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February 29, 2016

The top relocation incentives businesses can offer employees

Reviewed By: Kelly Cruse, VP Human Resources & Chief Diversity Officer, Atlas World Group - 20+ Years in HR, Recruitment Trends, and DE&I

  • Corporate relocation
Here are some of the most common relocation incentives companies can offer.

Corporate relocation is a great tool for businesses to use when they need to adequately staff their various locations. However, for the employee, relocation often involves an expensive and taxing moving process that can sometimes seem unappealing. For that reason, many companies offer relocation benefits or incentives. In fact, according to Atlas Van Lines48th Annual Atlas Corporate Relocation Survey, 86 percent of all companies offered incentives to relocating employees in 2014. Here are some of the most common - and most effective - incentives companies can offer to employees for relocation:

Relocation bonuses

Of the companies who offered incentives, 59 percent provided their employees with relocation bonuses. These lump-sum payments are hugely beneficial for the employee and can go a long way toward covering the costs of the move, including everything from hiring professional movers to preparing a house to go on the market. 

Cost-of-living adjustments

In many cases, companies are also willing to adjust employees' salaries based on the cost of living in the new state (or country) compared to the old one. Nearly six in 10 companies that offered incentives provided their relocating employees with these cost-of-living adjustments in 2014. While this is a perk for the employee in an obvious way, adjusting a worker's salary can also benefit the company - you want to make sure your workforce is steady and stable, and ensuring your employees make a livable wage will prevent them from looking for a job with a higher-paying salary elsewhere.

Atlas Van Lines relocation incentives graphic.Cost-of-living adjustments may be necessary for employees moving to big cities.

Housing benefits

Some of the most common incentives offered by businesses have to do with housing - after all, a relocating employee will need to sell his or her old home, find temporary housing in the new city and either rent or buy a permanent residence after settling in. In 2014, 58 percent of companies provided extended temporary housing benefits, while nearly one-third offered a guaranteed buyout option for the employee's original home. Other similar incentives companies can offer include loss-on-sale protection and mortgage payoffs.

Other incentives

While relocation bonuses, cost-of-living adjustments and housing benefits are three of the most common incentives used by companies, they are by no means the only ones. Many business provide employees with relocation assistance, which could include everything from hiring a moving company to helping you store belongings that won't fit in a moving truck. Though this doesn't necessary have a monetary advantage for the employee, it can make the idea of moving a lot more appealing.

Because the most common reason for employees to decline a relocation is their spouses' employment, many companies (65 percent in 2014) provide spousal or partner employment assistance as well. This incentive is much more common for companies that are moving employees internationally.

For employees with children, some companies also offer certain types of childcare assistance to help incentivize a relocation. This can include providing the worker with a list of schools or other educational options in the new location, researching dependable childcare services or agencies and even allowing telecommuting.