What Is a Reasonable Relocation Package?

What Is a Reasonable Relocation Package?

Given the ongoing talent shortage, recruiters are casting a wider net, expanding more searches to a national scope. But in order to court long-distance applicants successfully, employers need an attractive relocation program. Which is why one of the questions we’re getting often these days is: what is a reasonable relocation package?

It’s a great question. It’s also one that demands a nuanced answer. Because frankly, there is no single, magic number here, no easy one-word answer. When it comes to crafting a competitive relocation program, there are several factors at play. One size does not fit all. 

For starters, what’s considered “reasonable” in a relocation package varies somewhat by industry, job level and cost of living in a particular area. Obviously, the fiercer the talent war in your corner of the employment universe, the higher the bar will be. 

That said, strip out those variables, and there are certain constants that should be part of any self-respecting relocation offering—including our top three.  


3 Characteristics of a Reasonable Relocation Package

1. It’s Flexible, So Relocating Employees Have Choices 

You know what’s not a reasonable relocation package? One that rigidly dictates what employees can spend their allotted dollars on, or how much they can spend on various components of their move. This is the old-school approach to relocation, and it doesn’t serve employees well.

People are different. Chances are, your new hires have different priorities, family structures, and amounts of/kinds of household goods that need moving.

Whatever you offer in the way of a relocation allowance, giving employees the latitude to spend it the way they choose will not only make it go further, but result in a smoother, more personalized moving experience. And that translates to happier, more settled new hires.   


2. It’s Helpful, with Tools and Services that Ease the Move  

You know what else is not a reasonable relocation package? One that throws a lump sum of money—$5,000, $10,000, whatever—at a new hire, then leaves them to figure everything out on their own. 

Unless you want to stress out your new people before they even start, don’t do this. Reasonable employers want to make things easier for employees, rather than require each one reinvent the wheel. 

That means a competitive relocation package will include: 

  • Relocation software that guides new hires through the process, while allowing them to do many moving tasks online.
  • A network of vetted vendors, such as moving companies and realtors
  • Helpful, up-to-date information about the new area—such as school systems and neighborhoods—as well as the employer itself.
  • Experienced relocation specialists who will help as much or as little as an employee wants.

In other words, a reasonable relocation package takes the mystery out of moving, steers employees clear of common pitfalls, and spares them time and headaches. 

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3. It’s Proportional, So Benefits Are Calibrated to Employee Level

Here’s one more thing that’s not reasonable: offering a single relocation package to employees at every level of the organizational hierarchy. 

You don’t pay all your employees the same salary, do you? So why offer the same relocation package to everyone? Say you’re a healthcare organization, physicians, PAs, first-year nurses—their definition of “reasonable” varies. That’s why it makes sense to offer tiered relocation packages, with benefits that align with the employees’ role.

Sound complicated? It doesn’t need to be. A great relocation management company can offer you suggestions and best practices for defining your tiered benefits in a way that pleases employees, saves employers money, and keeps it simple for everyone.

And that brings us to our final thought.

Relocation Packages Should be Reasonable for Employers, Too 

Up until now, we’ve been defining what is reasonable from the employee’s point of view. But, considering who’s footing the bill, it all needs to be reasonable—advantageous, even—from the employers’ perspective as well. In that respect, a reasonable relocation package: 

  • Saves employers money, via cost-cutting features such as a “managed budget” approach (where unused funds are returned to the employer) and vendor discounts. 
  • Saves employers time, by automating the paperwork and moving it onto the relocation providers’ plate.
  • Gives employers 24/7 transparency into their program and expenses, via a real-time dashboard and easily-accessible reports and analytics.
  • Delivers a consistent, positive relocation experience to employees, while lifting the responsibility off the shoulders of HR and internal departments. 

What’s the easiest way to craft such a relocation package? By choosing a relocation management partner that is completely dedicated making the program easier and happier for everyone: your relocating employees, your internal teams, and your CFO, too. Which is why we recommend that you should start by talking to us.

Human Resources Today