution? Offer relocation assistance coaching. What is it? Think of a wise sherpa who is there to help your employee (and everyone else in the household who’s moving) thrive in the location.
Relocation Assistance Coaching Promotes Well-Being
According to our survey, 49% say their organization is likely to invest more in the well-being of those relocating.
Nearly 80% say coaching sessions with a qualified expert can help promote well-being and overall satisfaction with the move. (You can get the results of the survey by requesting a copy of the study. See the form on the right.)
Coaching sessions with a qualified expert can help with wellbeing and overall satisfaction with the move.
What Relocation Assistance Do Employees Expect Today?
Relocation assistance was pretty straight-forward back in the days when employers held the cards. But today’s talent shortage means employees have more leverage. By leaving jobs in record numbers, today’s talent is taking more risk to improve their job satisfaction.
Employers can’t afford to ignore employees’ new attitudes toward work. That’s why relocation assistance isn’t just about dollar-for-dollar reimbursement anymore. Today it’s about caring for the employee’s wellbeing – before, during and after the move.
Types of Relocation Assistance Programs
So what works now? In relocation industry terms, four types of approaches or policies exist for employer-sponsored relocation assistance.
- Managed Cap – Employees can spend up to a certain amount with an approved list of relocation service providers.
- Core / Flex – Employees get a set of “core” services and then may choose from a menu of optional services. The employer typically outsources the program to a relocation management company that vets and manages all suppliers.
- Lump sum – The employee is paid a set amount (usually tied to job grade level) and the employee decides how to spend it. While this program is seen as the easiest to administer, the downside is that employees may not spend funds in ways that truly support their relocation success.
- Hybrid – Some combination of the programs listed above.
Relocation Assistance for Younger Workers
What should employers do? To be competitive, relocation assistance should address the needs of employees and their loved ones – such as spouses, partners, children, or others in the household who are moving with the employee.
Sociologist Tracy Brower says for younger workers, it’s not really about work-life balance, it’s about work-life fulfillment. In other words, they want to “have it all” on both fronts. “People want a variety of benefits and people want what they want—and it’s different depending on employees’ priorities and needs,” says Brower, author of The Secrets to Happiness at Work.
Employer-Paid Relocation Services
No matter how you structure the program, the relocation assistance offer is critical to your recruitment success. So show employees you care. Candidates will view the package as a means of conveying the employer’s concern for their wellbeing.
The cost of IMPACT Group’s relocation coaching is nominal compared to the total cost of moving the employee. Offering a relocation assistance coach demonstrates the employers’ commitment to work life balance. It shows the employers’ intention to help the employee manage stress and thrive in the new location.
I truly believe that without my coach, I would have been significantly more stressed during the relocation and half of my needs would still remain unmet due to my lack of time and knowledge of available resources.
– Masuma Naqwe, Relocating Employee
Are Relocation Assistance Benefits Treated as Taxable Income?
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which became effective January 1, 2018, changed the tax consequences of relocation benefits. These benefits are now treated as taxable income for employees.
Some employers choose to gross up the relocation assistance amount to cover the employee’s tax bill. Either way, it’s essential to communicate how these benefits will be taxed, and what amount, if any, you are providing to offset the tax consequences.
Relocation Assistance: The Rundown
Moving to a new area can be both exciting and nerve-racking. Younger employees will expect a relocation assistance package that minimizes stress and protects their well-being.
IMPACT Group offers Relo ReThrive™ relocation assistance. It’s a coaching program supported by a hyper-personalized, online relocation resource. Our expert coaches have moved themselves and are certified professionals. They’ll start with the needs assessment, then guide your talent through a 1:Me, personalized program to help them succeed in the new location. Contact us today to get more information on our relocation assistance services!
Don’t Miss the Relocation Survey Results!
Get your copy of the study. Find out what others are doing to attract and entice top talent to make a move. (See form at right.)
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