Relocating for a Job: The Attributes & Benefits that Make it Worthwhile

What attributes and benefits make relocating for a job worthwhile for employees? Our recent research study answers those questions and provides insight on how your company can make relocation more appealing to top talent.

 

 

Earlier this year we published our findings from a study we performed that focused on relocation in a post-COVID era. We set out to investigate how, if at all, the pandemic had influenced peoples’ willingness to relocate for a new job. By delving into the many factors that impact one’s desire to relocate for a new role, we were able to uncover what attributes and benefits provide the greatest incentive for talent to accept a new job that requires relocation. Understanding which attributes and benefits provide the greatest incentive toward job acceptance can help companies attract and retain top talent in a uniquely competitive labor market. Our study was made up of 477 respondents who came from a variety of industries, represented all job levels, and were located across the United States. This allowed us to capture a sample of responses that are highly representative of most Americans’ attitudes and preferences. We were also able to segment our respondents by job level, which allowed us to glean how the desirability of attributes and benefits may shift as seniority level increases. 

 Interested in learning more about the findings of our survey? To read the entirety of our findings, click here to download the whitepaper, Study: Relocation and Delocation in the Post-COVID Era. 

So, what attributes and benefits make America’s top talent want to pack up and move for a new role? We gave respondents 12 different categories to rank as their top 5 most important factors for accepting a job that requires relocation and here is what they selected. 

  1. Cash is King: While some of our findings were surprising, it came as no surprise that 79% of our respondents ranked “more money” as the number one attribute that would make them willing to move for a new role. An increase in pay was ranked as the main motivator for job acceptance across seniority levels for nearly 80% of our respondent pool. Still, it shows that while COVID-19 shifted paradigms and transformed our lives, the desire for more money stayed consistent, a reminder to firms that to win top talent, a competitive salary is a must.  
  1. Make Benefits a Part of The Package: A distant second to higher pay was “better benefits” with 45.4% of respondents ranking it as a top factor. Benefits is a broad, encompassing term for a variety of things that a firm may offer their employees to improve or enhance their quality of life from medical insurance, paid time off, and 401k plans to perks like catered lunches and reimbursable education expenses. Benefits can be a wonderful way for companies to illustrate their corporate culture and values while also making their offerings more attractive to potential candidates. 
  1. It’s Gonna Cost You: “Cost of living” made a surprising appearance at number three on our list with 43.9% (a very close third place to benefits) of respondents categorizing it as a top factor for accepting a job that requires relocation. This of course makes sense when you think about the importance pay has already exhibited amongst our respondents. It stands to reason that if salary is the most important factor, then how far your dollar stretches in a given location must also be important.  
  1. It’s a Family Affair: “Family” came in 4th place out of our top 5 most important attributes when responses were taken cumulatively. Interestingly, however, when we looked at respondents by job level, we found that for both director-level and owners/partners, “family” moved all the way up to second place. This is likely due to life stage as these titles tend to have children and at the same time, aging parents to whom proximity may be important.  
  1. Living the Lifestyle: “Lifestyle/climate” rounded out our top 5 with 38.7% of respondents selecting it as a top factor for accepting a job that requires them to relocate. As with “family”, “lifestyle/climate” also rose dramatically in importance with seniority. For respondents who were senior or VP-level, lifestyle and climate actually moved up to second place. When taking into account life stage once again, it is easy to see why those who may be nearing retirement and enjoying the highest compensation of their careers would be interested in climate and lifestyle. Having the means to enjoy eating out, pricier recreation options, and joining country clubs may also contribute to the value placed on lifestyle and climate for this cohort. 

 

The other attributes that were offered to respondents as selections to rank by importance were: shorter commute, better schools, flexible hours, daycare, and full-service moving. While these didn’t make the top five list, it is important to note that we delved into other attributes elsewhere in the survey, specifically relocation program offerings and in-person/remote work preferences. When asked about the various options for relocation packages (full-service corporate relocation program, lump sum payment, reimbursement, or none), respondents overwhelmingly preferred a full-service relocation program. In fact, the preference was so strong that the results showed that a corporate relocation program is 298% more effective at recruiting talent when pitted against no program at all, 79.3% more effective than reimbursement, and 22.4% more effective than lump sum. Corporate relocation programs seem to do more than just sweeten the deal. 

What about remote work versus in-person? Our respondents strongly favored remote work overall. 57.2% stated they were “very likely” or “likely” to accept a fully remote role. A close second was the option to work some in-person and some remotely with 54.2% of respondents preferring this option. Interestingly, when taken together, only 27.1% of our respondents selected in-person full-time as their preferred method of working. In examining our respondents together, this meant that people are 111% more likely to accept a new position if they have the option to work remotely some or all of the time. However, when we looked at responses by job-level, we found that senior and VP titles preferred at least some on-site work, with 57.7% of this cohort desiring full time on-site. These are important distinctions that may aid firms in crafting the most effective offer for a given title as possible. 

 

Does your company still find itself without a full-service relocation program in this uniquely challenging job market? If so, contact Bobbi Maniglia at Bobbi.Maniglia@northamerican.com to learn more about how our corporate relocation offerings can make job offers to highly sought-after talent nearly 300% more effective, support any sized firm, and are fully inclusive of delocation. 

 

 

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