Current Trends in the Relocation Industry

The last couple years have been a roller coaster for the corporate relocation industry.

As companies increase the number of employees they're relocating, more services are being developed to cater to their needs. Numbers are up pretty much across the board, and that means new trends are beginning to emerge. Here's a look at the latest relocation industry trends.


Companies are finding more than ever that they need a formal policy in place in regards to relocation. Standard policies are preferred over individual, but the finer points are still evolving to meet the needs of the industry as it evolves. Employers are also looking for hybrid solutions that standardize relocation packages for employee groups but also provide flexibility to customize within those packages.

Flex relo packages are emerging as a popular method of relocation benefits, and companies are seeking out a third party to better manage these policies. Most policy alterations seem to be in response to a relatively high demand for new talent, which means that benefits in relation to relocation are critical to an effective recruiting program.

Core/Flex Relo Policies

One trend that has been taking off in the relocation industry is combining policy types, such as lump sum and core benefits, to cover expenses. Companies are finding that employees have a better relocation experience if their core relocation needs (think household goods moves and housing) are met, and the rest of their relocation expenses can be covered with either a lump sum disbursement or a flexible managed budget.

This offers your employees some flexibility in their spending, and it can save your company money if you structure it based on previous relocation expenses. Rather than giving everyone a lump sum, or set benefits that they may not use, providing flexible relocation policies puts money back in the employers budget for any benefits not needed by the employee.

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The Role of Technology

Sometimes it seems as if there are more problems than solutions facing the relocation industry in these tough economic times. That's where the role of technology comes into play.

Cloud and web-based technology is altering the way everyone does business, and the relocation industry is no exception. The movement towards tech-based relocation practices is a natural one, and companies that take it head-on are giving themselves an advantage.

Relocation technology helps to streamline policy creation, relocation benefits administration, and even expense reimbursement. It also helps companies stand out against the competition as a tech-forward, modern and innovative employer.

Some Thoughts on Demographics

New hires are in the majority in terms of relocation. Companies are finding it's necessary to look outside their geographic area when hiring, in order to find and recruit top talent. According to a survey by Neighbor, 24% of people in 2021 moved for new job opportunities, while 6% were relocated for an existing job.

Additionally, dual-career couples are most hesitant to move due to fear of a partner losing career momentum. As a result, 90% of companies report offering additional, non-standard incentives or policy exceptions in order to convince key employees to relocate. Partner benefits are a key example.

The Impact of Covid-19

It makes sense that the numbers of relocating employees declined in 2020, however 2021 has seen a sharp increase as businesses work to get back to normal and are tired of delaying planned moves. This sharp increase has caused a backlog (and significant delays) as relocation-related service providers like household goods moving companies and short-term housing providers struggle to keep up. 

As a huge portion of the workforce migrates to remote work or hybrid options, there has also been an increase in job vacancies which has recruiters working harder than ever to search for and secure key talent. The candidate experience has become a huge focus as talent acquisition becomes more competitive than ever.

Modern relocation management providers are adapting in response, shifting to more virtual solutions where possible (like in-home move estimates and destination services), and using alternative suppliers for housing and household goods moves in order to meet the needs of relocating employees. Incorporating digital tools and self-service options is also necessary to ensure a positive candidate and relocation experience. 

To learn more about the current state of employee relocation post-Covid, download:

The Employer's Guide to Navigating Employee Relocation

The relocation industry is in an exciting period of innovation, and the changes that it's currently undergoing are playing a huge role in shaping the industry's future. Keeping an eye on relocation industry trends can help your business stay on the cutting edge, and can save you time, stress, and money. 

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