How the Status Quo of Relocation is Hurting Candidate Experience

Sometimes, maintaining the status quo is a good thing, like when it comes to preserving world peace. Other times, the status quo can work against you—say, when there’s better options out there and you are slow to embrace them. Such is the case with corporate relocation in 2023.

Despite exciting advances in the world of relocation, some employers continued to stick with the status quo. They haven’t made meaningful updates to their relocation program in years…and it shows.

Today, it’s a candidate’s job market, and an unimpressive, outdated relocation plan will drive prime candidates elsewhere. Plus, a messy relocation experience can alienate new hires before they’ve even settled in.

In 2023, the secret to winning top candidates and retaining key employees is to show them that you care—and that includes by providing a stellar relocation experience.

So, what’s wrong with the status quo? And what’s the new gold standard in relocation? Let us give you three key examples.


Status-Quo Fail: The Low-Tech Approach     

Chances are, the candidates you’d like to attract are tech-savvy professionals who conduct most of their life online and are at one with their electronic devices.

The problem is, status-quo relocation providers are not tech-based! Sure, they have websites. Sure, their specialists will email employees forms to sign. But the gatekeeper to every transaction remains a 9-to-5 human, and most arrangements are still handled manually.

At one time, that was the only game in town. Now, tech-based relocation providers offer full-service relocation portals that allow employees to completely manage their moves online, anytime.

These portals offer employees curated information about their new location…allow them to communicate with movers and vendors in a few clicks…and even track their spending in real time. Yes, relocation specialists are available to help, but employees are in the driver’s seat.

Which approach appeals more to highly-skilled, high-level professionals? It’s not the status quo!


Status-Quo Fail: The Hands-off Mentality 

For some time, lump sum policies have been popular relocation options. The employer gives the employee funds to spend on their move (or partially pocket), wishes them luck, and turns them loose.

The problem is, planning a relocation is a complex, stressful process, from buying and selling a house to arranging the transport of household goods.


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While lump sum plans are easy for employers to administer and offer great flexibility to employees, their lack of guidance can result in botched relocation experiences—aggravated by the fact that, because employees can keep unspent funds, some tend to choose cheap, unreliable vendors.

The modern alternative: employers can still offer lump sum policies, but augment them with relocation assistance, provided through the aforementioned platforms. Or, they can convert those lump sum plans to managed benefit plans, which offer equal flexibility and support, but leave unspent funds in the employer’s account, benefiting everyone.    

Status-Quo Fail: Too Many Rules 

Lump sum policies were developed as a more flexible alternative to an even older relocation policy—one that divides expenses into rigid little buckets, each with its own rules and maximums. It’s thought that this helps control costs, which is why employers still offer them.

But everyone’s moving needs are unique; rarely do they fall in neat little buckets. And when employees don’t have the leeway to plan their move as needed, frustration soars—and employers are deluged with exception requests. Inevitably, someone ends up spending more than they planned. And no one is happy.

The better option: updating to a modern relocation policy that allow employers to strike the right balance of flexibility and cost control. Like lump sum plans that include support, managed benefit plans, or other options like core/flex plans that benefit both employers and employees.

Time to Let Go of the Status Quo?

Admittedly, change can be hard, at least initially. But that’s not a good reason to stick with a relocation policy that is hurting your recruiting efforts and depriving your employees of the positive relocation experience they deserve.

At the end of the day, if everyone else is moving forward and you’re standing still, the end result is…you’re falling behind. But you can fix that. And we can help.

Let us show you how to replace your past-its-prime relocation plan with modern relocation benefits that will wow candidates and employees (and save money, too). It’s easier than you think. See what our clients say, and when you’re ready, start the conversation.  


Human Resources Today