Published on February 19, 2013


There’s no avoiding the fact that flexible and comprehensive relocation packages require significant investment. However, quality relocation packages are also necessary to attract and retain the best employees. If you are considering using a relocation package that’s standard for all employees, you should understand that there are both advantages and disadvantages to this approach.

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Standard Package Advantages

Two primary advantages come with a standard or one-size-fits-all relocation program.

  • Easy administration for HR personnel. Administrative time and effort translates into costs. Administering a one-size-fits-all program can be very cost effective, since HR personnel can follow a single procedure for all transferees.
  • Control over certain expenses. Controlling costs is a significant factor in designing a reasonable employee relocation policy. Standard packages deliver this advantage.

While every employee or new hire may have different needs, a standard relocation package eliminates some of the complexity and challenges posed by your company's desire to have competitive relocation programs. This policy typically saves relocation costs and time requirements of personnel.

Standard Policy Disadvantages

The disadvantages of standard relocation packages often outweigh the advantages, particularly for vital talented executives. Attracting or retaining talented executives can become a challenge if your relocation package cannot accommodate the specific executive’s needs.

  • Leaders and decision makers, with different needs and concerns, may be reluctant to relocate if your standard package does not address their needs. Relocation often creates reluctance in the minds of new executive hires or transferees when considering moving to a new location.
  • A standard relocation package may not equal the benefits offered by your primary competition. You're in competition with other employers to hire or retain current employees. When relocation is involved, executives may or may not find your program attractive.
  • The administrative cost savings your company enjoys may pale in comparison to the lost talent you might experience by having a one-size-fit- all package. You'll save time and money by offering the same relocation package to everyone. However, you may also risk losing new or current valuable executives. The cost to operational or decision-making efficiency may overwhelm these cost savings.
  • Executives, with different needs, may not be attracted to your company because of the lack of comparable benefits you offer. Executives often have relocation needs much different from some other employees. For example, they may own more expensive homes that have longer marketing periods than lower level transferees. Even well-paid executives can’t survive long with two mortgage payments. If your competition offers home selling and buying assistance, whether expertise or financial help, while your standard policy does not, your company may not be attractive as an executive employment destination.

Building some flexibility into your relocation package will facilitate success in recruiting and retaining executives. While a one-size-fits-all policy can be easier to implement and may seem to reduce costs, in the long run the best policy is one that facilitates the acquiring and allocation of talent in your company.

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