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What Should An Employer Relocation Package Include? A Complete Guide


It’s no secret that a comprehensive relocation package is the key to winning top talent across the globe. However, too few employers actually offer relocation as a perk. And If working from home isn’t an option, you’re going to find that international talent would rather see other people.

After all, the primary reason why employers don’t relocate employees is the upfront expense. If that’s true, then it makes sense why employees wouldn’t waste money on these employers.

According to a Right Management survey, 42% of overseas assignments are judged to be failures by senior executives. However, reducing this number is simple with the right relocation package in place. Here’s your complete guide on how to create the perfect relocation package.

What is Employee Relocation?

Employee relocation is when a business moves an existing or newly hired employee to a new location for work purposes. It allows employers to source the best talent without being confined to local employees. An employee relocation strategy covers all or parts of their moving costs.

An employee relocation package does three things: it keeps businesses competitive, trains staff for new or international locations, and gives the company and its recent hires peace of mind.

However, most employers don’t have the experience to relocate employees themselves. This is why they’ll hire a corporate employee relocation service, such as Xonex or Altair Global.

How Much Does Employee Relocation Cost?

The Workforce Mobility Association found that the average cost of transferring an employee homeowner is $90,017. However, other reports suggest it’s upwards of $100,000. New global hires who are also homeowners are slightly cheaper to relocate at $60,000 to $73,000.

Current employee renters cost $25,000, while new employee rents cost $20,000. Keep in mind that these costs include more than a house or an apartment. There are several considerations to take into account when moving an employee, which are listed in greater detail below.

What are the Different Types of Relocation Packages?

Employee relocation packages never work with a one size fits all approach. With that said, there are four packages used by third-party specialists or in-house staff you should use as a base.

Lump Sum Packages

Lump sum packages offer employees a lump cash sum for their moving expenses. While this option is simple, it often results in a bad move, as employees will keep costs low and pocket the rest. We recommend staying away from lump sum packages if you want a successful relocation.

Tiered Packages

Tiered packages match employees with different packages depending on their circumstances and level of seniority. For example, a tier-one employee would be a new hire with no mortgage. Each tier will take into account their relocation destination and if the employee has a family.

Managed Budget Packages

Managed budget packages allow employers to work within a set budget, which is vital when working with a relocation company. However, in-house relocation teams may set their own relocation costs budget to keep costs low and to ensure their accounting team stays informed.

Full Covered Packages

Full coverage packages are exactly what they sound like. These packages cover an employee’s total relocation costs, which are often high and unpredictable. For this reason, employers will use these packages for high level employees and only with the help of a relocation specialist.

What Should a Typical Job Relocation Package Include?

Whether you’re an employer looking for advice or an employee who wants to make sure their relocation package is top-notch, you should make sure your package contains the following.

1. Hiring Long-Distance Movers

Employers should hire a long-distance moving company that includes professional packers and moving boxes/supplies. This allows employees to take a hands-off approach, which gives them the time to focus on the rest of the relocation process. It’s also the easiest benefit to include.

2. Auto Transportation Services

If employees are relocating far away, they’ll need to move their car overseas. But employees should only ask for auto transportation services if they can’t break the lease or their vehicle is brand new. Otherwise, it’s cheaper to sell your vehicle and purchase or rent a new one.

3. Purchasing or Renting Vehicles

Employees who need to rent a car before, during, or after their move should request money for a rental. If the employee is staying for an extended period, it’s cheaper to buy a new vehicle for the length of their trip. Employers don’t need to buy anything fancy; a small car will do the job.

4. Long-Term Storage Rentals

There’s a high possibility your employees won’t bring all their items abroad. If that’s the case, employers can set up a temporary or long-term storage rental in their employees’ names. It’s important to ask employees if they prefer to keep their unit back at their home or close by.

5. Closing Costs or Lease Breaks

If an employer is purchasing a home for an employee, they’re often willing to pay the closing costs, realtor fees, statutory costs, title search costs, attorney fees, and more. Similarly, renters may need to pay money to terminate their lease early, which the employer can compensate for.

6. Airfare and Hotel Coverage

Employers should consider paying for airfare if it’s required for relocation. If your employee doesn’t have a permanent residence before the move, employers should cover hotel costs or home rentals in the meantime. Booking a long-term rental ahead of time will be much cheaper.

7. Meals or Restaurant Costs

An employee will need to eat at the airport and multiple restaurants before they can start buying groceries. Employers can comp the cost of meals, but employees should do their due diligence and save receipts. That way, employers can assess if employee meals were reasonable.

8. Family Relocation Services

70% of failed relocations are a result of families not settling in. Employers owe it to their staff to take care of their families, which means investing heavily in their move. As a rule of thumb, if employers offer a service to their employees, they should also offer it to the employee’s family.

9. Language or Cultural Training

If an employee is moving abroad to a non-English speaking country, they must take language classes before and after the relocation. What’s more, employees should have some knowledge of the new country’s culture and media, so they can integrate quickly and more effectively.

10. At-Home Property Management

For short-term assignments, employees shouldn’t have to sell their homes. It may be better to hire an at-home property manager who can look after their space for a few months. Employers can pay their salary, which will include services like general upkeep and frequent cleaning.

11. Cultural Integration Services

It’s difficult for employees and their families to experience life in a new country. Employers should hire cultural specialists that can teach employees how to act and communicate after an international transfer. They should check in and see if their integration is going smoothly.

12. On-Going Mental Health Support

Employees will miss their old home, coworkers, and friends, which can severely affect their mental health. Employers should hire a psychologist that specializes in relocation to ensure they’re getting the help they need. They can also plan meetings for old coworkers and teams.

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