Comprehensive Guide to Employee Relocation

In situations where employees who align with your organisation’s values and possess strong credentials are not geographically proximate, and when leadership positions are limited across branches, some firms opt for relocating eligible employees to fill critical roles. This practice of employee relocation enables companies to guarantee that proficient staff are strategically positioned, whether it involves placing a new recruit in an appropriate role or facilitating the advancement of a deserving employee. This may include a comprehensive list of things to consider so companies will often use corporate relocation services for this purpose.

Defining Employee Transfer: An Overview

Employee relocation pertains to the process of transferring employees to alternate locations due to business-related necessities, which could involve relocating them to a different city, state, or even country.

In the event of employee relocation, individuals remain affiliated with your organisation, having the option to retain their current role or transition to a new one within the company. Typically, there is an expectation of improved salary and benefits. Offering financial incentives is a common strategy to attract top-performing employees to take on roles in different locations.

Types of Employee Relocation

There are various ways in which employees can be relocated. These may include the relocation of temporary staff, prospective employees, newly recruited staff, existing employees, and employees who have dependents such as children or elderly family members. The relocation benefits offered to each category of employees may vary.

Interns and independent contractors

Moving employees to new locations typically entails transferring existing staff; however, certain firms may opt to compensate interns or freelance workers for relocation purposes. This scenario could arise when interns are following key personnel relocating to different branches or in cases where a company is shutting down a particular branch.

Independent contractors may be eligible for relocation compensation and additional benefits when companies urgently require staff due to a shortage of qualified candidates. Healthcare professionals working as independent contractors, like nurses and doctors, frequently relocate between states based on demand. In the middle of 2020, numerous healthcare providers travelled nationwide to assist in treating COVID-19 patients in regions facing staffing shortages.

New hires

Skilled individuals are situated in various parts of the world, leading to the possibility of prospective employees residing at a distance. Consequently, numerous organisations contemplate relocating adept employees who resonate well with their company culture, irrespective of their geographic proximity. This practice is prevalent in industries facing challenges in recruiting local talent due to restricted educational resources available in the vicinity.

Current employees

Existing staff members may seek transfers for various motives, such as desiring proximity to a partner or family member. In such cases, these employees typically aim to maintain their current roles and may not necessitate extra perks or salary enhancements as inducements.

Some employees express a desire to relocate in order to pursue new career opportunities within the company. This could occur when management roles are scarce at one site but urgently needed at another. Facilitating these transfers not only enables employees to advance in their careers but also contributes to the growth of your business.

Employees with families

Numerous professionals are reluctant to move to a new location without the inclusion of their spouse and children, which is quite understandable. It is important to consider this factor while offering relocation opportunities to existing staff members, allowing for appropriate budget allocation. If the relocation extends to the employee’s family, additional funds may be required for housing, transportation, or meals. Moreover, expenses related to pets, like boarding facilities or pet-friendly accommodations, should also be taken into account.

What Motivates Businesses to Consider Employee Relocation?

Relocating staff members offers a range of advantages for both employees and employers. In an ideal scenario, businesses would announce job openings and effortlessly draw in a pool of competent candidates. However, the reality is often more complex, as sourcing skilled workers can be a challenge, leading many firms to contemplate relocating existing employees that align with their requirements.

Employing competent candidates is advantageous for all parties involved: your organisation, its clientele, and the workforce within. By having proficient individuals in crucial positions, unskilled personnel are relieved from tackling arduous tasks or managing excessive duties because of understaffing. Clients’ needs are fulfilled by proficient staff and a well-staffed environment, ultimately fostering the success of your enterprise.

Facilitating the transfer of staff members can be advantageous for your organisation in assembling a workforce in challenging or fresh operational sites. Deploying seasoned staff to the new premises can be advantageous as your business expands, providing newcomers with a transition period into your company while shadowing accomplished colleagues instead of navigating independently.

At times, the need for relocation arises due to interpersonal conflicts among talented and innovative staff members. While your organisation may wish to retain both individuals, you might come to the realisation that co-locating these employees is no longer feasible. This situation commonly arises when couples working together undergo a divorce or when executives face compatibility issues with sales managers or other superiors.

Factors to Think About When Developing a Relocation Policy for Businesses

When formulating your relocation policy, it is crucial to tailor it to meet the requirements of your staff members or prospective recruits. Consider the various costs that employees might face when relocating and ensure adequate reimbursement is offered. This could be in the form of a comprehensive benefits package or a consistent reimbursement scheme. Regardless of the method chosen to allocate these benefits, it is essential to factor in certain expenses.

Travel expenses

Business expenditures can escalate significantly when accommodating the travel expenses of staff members undergoing relocation, particularly in the case of international or interstate transfers.

When reimbursing individuals in different states, it is advisable to calculate the reimbursement rate per mile as per the IRS standards. In 2020, the IRS suggested a rate exceeding $0.57 per mile for those using a vehicle for business or relocation activities.

It is advisable to also take into account additional costs that employees might encounter while driving, such as fuel, toll fees, or parking charges. Encourage employees to retain receipts for these expenditures to facilitate accurate reimbursement.

When considering overseas travel expenses, it’s crucial to account for various transportation costs such as flights, boats, trains, and any other essential means of travel. Additionally, there might be additional expenses related to passports or customs procedures. It is advisable to investigate the expenses associated with moving to a particular area, particularly if there is no predetermined relocation assistance package for employees transitioning to new locations.

Home sales

Owning a home can be a deterrent for employees considering relocation, particularly when they have concerns about selling their property. To address this, offering assistance with home buying or selling expenses during employee relocations can alleviate the worries of workers who are anxious about selling their existing home or securing a new one promptly. Collaborating with a nearby real estate agent may streamline the relocation process for your staff.

Moving costs

Engaging the services of a relocation team may come with a substantial price tag; however, it is crucial to account for additional expenditures. Apart from covering the expenses for the moving crew or vehicle, employers might also have to reimburse their staff for packing essentials like tape, boxes, or protective materials. In cases of sudden or urgent moves, employees may further require professional packing and shipping services to facilitate a swift departure from the premises.

Short-term housing

Arriving in a new city without a permanent residence can be daunting. Instead of mandating that employees stay in hotels when relocating, it is advisable to provide support for temporary accommodations, such as renting a condo or apartment. It is crucial to pre-arrange these accommodations rather than relying on employees to secure suitable rentals independently.

Meal allowance

When employees are moving to a new location, they may not have convenient access to a well-supplied refrigerator. To support your staff during this transition, consider offering a meal stipend on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This could include reimbursing expenses for meals bought at various locations such as gas stations, restaurants, airport lounges, or grocery stores.

Paid time off work

Planning for a move can swiftly turn laborious and time-intensive for an individual, despite the presence of an ample relocation benefit from the employer. To streamline the process, it may be beneficial to propose supplementary compensated leave for a span of one to two weeks, enabling employees to efficiently manage their tasks. This initiative not only facilitates the packing and transitioning phase for the employees but also allows them the flexibility to address essential needs like acquiring a new driver’s licence or completing voter registration.

Navigating the Choice between outsourcing and in-house Approaches for Employee Relocation Management

Managing a business can become overwhelming, especially for experienced leadership groups. Certain organisations opt to delegate responsibilities typically overseen by HR departments, including interview scheduling, paperwork completion, and relocation coordination.

If your company frequently relocates employees, utilising outsourcing services could prove advantageous. By doing so, your business gains additional time to dedicate to routine activities like running marketing campaigns or developing new products. In instances where an employee requires relocation-related assistance, referring them to your designated company contact for support is recommended.

Even if your company does not frequently move its employees, there can still be value in outsourcing relocation services. Employee relocation is a complex and costly endeavour, thus engaging a skilled professional with expertise in relocation can be advantageous. A specialist knowledgeable in relocation benefit schemes can assist your organisation in managing costs effectively while also guaranteeing fair compensation for employees during the relocation process.