What You Need to Know about Job Relocation Packages

Has your company offered you an exciting opportunity for advancement in a new city? Or, perhaps you’re being recruited for your dream job in a neighboring state? Regardless of the circumstances, before you accept a new position which requires you to pack up everything and move, there are some important facts you should know about job relocation packages.

job relocation

Should you expect to be offered relocation assistance?

The number of companies providing some form of relocation assistance has been rising steadily over the past few years. In 2015, 70 percent of U.S. employers provided incentives to employees and new hires. As of 2018, 79 percent of businesses surveyed in a recent poll had formal policies in place pertaining to relocation packages.

Given these figures, it is completely reasonable for you to expect some form of compensation to cover relocation costs; however, you shouldn’t necessarily expect it to be offered to you. You might end up having to ask for assistance depending on your job title or level of expertise within your field. Luckily, businesses benefit from providing these incentives, so there’s a good chance they’ll agree to your request. Not only do relocation packages help attract and acquire top talent, but they ultimately cost the company less than having to pay higher salaries in order to remain competitive.

What costs are covered by the average relocation package?

Knowing what costs are covered by an average relocation package can help you establish a baseline for what you would be willing to accept from a potential employer. Some employer’s simply offer a lump sum of money to assist with your move, and others will provide plans that are so comprehensive you’re not required to lift a finger. While the size of the company and the position you’re being offered will have an impact on the amount of assistance provided, these expenses are often covered in a typical relocation:

  • Travel and accommodations. In order to assist you in finding a new home before you move, allowances for travel and accommodations while you’re house hunting are often included in a standard relocation package. This includes transportation, meals, and lodging for you and your spouse/partner. These costs will also be covered during your final move.
  • Moving. All costs associated with moving your belongings—excluding specialty items like pianos—out of your old home and into your new one should be covered. This includes hiring movers to pack up, transport, and unpack.  
  • Housing assistance. Whether it’s paying for you to break your current lease, paying the fees associated with securing a new one, or even helping you sell your home, you can expect to see some type of housing assistance provided in a standard relocation.

Can you negotiate?

Until you’re actively engaged in the process of moving to a new city for work, you might not be able to fully appreciate all of the hidden and/or unforeseen costs that go along with relocation. Obviously, you’ll need to find a new home and ensure all of your belongings are moved to your new residence, but did you consider often overlooked expenses like updating your driver’s license, vehicle registration, or even childcare until your children can be enrolled in a new school?

If you are unsatisfied with your employer’s relocation offer you can—and should—negotiate for more agreeable terms. Make sure you go into negotiations prepared. Do some research on relocation packages the company has provided to past employees, and make a list of every expense you’d like to see covered. You might not get everything you want, but every little bit helps. Plus, you’ll probably learn a lot about the company and what you can reasonably expect in future negotiations.

You’ll most likely be able to get relocation assistance rolled into your benefits package, but it might take a little more effort to get the particular perks you want included. As long as you’ve thoroughly researched what your prospective employer typically offers and compared it with their competitors, you should be able to make a more educated decision as to whether the opportunity is worth the move.

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