What Happens When You Don’t Outsource Relocation? (It Costs You!)

If you don’t outsource relocation services, you probably think you’re saving money by keeping the work in-house. Unfortunately, that’s a myth. True, you’re not paying any consulting or license fees, but you are indeed incurring costs—and sneaky ones at that.

Lost opportunity costs.

Lost talent you missed out on because your competitors’ relocation program appeared more impressive.

The added cost of paying full price for services instead of reaping the benefits of discounted rates.

When you keep your relocation program fully in-house...you’re likely leaking money all over the place. You just don’t know where or how much.

But that’s about to end. Prepare to be enlightened (and perhaps a little horrified), as we pull back the curtain on hidden costs that accrue when companies don’t offload relocation services.

The Cost of Lost Opportunities

In many companies, managing mobility isn’t a core function. So when companies don’t outsource relocation, it’s the HR and talent acquisition professionals who must somehow find time to pick up the slack.

If that includes your organization, your lost opportunity cost is the sum of all the productive activities you could accomplish if you didn’t have relocation on your plate.

Consider the projects you must abandon when there’s a complicated relocation to manage (and aren’t they all?). Even if you spend an average of just one to two hours per day on relocation, that adds up to five to ten hours a week. Imagine what you could accomplish with that precious time. You could:

  • Partner with your hiring managers to finally update job descriptions.
  • Catch up on labor compliance news and update your employee handbook.
  • Make sure your workforce is current on training.
  • Spend more face time with direct reports and internal customers.
  • Get a head start on your next open enrollment.
  • Collaborate with managers to get those performance reviews done.
  • Recruit, recruit, recruit!

When you offload relocation, you have more bandwidth to get more done. It better positions your entire HR & recruiting teams to support your organization—without adding to HR’s payroll or headcount.

Imagine: if you were to outsource relocation services, you could even devote a portion of that newly-regained time to advance your own skill sets and update your certifications. After all, very few people have been promoted for handling relocation minutia. (If you have, that’s a story we’d love to tell!)

The Cost of Lost Talent

Most in-house mobility programs simply can’t offer the breadth and depth of outsourced relocation services. How can even the most meticulous HR pro stay abreast of relocation trends and laws, given the many hats he or she wears?

How many are comfortable explaining the tax ramifications of relocation benefits? How many are available at all times to answer a relocating employees’ pressing questions, like “Do I need a car?” or “what neighborhood has the best schools?” or “when will my stuff arrive?”

If you’re dueling with a competitor to land a highly-talented candidate, who is that candidate more likely to choose: the employer offering homespun relocation benefits and a part-time resource, or the employer that cares enough to outsource relocation to a polished, full-time expert?

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Make Sure Your RMC Offers Quality Support for Your Renters

Many traditional relocation management companies assess customer value based on the number of homeowners they relocate each year. This is because the majority of their revenue comes from the commission on home buying and selling. As a result, they may not be as enthusiastic when servicing employees who rent.

Sometimes they’ll recommend you pay these employees a cash lump sum, so they don’t need to devote resources to supporting these less-profitable moves. That means that your employees who rent are left more or less on their own.

The problem with that: depending on your office location or who you are moving some of your highest-impact employees or new hires may not own a home. These individuals offer tremendous value to your company, and they deserve the same level of moving support as others who own homes.


Evaluate Your RMC’s Customer-Facing Technology

Crazy to think, but many RMCs have been doing business the same way for decades. What made sense in 2005 doesn’t make sense today, but not everyone’s caught up.

Every other benefit at your company has a software tool built to help manage the respective program. For instance, in just a few clicks you can check your company’s 401K plan, launch a job post through your ATS system, or update employee work schedules and get live support whenever you need it. Relocation benefits should also have a great software tool!

Big data, analytics, and budgeting are more critical than ever for leadership teams. If it takes you longer than three minutes to pull a report regarding the hundreds of thousands of dollars you’ve spent on relocations, your RMC isn’t serving you well.

The bottom line is, you should be evaluating your relocation management company’s performance just as rigorously as your other vendors. And if your RMC isn’t performing to your expectations, it’s time to find one that will.

Human Resources Today