Published on March 04, 2014

For some HR professionals and employers, having a company relocation package may be a "trial and error" proposition. However, this is better than the typical results of having no written relocation plan at all. Why?

Having no relocation policy mandates HR and your transferee to negotiate every detail of a company-sponsored transfer to a new location. The workload on HR can be overwhelming. The results, for the employer and employee, come with no guarantees of satisfaction.

Competition for talent is another major reason for having a formal relocation package. If you compete with other employers in your industry for the same talent pool when seeking new employees or retaining current staff members, you must have a reasonable relocation program.

Candidates deciding about your company, often evaluate your relocation program as a factor in their ultimate decision. Current high-performing employees may also put heavy weight on the strength of your relocation package when deciding to stay with your company or seek employment elsewhere.

Without a formal corporate relocation program, your potential transferees may believe that an opportunity involving moving to a new location is a question of trust between the employee and the company. Neither HR nor the employee initially has a reference point to estimate the financial ramifications of a potential relocation.

If the employee owns a home or has a valid lease on his/her residence, the lack of a published relocation package can become convoluted. Senior management, along with the HR and Finance Departments, lose the benefits of a formal relocation policy, as every nuance of a move to a new location is fair game for discussion. Having a written relocation policy eliminates many of the numerous details and stress placed on transferees and HR when a relocation is scheduled.

Much of this pressure, anxiety and stress placed on HR is greatly reduced when you have a published relocation package, which impacts both HR and transferees. You've also probably heard the cliché, "The devil is in the details." This became a cliché because, throughout history, it's proved to be true.

For every important law, action plan or agreement that "went south," the number of failures related to the minutia, outweigh the failures attributed to the major components. Even a corporate relocation package lacking some primary features can salvage a needed employer transfer if the policy includes many of the details that potential transferees consider important.

For example, providing a transferee with reasonable reimbursement for one or two house hunting trips with the family is important to employees and rather easily cost-controlled by the employer. HR, or their professional relocation firm, may consider this a detail, but it could make the difference whether an employee accepts or rejects an otherwise lucrative relocation offer.


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Having a corporate relocation plan, even if it needs minor or major "tweaking," is far superior to having no policy or package. Having a professional relocation firm administer the details provides even more freedom for HR to focus on their other responsibilities.