Published on October 15, 2013

As both businesses and consumers become more positive about the post-recession recovery, the economy and jobs picture continues to improve. However, employers are still cautious about hiring and cost control. Businesses can either increase income, lower expenses or, at times accomplish both.

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Typically, companies embrace expense control as a consistent effort to improve the bottom line, as businesses can manage costs easier than increasing sales and revenue. Relocation expenses are necessary to attract and keep talent that businesses need. Reducing these costs, while remaining competitive, is a focus of most employers.

Relocation Policy Goals

Common goals, like the four below, apply to most if not all corporate relocation programs. The specific features you adopt will determine the success of your relocation policy. Including features popular with employees in your industry helps you achieve these goals

  • Designing competitive relocation programs to attract and keep valuable employees.
  • Managing relocation expenses and reimbursements.
  • Maintaining low stress levels on HR managers and staff when implementing relocation policies.
  • Treating high-level executives and modest-level staff fairly and equitably.

Reducing Relocation Costs

It’s true!  Proper planning and design helps employers manage relocation program costs. Policies that meet at least two conditions help your program succeed and enjoy cost efficiency.

  • Relocation program "fits" and complements employer's corporate culture.
  • Policy meets primary needs of transferees.

Balancing program competitiveness with relocation costs challenges every employer. Consider the following suggestions to reduce your relocation costs while maintaining an attractive program:

  • Use policy language that clearly defines program benefits. Educate and verify that employees and job candidates understand relocation program features and limitations up front to eliminate future surprises.

  • Establish reimbursement maximums. Evaluate program feature costs to eliminate excess payments and control most expensive relocation components. Capping some reimbursements lowers your costs and promotes adherence.

  • Reduce temporary housing duration and house hunting trips. Both cost reduction techniques still offer transferees benefits without eliminating important features. Using this approach also does not require payment-level reductions to help your company reduce relocation expenses. For example, you could limit temporary housing reimbursement to 30 days versus the 45 to 60 days your policy may now include.

These are tips that some employers successfully use to reduce and control their relocation costs. You may have additional ideas that could help accomplish cost reduction. Just be sure to stay up-to-date with the features your competition offers transferees to ensure that your relocation program remains attractive to employees.

Tracking and Reducing  Relocation Costs