What Are Relocation Consultants & How Do They Improve Employee Experience?

For many employers, this year’s overarching HR goal is to improve employee experience. That may mean redefining work/life balance, adding wellness resources and minimizing workplace stress. And since corporate relocations are on the rise, it may also mean improving the employee relocation experience. One proven way to accomplish that: by using experienced relocation consultants to guide employees through their moves.

After all, moving and changing jobs are two of life’s most stressful events, making corporate relocation a double whammy. An experienced relocation consultant can defuse much of that stress by ensuring a smooth, swift, no-stone-unturned move.

But there’s a catch. While most employers provide some type of relocation allowance, many fail to the provide the services of relocation consultants, which would ensure that allowance is wisely spent.

If your 2023 HR goals include both improving your employees experience and recruiting top talent, it’s in your interest to understand the role relocation consultants can play.


Fact: Unsupported Relocations Are More Likely to Go Sideways     

There are several reasons why employee relocations go badly, including the current popularity of lump-sum plans—the plan of choice for nearly 40% of employers.

With lump-sum plans, employers simply hand employees a fixed amount of money—easy-peasy, right? Wrong. Because most lump-sum plans don’t include relocation support, employees are left to their own devices when it comes to planning their move.

Furthermore, because lump-sum disbursements allow employees to pocket any unspent funds, there’s built-in motivation to choose the least expensive movers and realtors, rather than those with the best track records.

Plus, there’s pressure to move fast. About two-thirds of employers give their people just one to two months to complete their relocations. As a result, employees may make decisions before considering all the angles, resulting in unanticipated problems later.

Without support and guidance, these relocations are likely to end with a negative employee experience—one that not only starts the employee’s tenure off on the wrong foot, but may color the developing employer/employee relationship.


How Relocation Consultants Can Help 

We all appreciate expertise, especially in complex situations—and relocation consultants are experts in helping employees’ plan and manage their moves. That includes:

  • Educating employees regarding their relocation benefits and how to get the most from them
  • Coaching employees on the ins and outs of planning and executing their move
  • Connecting employees to helpful resources, such as guides, tools and checklists  
  • Introducing employees to the provider’s network of preferred movers, realtors, mortgage companies, etc.—and even helping them make reservations      
  • Answering questions and troubleshooting problems. What’s the best way to move exotic pets? What do you do when your home sale falls through? Experienced relocation consultants have pretty much seen it all.


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Two Types of Relocation Consultants 

Just as there are two types of relocation management companies—traditional, manually-based providers and modern, tech-based providers—there are two types of relocation consultants. 

Old-school relocation consultants communicate with employees largely by phone and email, while modern consultants also communicate with employees digitally, through their relocation software. The result: less paperwork, less back-and-forth, and more information placed right at employees’ fingertips.  

While both types of relocation consultants improve the employees’ relocation experience, modern, tech-based consultants work the way today’s professionals prefer to work: digitally and at their own pace.

Okay, What’s It Mean to You? 

Whether you currently leverage the services of relocation consultants or offer a straight lump-sum allowance, now’s a great time to reevaluate your employee relocation experience.

If you have a relocation provider that offers the option of conducting employee surveys, ensure you’re taking full advantage of them. If not, start conducting surveys of your own. 

If most of your employees are happy with how their relocations unfolded, you know you’re on the right track.  

But if many employees are critical of your relocation process, it’s time to dig deep and find out where your program falls short. Once you know that, you can start figuring out how to do better. This may include adding relocation consultants' services or even upgrading to a tech-based relocation solution.   

2023 is the year of improving employee experience, including their relocations. If you’re looking for ways to make that happen, use us as a resource!


Human Resources Today