CapRelo Blog

Do You Have a Competitive Relocation Policy?

Posted by Amy Mergler on Thu, Jan 14, 2016


Are you finding it difficult to recruit top talent in your industry? Do you feel like you are reinventing the wheel each time you enter negotiations with a potential employee? Is there a thin talent pool in your region? Are there too many competitors vying for the best employees?

These are just a few challenges that rapid-growth industries like healthcare, biotechnology and alternative energies face. And every business owner knows that the right people in your company provide the greatest opportunities for success.

You can find more examples on how to develop relocation policies in our free guide.

Evaluate Your Relocation Policy

Your relocation policy may be partially to blame if you’re having trouble recruiting top talent. It may be possible that your competitors offer better relocation packages, but you don’t know how to address the issue. You may just want to see how your policy stacks up against your competitors.

A relocation policy should help your company recruit and retain top talent in your field, make the move as low-stress as possible and get new talent back to work and productive as quickly as possible. It should also be fluid – changing with the economy, real estate market, new business challenges and employee needs.

You can evaluate your policy and look at areas of your current relocation process that work, and areas that don’t, either because they cause too much stress for transferees or staff, or because they are expensive.

During the evaluation, you should consider the following:

  • What are your organization’s current business strategies and goals?
  • Are your relocation benefits competitive? Have you benchmarked them lately?
  • How many policy exceptions are being requested each year?
  • What is your relocation program’s ROI?
  • Are you meeting both recruitment and retention goals?
  • What is your rate of assignment acceptance? Are employees turning down relocations because of a specific benefit, such as home purchase?

Based on your findings, you can determine which policies and practices to incorporate into a competitive relocation package designed to attract and retain valuable employees.

Save Time & Money Using Tiered Relocation Packages


Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at

Topics: relocation packages, updating policy, relocation benchmarking

Dissecting the Features of an Attractive Relocation Package

Posted by Jim Retzer on Tue, Oct 07, 2014

Creating a strong relocation package for your employees is key to attracting and retaining top talent. So how do you determine if your company's relocation policies are up to par? Consider the following five features that distinguish the most attractive relocation packages from the weakest.

Learn more about developing relocation policies with our free guide. 

1. Comprehensive, Not Complex

The goal of a quality relocation package is to offer a range of comprehensive solutions that eliminate stress for the employee and ensure seamless productivity for your company. Hiring a moving company may seem like enough, but you should work to ensure that employees don't feel shouldered with the burden of planning and executing their move. Offer comprehensive, wraparound relocation support, and your employee will feel secure, stress-free and confident about their new role in the company.

2. Anticipates Problems

Sure, it's important to be responsive to bumps in the road during the relocation process, but the best relocation packages anticipate problems before they even arise. Consider the following factors that frequently cause difficulty for employees, and be sure to have a thorough, thoughtful plan at the ready:

  • Local schools. Finding a satisfactory school for your employee's children can take a major burden off their plate.
  • Spouse Support. Offering networking assistance to your employee's spouse can make or break the decision to relocate. Research leads and connections in the local job market, and help ease the transition for a working spouse.
  • Create Connections. Research professional and/or leisure organizations that might interest your employee. Offering connections can make for a much smoother transition, especially for employees who are reluctant to leave their established social and professional life behind.
  • Places of Worship. Consider the importance of spiritual life to your relocating employee, and be prepared to offer a list of appropriate churches, temples or mosques.
  • Moving Precious Cargo. Go above and beyond to ensure that a plan is in place for moving pets, plants or other belongings that go outside the purview of a traditional moving company.

3. Real Estate Solutions

According to a recent WERC U.S. Transfer Volume & Cost Survey, the issue of real estate is one of the chief reasons why executives turn down relocations. Develop and maintain connections to real estate professionals in order to offer your employee fast, professional service to sell their old home and purchase a new home with little hassle.

4. High-Quality Handling of Household Goods (HHG)

As the late, great George Carlin put it, "the whole meaning of life is trying to find a place for your stuff!" Dealing with "stuff" can be stressful, which is why offering a comprehensive package that includes packing and handling household goods is worth the additional cost over a self-service move.

5. Built-In Bonus Incentives

Finally, consider adding a final layer of "icing on the cake" for executives who may be on the fence. Cost of living salary adjustments, monetary bonuses and protections from losses on the sale of a home can all give your employee the peace of mind they need to take the relocation plunge.

Attracting and retaining ambitious, productive employees means taking extra care to make their relocation smooth and worry-free. If you find your relocation package is missing any of these five features, you may find yourself missing your top executive pick at your next meeting. Spending the extra time and resources to support a new or long-time employee through a major life change can pay off in sustained productivity and increased loyalty to your company for years to come.


Topics: relocation packages, updating policy, attracting new hires

Why Have a Corporate Relocation Package?

Posted by George Herriage on Tue, Mar 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.


The Low-Stress  Relocation Guide


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.

Topics: updating policy, corporate relocation program, employee relocation concerns

Tips For Restructuring Your Corporate Relocation Policy

Posted by George Herriage on Tue, Feb 18, 2014

A corporate relocation policy that worked wonderfully in the 1990s may be woefully inadequate and/or costly in the second decade of the 2000s. Staying true to your company’s mission is important, but staying competitive and cost-controlled is equally vital.


When Is It Time to Restructure

You will get indicators when to consider restructuring your corporate relocation policy. Take heed of these signs.

  • More potential transferees are turning down lucrative relocation assignments.
  • Some candidates are rejecting seemingly competitive hiring offers, choosing to accept job offers from your competition.
  • Senior management and/or Finance Department leaders are voicing displeasure with the high cost of relocating employees.
  • Numerous exceptions to policy requested and granted. This signals something may be lacking in your policy.

While these are not “hard” indications it is time to restructure, these are signs you should, at least, consider the prospect of modifying your relocation policy. Analyze your current package and identify some potential weaknesses. Sometimes, simply asking your current employees how they view your relocation program will give you the answers you need to initiate a restructure.

Tips for Successful Restructures

  • Know your competition intimately.
    Always a winning strategy, regardless of the issue, you must thoroughly understand the relocation features your competition offers. If your current policy contains serious deficiencies, when compared to the competition, you need to address—and eliminate—the perception that your package is lacking. If possible, learn what transferees consider most important about your plan and other packages. Look to conduct a benchmark study of industry relocation policies.

  • Commit to keeping popular components.
    Unless popular features are impossible to maintain for cost reasons, do not eliminate the most desired benefits. If necessary, you can modify the most popular features to add cost control, such as capping reimbursement amounts, without eliminating the most wanted benefits.

  • Create flexibility in lieu of “hard, inviolate” policy language.
    Just as single-tier relocation programs sometimes cause competitive problems, inflexible policy terms accomplish the same negative goal. Inflexibility leaves HR only two options:

    • Enforce your policy language for everyone, regardless of the circumstances or transferee authority level; or
    • Use policy exceptions for unique employee and family needs. This addresses individual concerns while adhering to policy guidelines.
  • When needed, add more benefits—with sufficient cost controls and clear language.
    Use language that clearly explains the benefits, stating the cost management policies with equal clarity. Do not invest time, effort and money to restructure your relocation policy to make it more competitive and affordable to your company without removing language that helps eliminate confusion and misunderstanding. Add the benefits you need and control their cost with precise, simple English that generates understanding, not confusion.

The seemingly ever-changing face of business requires you to stay up-do-date with competitive policies. When your company hopes to attract—and retain—the best talent available, restructuring your corporate relocation policy may be upon you.

Use these tips as a supplementary checklist for your evaluation of benefits, cost control caps and language clarity. Reviewing your relocation policy at regular intervals may help keep your restructuring efforts to “tweaking” your package instead of a lengthy update or complex rewrite.

Free Article:  A Guide to Developing  Relocation Policies

Topics: Home Selling and Purchase Assistance, Corporate Relocation Costs, updating policy

Updating Your Relocation Policy

Posted by Mickey Williams on Tue, May 08, 2012

Updating your corporate policies is often an overlooked necessity. Not only does it seem unimportant to the inundated, plenty of executives simply don't realize how critical having up to date policies is for the success of the organization. This is particularly true when it comes to relocation policies. Best practices and tactics are always improving, therefore making certain your relocation policies are keeping pace is a must. Not only will updating your relocation policies save the company money directly, it will help you retain valuable employees. Just as you would consider using the latest tax saving tools come tax return time, the same should be said for having the most up to date and relevant company relocation policies.

Corporate relocation policies should be reviewed regularly to integrate with your corporate culture and industry 'best practices'. Be certain that the policy includes productivity benefits that lead to successful relocations. These benefits can include housing assistance and tax guidance, homesale and homefinding programs, and household goods transportation.

Think of your relocation policy as a living document. It's critical to remain competitive, to attract, and to retain the best employees. This is particularly true in the current real estate economy. If you approach an employee for a potential relocation without an understanding of housing statistics or other metrics, it's likely that the employee will quickly lose respect for the organization. Make sure that your relocation policy stays in step with the changing economy.

Reviewing the policy can be completed by gap analysis. Gap analysis identifies trouble spots in order to improve insufficient features. In other words, it enables targeting of the areas in need of improvement. This drilling down into the nuts and bolts of the policy will allow you to clearly see what fits and what needs to be discarded or improved. 

The Low-Stress  Relocation Guide

What needs to be updated depends on a variety of criteria.  Maybe your policy is effective and well executed, needing only a few minor changes to optimize. It's also possible that your relocation policy is in desperate need of a complete overhaul to better reflect your company's business objectives. You may not even have relocation policies at your organization. Whatever you use now to administer a corporate relocation, taking a close look can only improve the results of your next future relocation.

Topics: updating policy, corporate relocation program

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