Your Corporate Relocation Program: A Benefit That Keeps on Giving
By Bobbi Maniglia
Mar 17, 2022
Talent acquisition and retention has never been more difficult. Whether it's a response to the pandemic or part of the "Great Resignation", companies are finding it increasingly difficult to find and hire new talent, and retain the talent they have. One answer may be to boost employee benefits using an offering already offered by many organizations.
One of the primary concerns of all HR and recruitment professionals in today’s competitive talent landscape is how they can attract top talent to fill their open positions. This is especially true as the “Great Resignation” rages on, with employees resigning at record numbers and job openings remaining unfilled. In 2021, northAmerican® Van Lines and Corporate Mobility Today conducted an in depth research study concerning the attitudes and desires of today’s talent when it comes to relocating for a job. One aspect of this research focused on which attributes of a potential job opportunity would provide the most incentive to today’s employees to relocate for the position. In order to find out what makes a work-related move worthwhile, our 377 respondents were given a selection of 12 attributes and asked to select five that they felt would be most impactful in getting them to move for a new job. Of these 12 attributes, “better benefits” came in second to “more money”, with nearly half of all our respondents indicating that a desirable benefits package is highly important. While the context in which these questions were asked focused on relocating for a new job, it is safe to assume that even for local positions, benefits rank highly for most American workers. Creating an enticing selection of benefits means having to think outside the box.
Modern companies know that benefits have become so much more than just health coverage and a 401k plan. Benefits and perks are one of the ways that firms demonstrate company culture and for those that pride themselves on innovation and employee-centricity, this often means offering benefits that make life easier, more affordable, and more enriching. From a relocation standpoint, we know that not all companies utilize a full-service relocation program for some or all of their employees. Instead, these firms offer lump sum benefits or reimbursement for relocation expenses for at least some of their talent.
While lump sum and reimbursement can be a convenient, simple way to cover work-related relocation costs, they come with some clear downsides as well. For employees utilizing these types of benefits, they enter into the household goods moving marketplace as a consumer, not a corporate customer. As a result, they often find themselves at the mercy of fluctuating prices and limited capacity, especially during peak season. They also become unable to leverage any type of previously forged provider relationship which often makes for an overall better moving experience. More to the point, the higher costs encountered by your employees for work-related relocations financed by either a lump sum or reimbursement are ultimately paid by your company, making employee relocation costs inconsistent and unpredictable.
As we approach that time of the year where we are all reviewing employee benefit offerings, it’s important to look at what type of services and benefits you already offer your employees and think creatively about how your company can get best utilize them. At northAmerican, we think all of your employees should stand to benefit from your company’s partnership with its relocation provider. Request that your agreement include a provision which allows all of your company’s employees, including those moving using lump sum or reimbursement and those moving for non-work-related moves, to receive your firm’s contracted pricing and access to your provider. Now more than ever, the household goods moving industry is contending with capacity issues due to the compounding of long-standing driver shortages and the subsequent effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, with the challenges companies are facing recruiting and retaining employees, more and more organizations are open to a larger portion of their employees working from home, which means employees have more freedom to live where they want to live rather than living near corporate headquarters. This means that outside of providing all of your employees with a full-service relocation experience, one of the best things you can do for your talent when it comes to moving is to ensure they have access to preferred pricing and your professional provider. Not only will this save your company money on previously unpredictable lump sum and reimbursement moving costs, it will also set your employees up for a more successful moving experience.
Adding this provision to your agreement costs your company nothing and can result in major cost savings as well intangible benefits like improved employee satisfaction. It’s no secret that moving is stressful; by letting your employees know that your company has facilitated an agreement with a professional provider to make their moving experience more reliable and affordable, even for moves that are not work-related, you help drive home your firm’s commitment to improving and expanding your benefits in the interest of your talent. Another reason to do this is that this is a benefit that meets the moment.
With many firms extending remote work indefinitely for some of their employees as a result of the pandemic, we are seeing the trend of “delocation” steadily increasing. Delocation is when employees relocate away from pricier city centers where their companies are often headquartered to live somewhere more affordable. This is often done in tandem with a cost of living salary adjustment in exchange for their moving expenses being covered by their employer. While this was once a trend almost exclusively seen in San Francisco Bay Area tech companies, more and more firms are beginning to finance moves to areas that both improve employee quality of life and improve their bottom line. If delocation is something your firm has thought about offering to your likely to be long-term remote talent, why not secure pricing for them now to ensure a less costly delocation for the company in the future?
No matter who your corporate relocation partner is, make sure you ask to add this provision into your 2022 agreement. Not only will your employees be excited to hear about this new benefit but your company will enjoy the more predictable costs of lump sum and reimbursement relocations at your contract price. Employees will also appreciate being directed to a trusted partner for their non-work-related moves while remaining shielded from major price increases during peak moving season. For companies with long-term remote workers, marketing this provision as a benefit may prime conversations around delocation and equip your company with the price predictability necessary to roll out your own delocation benefit in the future.
Misc. Household Goods Moving