Is Relocation Assistance Still on the Negotiating Table
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Is Relocation Assistance Still on the Negotiating Table

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Relocating for a new job position can be an extremely taxing experience. To lessen this burden, some companies have historically included relocation assistance as part of job offers to candidates who ...

Relocating for a new job position can be an extremely taxing experience. To lessen this burden, some companies have historically included relocation assistance as part of job offers to candidates who will need to move for a new position, typically with the caveat that the employee must remain with the company for a certain period of time. In this article, we explore whether relocation assistance is still something today’s job candidates should expect.

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Is Relocation Assistance Still on the Negotiating Table Is Relocation Assistance Still on the Negotiating Table Document Transcript

  • Is  Relocation  Assistance  Still  on   the  Negotiating  Table?                   ome  of  life’s  happiest  events,  like  moving,  buying  a  new  house  and  accepting  a  new  job,  can  also  be  among  the  most   stressful  in  a  person’s  life.  Combine  these  into  one  scenario  -­‐  relocating  for  a  new  career  opportunity  -­‐  and  you  could  be   looking  at  a  very  taxing  experience. To  lessen  this  burden  on  new  employees  or  those  who  are  being  transferred,  some  companies  have  historically  included   relocation  assistance  as  part  of  job  offers.  These  benefits  typically  come  with  the  caveat  that  the  employee  has  to  stay  for  a   certain  period  of  time  after  receiving  the  assistance.  Relocation  assistance  can  vary  greatly  among  firms  and  often   includes: ✓ Scouting/House-­‐hunting  trips ✓ Storage  assistance ✓ Spousal  support ✓ Childcare  options ✓ Cost  of  breaking  a  lease  (such  as  losing  a  security  deposit) ✓ Expenses  associated  with  buying  a  new  house  and/or  selling  an  existing  one  (such  as  realtor  fees) ✓ Other  various  moving  expenses  (including  physical  moving  costs) Impacting  Factors  for  Relocation During  the  recession,  offering  reloca2on  assistance  was  a  challenge  for  many  companies  with  the  grim  economic  outlook,   budget  constraints  and  a  challenging  real  estate  market.  But  all  of  these  have  eased  in  recent  years  and  are  being   overshadowed  by  the  demand  for  a  strong  workforce.  According  to  the  Atlas  Van  Lines  2013  Corporate  Reloca2on  Survey,   company  growth,  an  improving  job  market  and  a  lack  of  local  talent  are  leading  to  more  reloca2ons  for  new  hires  and   transferees.  Therefore,  reloca2on  assistance  is  s2ll  playing  a  role  in  job  offer  nego2a2ons.     The  following  charts  (from  the  Atlas  survey)  show  the  key  internal  and  external  factors  having  the  most  impact  on  the   number  of  employee  reloca2ons,  by  company  size/number  of  employees: S By  Caroline  Drazin
  • Trends  in  Relocation  Assistance Relocations  have  been  on  the  rise  since  2011.  In  fact,  in  recent  years,  relocation  volumes  are  increasing  at  a  faster  pace   than  relocation  budgets  (a  change  from  before  2009,  when  the  trend  was  reversed).  Atlas  Van  Lines  predicts  the  new   corporate  normal  will  be  “doing  more  with  less,”  or  more  relocations  on  less  budget.   In  2013,  the  Society  for  Human  Resource  Management  (SHRM)  conducted  their  annual  survey  to  determine  what  benefits   employers  are  offering  their  employees.  The  table  below  displays  results  regarding  Home  Relocation  and  Benefits: Spring 2014 NavigatorIs Relocation Assistance Still on the Negotiating Table?
  • Spring 2014 NavigatorIs Relocation Assistance Still on the Negotiating Table? A  few  highlights  from  SHRM’s  results  are:   • The  most  common  form  of  relocation  assistance  in  2013  (32%  of  companies  surveyed  offered  this)  was  a  one-­‐time,   lump  sum  payment.  SHRM  cited  a  desire  to  avoid  copious  amounts  of  paperwork  and  administrative  hassle  as  the   reason  for  preferring  the  single  payment.   • A  lower  percentage  of  companies  provide  employee  home  buying  assistance.  The  results  revealed  that  the   companies  who  offer  this  benefit  may  do  so  in  the  hope  “that  homeowners  may  feel  more  rooted  in  the   community  and  therefore  less  likely  to  leave,”  according  to  SHRM.  Only  3%  of  companies  surveyed  provide   mortgage  assistance  and  down  payment  assistance,  respectively. • The  percentage  of  companies  offering  rental  assistance  declined  50%. • Location  visit  assistance  (helping  to  pay  for  the  employee’s  house-­‐hunting  expenses  when  relocating)  and   temporary  relocation  benefits  (applies  to  employees  maintaining  two  households,  one  permanent  and  one   temporary)  declined  over  10%  between  2009  and  2013.   The  Atlas  Van  Lines  survey  reported  that  the  kind  of  reimbursement  a  candidate  will  receive  (full  reimbursement,  partial   reimbursement  or  lump  sum  payment)  varies  based  on  the  size  of  the  company.  Mid-­‐size  and  large  firms  indicated  that   more  than  half  of  their  candidates  were  fully  reimbursed,  compared  to  small  firms  that  lean  towards  lump  sum  payments.   Regardless  of  size,  all  firms  used  partial  reimbursement  for  one-­‐fifth  or  less  of  their  candidates.   Alternatives  to  Offering  Relocation  Assistance When  a  company  simply  cannot  assist  with  the  full  cost  of  relocation,  there  are  creative  alternatives  that  can  suit  both  the   organization  and  the  candidate.  A  few  options  include: ✓ Telecommuting ✓ Sign-­‐on  bonuses ✓ Ongoing  housing  assistance  programs ✓ Realtor  expenses  and  closing  costs ✓ Pre-­‐move  counseling ✓ Tax  Gross-­‐Up  Assistance  and  guidance  on  deductions  and  other  tax  implications  (see  Publication  521  at  the  IRS   website)
  • Spring 2014 NavigatorIs Relocation Assistance Still on the Negotiating Table? Caroline  Drazin  is  Marketing  Coordinator  with  Helbling  &  Associates.  She  works  closely  with  our  search  consultants  in   developing  articles  and  blogs  about  talent  management,  career  development  and  executive  search.  She  may  be  reached  at   carolined@helblingsearch.com. To  subscribe  to  Helbling’s  quarterly  e-­‐Newsletter  and  New  Search  Alerts,  visit  our  home  page  at   www.helblingsearch.com. Social  Media: Blog:    blog.helblingsearch.com Twitter:    @helblingsearch RESPONSIVE Motivation  and  urgency  to  fulfill  your  needs RESOURCEFUL Extensive  network  of  contacts  in  your  industry RELIABLE Comprehensive  and  accurate  market  intelligence RESULTS Performance  that  exceeds  your  expectations H E L B L I N G & A S S O C I A T E S , I N C . R E T A I N E D E X E C U T I V E S E A R C H www.helblingsearch.com 724.935.7500Pittsburgh RELATIONSHIPS Consulting  based  upon  trust  and  commitment Conclusion Should  new  employees  and  transferees  expect  relocation  assistance  to  be  part  of  their  negotiations?  The  answer  is  yes.   Over  the  past  ten  years,  nine  out  of  ten  companies  reimbursed  or  paid  some  relocation  costs  for  new  hires  and  transferees.   And,  while  in  the  latest  Atlas  Van  Lines  survey  the  number  dropped  to  approximately  eight  of  ten,  Atlas  states  that  the   main  reason  behind  this  decrease  is  that  more  small  firms  are  opting  either  to  not  cover  costs  or  to  offer  lump  sums   instead.  Full  reimbursement  or  lump  sum  payments  are  still  the  most  popular  methods  for  new  hires,  with  full   reimbursement  narrowly  in  the  lead.  Also,  most  firms  of  all  sizes  saw  stability  or  increases  in  budgets  for  relocation,   although  many  companies  will  be  aiming  to  do  more  with  less.   Relocating  for  a  new  job  can  be  expensive,  psychologically  draining,  and  time-­‐consuming.  Luckily,  many  companies  still   alleviate  this  burden  by  offering  some  kind  of  relocation  assistance  to  those  professionals  they  really  want  to  have  on  their   team. Sources:  Atlas  Van  Lines,  Society  for  Human  Resource  Management  (SHRM)