Relocation & HR Trends

[Blog Series] Core/Flex Relocation Policies for Your C-Suite

Posted by Aria Solar on Apr 1, 2015 3:16:00 PM

blog_33015weds_lm15-blue-01Aaaaaaand we're back for the final installment of this blog series all about core/flex relocation policies. If you missed the other parts of this series, you can check them out here. So far, we've covered strategies you can use when implementing core/flex policies for your entry-level, mid-level, and senior-level employees, and today we're going to discuss the strategies behind a core/flex relocation policy for your C-Suite. 

Now, one thing we do want to make clear is that each company might have a different way of categorizing or grouping their employees into these relocation policies. A bigger company might give the highest-level plan to Directors and employees above, and another might only give the highest to their C-Suite—it really depends on company size and preference. Titles are different at every company, so don’t feel like what we determined each tier to include is the only way to execute these policies.

One of the main things you'll see that is different here than with the other policies is that this one includes assistance with homesale. While we encourage employers to offer help with homesale at every tier, it's these upper levels where it really becomes a make-it-or-break-it benefit.

Many employers break up their policies by renter and homeowner—some even from the very beginning. Depending on the size of your company and the number of relocations you facilitate on an annual basis, this may or may not be the best choice. If you're still just getting started with growing your relocation program, it might not yet make sense to have two separate policies at every single level. However, if you find yourself making a lot of exceptions for homeowners and/or renters, this would probably be the most effective (and time-saving) route to take.

A policy at this level which covers a renter might include: unlimited lease cancellation, lease acquisition, finder's fees, guided tours, etc. But, if we're talking about a homeowner, the policy might look something like this:

core/flex relocation policiesAs you can see, this is a pretty comprehensive relocation policy. Between the unlimited weight restriction for the household goods shipment, $7,500 lump sum, access to Relocation Management Software and Relocation Consultant, homesale assistance, car shipment, and so on, there shouldn’t be too much else a transferee needs that this plan doesn’t provide.

In terms of implementation, there are actually a few ways that employers can go about incorporating homesale into their core/flex policies. One way is shown above—simply offering to cover whatever costs there may be (closing costs, home inspection, loss on sale, loan fees, the list goes on). However, if you wanted to control costs a little bit more, you could separate your two policies and adjust certain areas to even-out spending a little bit. 

Let us explain.

Your policy for a renter might have unlimited flex benefits, an unlimited household goods weight maximum, a real estate agent to help find a new place to rent, and help with any and all costs incurred with renting fees. However, if you are relocating a homeowner, offering all of this, plus unlimited assistance with homesale, can get really expensive.

To help control costs, you could choose to lower the amount (and extent of) flex benefits offered to your homeowners. You could also choose to reduce their household goods shipment, and only offer to cover a certain dollar amount of costs associated with homesale (they can use their lump sum or MEA to help with overflow if necessary). Small adjustments like this can help level out the costs a bit, while still acknowledging that you understand homeowners are in a different boat than renters. 

In terms of adjusting the extent of flex benefits, there are a few things you can do here. An extensive (and complex) benefit would be something like lifestyle transition assistance or temporary living—benefits that can end up falling in the thousands. You might choose to offer these types of benefits to renters in an attempt to leverage their relocation policy against a homeowner's, as they are incurring higher costs in other places.

Again, it really depends on what your company is trying to accomplish and what pain-points you are trying to address. If overall satisfaction is the most important thing to you and cost is not a factor, then for these higher levels, maybe offering everything under the sun is what's most appropriate. But, if controlling costs is a big factor for you, then using these adjustment strategies might work really well.  

It's also critical to pay attention to tax ramifications, at this level and all levels. Make sure that you are educating your employees either verbally or through your RMS (Relocation Management Software) on what they should be aware of, what is tax-exempt (shipment of household goods/vehicles/pets, first 30 days of in-transit storage, and the final move), and what they need to know in terms of reporting everything on their tax return. This is a big piece of the relocation pie that should not be forgotten about, because a lot of money can be lost on both ends of the spectrum.

The most important thing to remember is that core/flex relocation policies can be used for every level of employee. Once the policies are built, adjusting the numbers and benefits offered is relatively easy. So long as you tailor your core/flex policies to fit the needs of your employees given your company’s size, industry, and location, a core/flex approach can drastically cut costs and reduce the amount of time spent building policies by your HR and Mobility departments.

Think we've said all there is to say? Think again! Tune in to our webinar to learn even more about core/flex relocation policies from our Co-Founder, Michael Krasman, and VP of Marketing, Erin Wasson:

core/flex relocation policies

Topics: Policy

HR Tech and Relocation in the News: What You Need to Know

Posted by Kinga Skowronek on Mar 31, 2015 12:56:22 PM

hr tech relocationUrbanBound's weekly HR Tech and Relocation News roundup is here! We read through all the publication, articles and resources to bring you the most relevant industry news.

Find out what the experts are saying— Read the brief rundowns of each feature or take a deep dive into full articles of this weeks top HR Tech and Relocation News.  


Energy Industry: Relocation on the Rise

In the energy industry, some of the top positions include machinist, welder, electrician, plumber, industrial machine mechanic and chemical plant operator. Of the individuals who fill these top-skilled positions, many are willing to relocate to seek work according to the Chron article Energy industry's skilled workers open to idea of relocation.

"American society in general has become much more mobile, especially in the last 10–20 years. Societal changes are part of it - family ties and hometown ties don't seem to be as strong as in the past. But economic changes are the biggest drivers," Buddy Brewer, CEO, Borusan Mannesmann, tells the Chron. "The recent past has seen unprecedented shifts in regional prosperity. Formerly 'dead' regions are suddenly 'red hot.'"

Benefits of relocating for work, according to Brewer:

      Better long-term career opportunities

      Earning at a higher level, allowing for more spending option

      A fresh start may be desired

The article states that of the top energy industry occupations, industrial machinery mechanics is projected to grow the fastest between 2012 and 2022 (the timeframe for the current set of projections) at 44.1 percent and add the most number of jobs at 4,980.


Help Your Relocating Employees Protect Themselves from Fraud

There are so many things to take into consideration when relocating for hr tech relocationwork abroad. An employee relocating for work internationally is even more vulnerable due to the fact that rules and regulations are different plus the addition of a foreign language and different customs only adds to the confusion.

The Wall Street Journal asked Peggy and Chad Creveling of Asia-based Creveling & Creveling Private Wealth Advisory for advice on how expats can protect themselves from fraud abroad.

Here are their top 5 recommendations:

  1. Check your U.S. credit history before you leave the country.

  2. Consider putting a security freeze on your U.S. credit report while you are overseas.

  3. Request additional security for your financial accounts.

  4. Check your credit card and financial accounts regularly for red flags.

  5. Maintain a copy of the latest financial statement from your custodian and keep it in a secure place.

Read the full article here: 9 Ways American Expats Can Protect Their Finances from Cybercriminals


Engaging Millennials Employees  

It’s time for a change! As Millennials are slowly taking over the workplace, so are the way many workplaces function. One of the best ways to bridge the gap is engaging Millennials through technology. The Engaging Gen Y article in Human Resource Executive magazine, perfectly explains how different companies are taking innovative measures to enhance the work environment for all their employees.

Connecting through technology. "We wanted a more consumer-oriented experience for our employees," says Ellyn Shook, Accenture's chief human resource officer. According to her, a whopping two-thirds of the firm's 319,000 employees worldwide are millennials, now in their mid-to-late 20s or early 30s. "We want living in the world of Accenture to be like living in the digital world they're engaged with, that's tech-savvy. And we want them to be able to navigate Accenture with clarity and transparency."

Don’t just use technology to look more modern. Make sure there is a strategic reason behind it and it serves a purpose for your workforce. "But technology is a means to an end," Patrick Kulesa, Global Research Director at Towers Watson, shares with Human Resource Executive magazine. "If you use it as a means to manage workplace issues, that engagement has got to have impact."


employee welcome kit

Topics: Relocation, HR

We Need to Talk about the Flaking Problem

Posted by Ryne Inman on Mar 31, 2015 10:10:54 AM

You get an email from a former intern. He or she is checking in, seeing how the project they helped with is proceeding, asking how your team is getting along, No one can quite agree on the sociological and technological combination that’s caused it, but constant, instantaneous communication seems to have disrupted our ability to set and stick to plans.and hoping to schedule a time to get coffee and seek your advice on the industry. You both agree on a time and place. You get up early and start your walk to Starbucks. You’re halfway there when you get a text:

“Sorry, I can’t make it to coffee this morning. Would you be able to reschedule?”

And now you’ve probably crushed your phone in your bare hand.

The UrbanBound team is overwhelmingly staffed with millennials, and when we work with interns, we’re often working intra-generationally. This obviously makes our experience with this cohort much smoother, we share common traits, habits, and expectations. And, if you’ve read any of our past blogs or ebooks, you know that we discuss millennial habits frequently. After a few recent discussions, we’ve noticed one recurring issue: Communication about scheduling.

This isn’t an original observation, or even a flaw isolated to millennials, but it is one that’s heavily discussed in relation to them. Doing a Google search for “Millennials flaking” results in a smothering crush of listicles and earnest opinions. No one can quite agree on the sociological and technological combination that’s caused it, but constant, instantaneous communication seems to have disrupted our ability to set and stick to plans.

There is, however, a very obvious distinction between breaking plans with friends and breaking plans with a professional colleague. We’ve all done the former, This is Sadie. She has been waiting for her friend for 10 minutes. In five minutes, her friend will text her cancelling their lunch plans.and your friends are typically understanding (as long as your flaking doesn’t become the norm), but the latter can have dire consequences for your career. It’s a self-inflicted harm that’s easily avoidable. Everyone, not just millennials, should follow a few simple guidelines in the best interest of courtesy and professionalism:

  • Set plans in advance. A date, time, and location, preferably in writing. Whether it’s by text, email, IM, calendar invite, or any other method.
  • Confirm those plans 24 hours before you meet.
  • In the event you do need to cancel, inform the other party ASAP. Give a reason you are cancelling, even if it’s just general (I have an interview, I need to drive my grandma to the store, etc.)
  • If you’re cancelling on short notice, apologize and let the other party know it’s an emergency. Follow up later to reschedule.
  • Don’t lie. If it’s not an emergency, don’t invent one. You will be found out, and now you’re discourteous and a liar. You’ve lost a reference and a mentor in the process as well.

employee welcome kit

Topics: Millennials, Company Culture, HR

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