If you’re on track for securing your dream job but it means you’ve got to move far, far away, you’ll be pleased to learn that you might not need to bear the total cost of relocating all by yourself.
You might be able to negotiate a relocation package with your new employer which would be a terrific weight off your mind. After all, relocating for any reason can be immensely expensive, so much so that you might have to consider whether it’s worth taking the job.
As well as the cost of moving your belongings, let’s not forget about your precious car. It might be tempting to leave your car behind and look for another one when you’re settled, but there is a better and more affordable option. With an auto relocation service, you can take your wheels with you wherever you move to, even if it’s across the other side of the country.
According to Forbes, the national average cost of moving to the US is around $1,400. However, prices range from $800 to $2,500. This price range is for a local move of fewer than 100 miles, with a 2-person moving team. For a long-distance move, you could end up paying between $2,200 and $5,700.
Let’s take a look at how a relocation package can help you make that life-changing move. Everything that follows might also apply to any employers out there looking to relocate their staff.
What is a Relocation Package?
Relocation packages are a financial benefit that may be offered by an employer when an employee has to move from one location to another because of their job. Generally, the distance an employee has to move will be more than 50 miles. There are certain fields in which relocation packages are more common, such as tech companies like Spotify or LinkedIn.
It’s not something all companies need to concern themselves with, particularly if they decide to focus on building a local workforce. However, if an organization decides to widen its search for qualified employees outside of its general geographical area, it might want to consider offering a relocation package as an incentive. A good relocation package can mean a company has the potential to attract candidates from anywhere in the world.
According to a survey undertaken by Allied following the pandemic, almost 37% of people would seriously consider moving to advance their career or for the opportunity to make more money. 64% of the people surveyed, also said that a compensation package was given to them when moving for work.
What is Relocation Assistance?
Relocation assistance is a very similar benefit. Relocation assistance aims to ease the financial burden of moving. It is typically offered to current employees or new hires who are being asked to relocate for work. The relocation could be to a new city, state, or even a new country.
Relocation assistance tends to cover the following relocation expenses:
- Packing and unpacking services
- Moving costs, including transportation
- Temporary accommodation
- Selling or acquiring a residence
- Assistance with a mortgage
- Cultural and language training
Are Relocation Packages Commonly Offered?
Traditionally, an executive relocation package would be more common. Relocation packages were more commonly offered almost exclusively to specialized contractors or high-level employees.
However, today, this has changed thanks to the global economy and a workforce that’s better educated. Competition for top talent is also stronger, which means that more and more companies are waking up to the benefits of an attractive relocation package. Make the package attractive enough and it makes smart branding and business sense.
Who Might be Eligible for a Relocation Package?
Relocation packages are becoming more common for a range of employees. However, typically, the higher an employee ranks within an organization, the better the package on offer.
For example, a vice president of a company might have the cost of childcare while house hunting, car rentals, lodging, meals, and airfare included in their relocation package. While a recent graduate might only have the basic moving expenses covered.
Do Millenials Have a Role to Play in Corporate Relocation?
Millennials, more than any other generation, love being on the go and they’re not afraid of working anywhere in the world. 69% of graduates from North America and 70% from Europe would willingly travel abroad for work. These figures shouldn’t be ignored by corporate recruiters.
Different Types of Relocation Packages
There are many different relocation packages a company can use to help employees who are relocating. The following are the most common:
Lump-Sum Relocation Package
A lump-sum relocation package is a set amount that is given to an employee to help with moving expenses.
The employee receiving the lump sum decides for themselves how best to use the money. They might choose to use it to cover the cost of transportation, hiring a moving service, and other expenses they might find necessary.
Reimbursement Relocation Package
This type of job relocation package allows an employee to obtain reimbursement for any moving expenses they’ve paid for. It is usually a specific amount that should cover most or all moving expenses.
Before getting a relocation payment, the employee must provide receipts as proof of the payments made.
Third-Party Relocation Package
With a third-party relocation package, a company makes and pays for an outside relocation service. They will help the employee find storage options, transportation, and moving services. There is no direct involvement from the employer.
This package is closely linked to lump-sum and reimbursement packages. However, in this case, the employer directly bills moving services and other relocation-related expenses.
This is a relocation package for people who are moving to another country. Expenses beyond transportation and moving are covered by the employer. It might include getting help with obtaining work visas, paid trips to a new work location, help to find housing, help with cultural assimilation once settled into a new location, and much more.
How Much Might an Employee Relocation Package Cost an Employer?
When an employee relocates it can work out to be very expensive for the company. An average relocation package in 2021 costs a company more than $24k if the employee is a renter. The average relocation package cost can be more than $97k when the employee is a homeowner.
The Benefits of Offering an Employee Relocation Package
There are many reasons why a business owner should consider offering relocation packages for new and existing employees.
- Access to a wider talent pool: What company wouldn’t want to hire the best talent in the world? To attract that kind of talent, a relocation package will get your new employees where they need to be.
- Takes less time for HR to fill a vacancy: When there are no limits as to location, your HR department will be able to find the best people to fill a vacancy faster.
- Build a team from different backgrounds: Relocation package jobs improve corporate diversity, inclusion, and equity.
- Retention rates improve: With an available relocation package, a company is more likely to find the right people for the job. In turn, this means retention rates will improve. An employee who has committed to relocating to a new location is going to feel more motivated to stay with a company.
Are there any downsides?
As you might expect, there are a few downsides that an employer must take into consideration.
- Relocation costs are high: Moving can be a very expensive undertaking. Many expenses are involved, including moving or shipping services, leasing a new apartment, or helping with purchasing a new house. There’s also the problem of finding somewhere to live, the cost of flying the family to a new city, and many other expenses. All of these can add up very quickly.
- Reduction in productivity: While some employees might be thrilled to be moving and part of a new team, there might be others who don’t want to be there at all. A miserable and stressed employee isn’t going to be performing to the best of their ability.
- Increased risk of early resignation: The relocation process is exhausting and very disruptive for everyone involved, particularly if a family has to uproot and move to a new state or city. It can take a lot of adjusting to and if the experience is a poor one, a relocated worker is more likely to choose to back out of their new agreement.
What is Generally Included in a Relocation Package?
Relocation packages come in many shapes and sizes. The size of a relocation package can vary depending on the company and what they’re happy to cover. Some of the expenses an employer might be willing to cover include the following.
One of the biggest expenses for anyone relocating is going to be hiring professional movers. How big the expense depends on the number of movers you hire, the distance they’ve got to move your belongings, and the weight of those belongings.
If an employee has to move quickly, they might need to hire professional packers. The benefits of hiring professional packers include less stress and saving time. However, there is less control over the process than when a person moves.
When moving belongings to a new city, across state lines, or the other side of the country, it’s not a case of throwing them in the back of a truck and driving there. Everything has to be carefully wrapped and packed so there’s the cost of packing tape, plastic wrap, moving labels, and cardboard boxes to take into consideration. Fortunately, this is an expense that many employers will willingly cover.
If an employee is relocating far away, they may need help with the cost of moving their car to a new city. Auto transportation is a very safe, secure, and convenient option and is preferable to driving long distances or selling the car and buying a new one in a new location.
Another option for moving belongings to a new city is to hire a moving container. Such units can also double as storage before the move, during, and after.
You simply load up the container with all your belongings and the company transports it to their facility. It can stay there until you’re ready to move into your new home.
If you’re not taking your stuff with you or using a moving container, you have the option of storing your belongings in a long-term or short-term storage facility. This is a convenient option and fairly low-cost as you can rent one or more every month.
A full-service moving company may offer temporary storage for customers, both short-term and long-term.
Closing Costs and Realtor Fees
Purchasing a new home in a new city can mean there are a realtor and closing fees to pay. Some companies cover these costs in their relocation package.
Lease Break Coverage
If an employee has to break their lease because they’ve got to move quickly for a new job, a relocation package may cover this fee. Landlords often require tenants to pay a certain sum when they terminate their lease early. They might also make the tenant pay the remainder of any rent owed until they can find a new tenant.
Your belongings are being transported by a moving company and an auto transportation company is taking care of your car. All that’s left is for you to get to your new city. You could go by bus or train. But why not take a flight instead?
As well as covering the cost of airfare in a job relocation package, your employer might also be willing to include the cost of traveling to check out the city before you move there.
You might not be able to find a permanent place to live straight away, but an employer should cover the bill for temporary housing. Cover for a home rental or hotel only for a short time. The options for temporary housing include:
- Vacation rental via VRBO or Airbnb
- Booking into an extended stay hotel
- Staying with family or friends
- Taking advantage of corporate housing
A relocation package often covers costs such as airport meals and dining on the road. However, you may need to provide receipts, so remember to keep these safe.
You might need to hire a car before, during, or after your move and this is an expense that is often covered in a job relocation package. You may find your employer costs part of all of the cost, plus, it may just be for a certain length of time.
You always have the option of moving yourself, rather than hiring a moving company. You’ll need to rent a truck, but the cost will vary depending on the time of the year and location.
If your relocation is a family affair there are lots of additional expenses that might be covered in a company relocation package. For example, daycare or a babysitter may be necessary before, during, and after the move.
A company relocation package may be able to assist in finding reasonable prices and reputable childcare services. Another relocation expense that might be included would be employment or elderly care assistance.
Anyone moving abroad for their job might need to learn a new language. Language classes before and after moving would be a good way to learn a new language. Check that the relocation package covers this expense when you plan an international move. Knowing what to expect culturally, is also going to be helpful. This might be included in the language course or you might need to take a separate class.
These might include:
- Vehicle registration
- Utility hookups
- Carpet Cleaning
- Drapery installation
Tips on Negotiating a Relocation Package
If you find certain things aren’t covered in your standard relocation package, but you consider them important to your relocation experience, you should understand how to negotiate a relocation package with your company.
Take the following steps, if you want to negotiate your relocation package effectively.
Review Your Relocation Package
Check what is currently covered in the relocation package, how reimbursement takes place, and whether any type of insurance covered is included. Reviewing the terms of the package allows you to identify areas that aren’t adequately covered.
Identify What’s Not Included
Consider what other items might be beneficial, for example, paid trips to look for housing or childcare reimbursement.
Check What a Competitor is Offering
Once you’ve reviewed the package your employer is offering, check out any competitors. Make note of any items that your company doesn’t offer and these can be brought up during the negotiations.
Make Your Needs Known
When you talk to your employer, address your specific needs. Ask if any of the areas could be given reimbursements or whether they can be swapped out for aspects that are currently not that helpful.
When it comes to relocating an employee or relocating yourself, it is no mean feat, however, the benefits far outweigh any downsides.
There are endless things to be considered when moving for a new job, but a relocation package can be beneficial for both sides.
A relocation package is an excellent recruitment tool that could attract the best candidates, plus it helps to keep a company competitive. For the employee, it allows their family to settle in quickly and be comfortable. Plus, they’re ready to start their new role upon arrival in the new location.
Are relocation packages taxable?
Yes, relocation packages are taxable. Employees have to pay taxes on any relocation benefits received.
What is a relocation package calculator?
A relocation package calculator is something HR departments can use to determine the cost of a fair relocation package.
What is a relocation package average?
The average cost of a relocation package is between $19,000 and $97,116.
Where can I find relocation package examples?
You’ll find some good examples of successful relocation packages simply by doing some research online.