CapRelo Blog

Are Relocation Package Exceptions Burning Out Your HR Staff? (Part 3)

Posted by Amy Mergler on Thu, Nov 19, 2015

Stretched to the breaking pointA group move or other circumstance that requires many employee relocations take place at the same time stretches the resources of your HR staff even thinner. What can you do to keep relocation package exceptions from stretching them to the breaking point?

Learn more about developing relocation policies in our free guide.

Negotiation Exceptions to a Relocation Policy

Sometimes, a relocation policy exception is needed. Maybe a mid-level employee has proven extremely valuable in his position and your company is willing to go above and beyond to keep him. Maybe he has kids, aging parents or a hard-to-sell home.

Your relocation management company should understand your company’s main needs and core values to negotiate relocation package exceptions on your behalf. Of course, your HR staff will have the final word on exceptions to relocation policy. But your relocation company can hammer out the details to create a win-win scenario with the HR staff and upper management is likely to approve. Just think about how much time this can save your HR staff! Because all exceptions will be well justified, it will be easier to stay within budget and maintain company morale during the move.

Customer Assistance through Relocation Providers Who Understand

Beyond managing employee home sale details, another area your HR staff may falter is in lining up supply chain partners for relocation services.

Your HR staff may (or may not) have contacts in the relocation industry such as household goods movers to call on, but they probably don’t have the manpower to make sure those partners are providing the level of customer service needed to keep top-level executives happy.

A relocation company can act as the primary contact between relocating employees and relocation service providers to ensure your employees get the level of service they expect.

For instance, when furniture belonging to one top executive arrived at her new home damaged, the relocation management company was able to break standard operating procedure to schedule a service call for repair after hours. The executive didn’t have to miss work and sit around waiting for the repair team to arrive, nor did she have to be without her furniture for any length of time. These are the types of details your HR staff simply may not have the time or expertise to address.

Tax Gross-Up Assistance

Your HR staff is not made up of professional relocation service providers – or bookkeepers. Your bookkeeping staff may not be versed in the nuances of tax gross-up and relocation tax. A professional relocation management company not only maximizes your employees’ productivity during a move, it can boost the productivity of your bookkeepers and upper-level management by handling all tax details and coordinating with your bookkeeping department and tax accountants to file the appropriate paperwork.

Don’t let relocation policy exceptions drag down and burn out your HR staff. Re-evaluate your existing relocation policy to determine how you can leverage the expertise of your relocation management company to minimize the drain on your HR staff resources.

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Topics: relocation process, human resources

7 Keys to Employee Relocation: A Cheat Sheet for HR Managers

Posted by Rick Bruce on Tue, Feb 05, 2013

sold_home-resized-600.jpgYour relocation program can help or hinder your efforts to hire and/or retain talented employees. A competitive relocation package is a necessity, as there is often a natural reluctance for some employees and/or their families to move to a new location.

The Human Relocation Factor

It is imperative that you design a relocation package that addresses and minimizes employee and HR personnel stress. Write your relocation policies to be attractive to transferees at all authority levels on the organization chart.

Including valuable relocation features reduces or eliminates the common "fear of the unknown" involved in a major move. Try to understand that, often, the employee's family members exhibit more stress than the transferee himself/herself. If possible, address this potential with features that instill positive feelings in the transferee's family members.

Our free article addresses the special considerations associated with relocating employees with families.

Providing home selling advice, along with financial incentives, can address this natural human factor in a positive manner. Connecting the employee with a real estate agent familiar with relocation necessities and familiarity with mortgage loan sources often removes transferee concerns about housing issues.

Keys to Competitive Employee Relocation Programs

Consider components to make your relocation package equal to or better than your competition when you want to hire and keep the best employees. You can use these suggestions as a guide or checklist to ensure your company is offering what talented employees want most.

  1. Equitable compensation adjustments if the new location cost of living is higher than the transferee's current home base.
  2. Using a top professional relocation firm to work with you and your transferee to ensure a low stress, successful change of location.
  3. Loss-on-sale reimbursement benefits for the sale of the transferee's home.
  4. Paid house-hunting trips, preferably two, enabling the employee and his/her spouse to view appropriate homes and become familiar with acceptable new location neighborhoods.
  5. Professional assistance by a relocation savvy real estate agent, and up-to-date resources for competitive, professional mortgage loan options. .
  6. Moving and travel expense reimbursement so the transferee's personal property is moved professionally and minimizes expenses for the family to travel to the new location.
  7. Compensation for time off needed to house hunt, for moving days and to get settled in the new location.

If feasible, consider offering financial assistance to transferees to assist with qualifying for a new mortgage or making the required down payment. These key components reduce transferee stress and result in more successful relocations.

You should also be totally positive when discussing relocation with all potential new hires and transferees, to help them adopt an equally positive feeling about the upcoming move. These keys help HR staff and companies enjoy consistent success in hiring and retaining valuable employees after a relocation, discussed in detail in our article on employee retention

This checklist represents the minimum valuable features you should consider for your relocation program. Your industry or competition may indicate the inclusion of one or more additional components to ensure relocation success. The increasing popularity of top relocation firms is testimony of employers' desires for a cost-effective, low administration, stress free and productive employee or new hire move.

 Relocating Employees with Families 

Topics: corporate relocation program, human resources, relocating employees

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