Corporate Relocation Survey 2021

Cost Coverage

Customizing relocation packages continues, with assistance most often provided based on job/grade level or position/job title.


Across company size, firms estimate that in 2020 close to half of relocations were mid-level jobs and roughly one-fifth were entry-level, which is similar to the past five years. Firms across size estimate that around one-third of their relocations last year were for executive-level moves, similar to 2017-2018 and higher than just over one-fourth in 2015-2016 for small and midsize firms, and a notable increase for large firms (36% vs. 28%). While midsize and large firms see more volume than small firms do, their employee-level compositions remain similar, with mid-level moves occurring more than twice as often as entry-level moves.

Question 27-3


As expected and comparable to the last five years, coverage for specific items is more likely for mid-level and executive/top-level positions than for entry-level positions.

In the recent past, the likelihood of a lump sum or no reimbursement policy was greater for entry-level moves compared to executive, with mid-level moves at the midpoint. This year, one out of four firms indicate this policy could be leveraged across employee levels. However, fewer small firms say lump sums or no reimbursement is their policy for entry-level or mid-level employees (28% & 36% vs. 43%+ 2020), and slightly fewer use them for executives (28% vs. 36%). Midsize firms remain more likely to use lump sums or no reimbursement for entry-level or mid-level moves compared to executive (28% & 26% vs. 18%). While one out of four large firms also have this policy in place for entry-level and mid-level employees, lump sums or no reimbursement are far less likely to be offered to executives (25% & 26% vs. 18%); this is a shift from 2020, when mid-tier employees were less likely to be offered lump sums or no reimbursement (12%).

In the past, there were far greater differences when analyzing company size and employee level together. For the past three years, small firms were more likely to use lump sum only or not reimburse costs for entry-level relocations compared to large firms. In 2021, usage across size for entry-level employees is essentially the same (roughly one out of four). This is driven by declining use among small and mid-size firms and similar usage levels among large firms to historical norms. Midsize firms were also more likely to use lump sum only or not reimburse costs for mid-level relocations compared to large firms, but this year usage levels are similar to 2020 for midsize firms (26% vs. 30%) and rose among large firms (26% vs. 12%), making them equal. Small firms remain more likely than midsize or large to use lump sums for mid-level relocations and for executives (36% & 28% vs. 18%), although both are down slightly from 2020 (43% mid-level & 36% executive). The percentages of small firms using this option remain slightly above the previous lows in 2017 for entry-level (28% vs. 21%) and executive (28% vs. 20%) relocations and remain elevated for mid-level (36% vs. 22%) moves.

Unsurprisingly, executives see higher levels of coverage for individual categories than do entry-level relocations overall. However, this year mid-level moves trend closely with executives in coverage for most individual categories and notably above entry-level moves.

  • Roughly half or more of both mid-level and executive moves cover the top two (pack all items and move an automobile), far more than for entry-level relocations (one-third).
  • There are some notable commonalities. 40% or more of firms across employee levels cover required COVID-19 quarantine costs at destination. Additionally, around a third across employee levels say they cover: moving unlimited weight, moving via containerized shipment, sanitization services for residence(s), and carrying items down from the attic.
  • Company size plays a role in coverage. Midsize and large firms are more likely to cover required COVID-19 quarantine costs than small firms (45%+ vs. 35%). Large firms are also more likely to cover packing all items (44% vs. 28%+), moving an automobile (42% vs. 29%+), or containerized shipments (36% vs. 27%) for entry-level relocations than smaller firms. While midsize firms are the most likely to cover residence sanitization services (45%) compared to around a third of both small and large firms, large firms cover some other services listed far more often compared to small firms and see similar levels of coverage across most items to midsize firms.
  • Coverage for mid-level moves trend more generous across most items at midsize and/or large firms; however, those offering unpacking all items, moving collections of highly valuable objects, moving unlimited weight, and moving a boat saw similar levels across company size. Midsize firms are the most likely to cover required COVID-19 quarantine costs compared to small or large firms (58% vs. 40% & 44%), but across most offerings mid-size and large companies see similar coverage frequencies. This indicates that a competitive landscape exists for mid-level positions among these larger firms.
  • Executives saw far more midsize and large companies offering to pack all items, move an automobile, move highly valuable collections, move exercise equipment, or carry items down from the attic compared to small firms. Additionally, midsize firms essentially met or exceeded the percentages of large companies offering nearly every other individual cost coverage item for relocations. So even though far fewer small firms offered most individual cost coverage items comparatively, this indicates a highly competitive environment between midsize and large firms for key executive talent.
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For a sixth year, we asked what types of assistance are offered across employee levels, regardless of status (transferee or new hire). While most firms continue to offer special types of assistance to homeowners/renters, the cumulative percentages indicating that lump sums or no specialized assistance is offered for at least some employee types have progressively increased over the past five years. Around half of midsize and large firms sometimes offer lump sums or no specialized assistance, while 6 out of 10 small firms sometimes do so, trending progressively higher over the past three years and notably above 2015-2017 levels.


Generally, homeowner assistance for specific items is more likely for executive/top level and mid-level relocations than for entry-level positions.

However, the biggest differences occur by company size. 40% of small firms say lump sums or no reimbursement is policy leveraged for entry and mid-level employee relocations (similar to 2020: 46%+), and one out of three say they use this option for executive-level moves (down notably from 42% in 2020). They remain the most likely to flex this option across company size and employee levels. Usage remains similar to 2020 for midsize firms for entry-level (29% vs. 35%) and executive level (19% vs. 22%) relocations, as well as among large firms for entry-level moves (26% vs. 27%); it increases among large firms for mid-level (30% vs. 17%) and executives (21% vs. 10%).

  • Across most categories, homeowner assistance is most often offered for mid-level or executive relocations, rather than entry-level. This difference is most pronounced at midsize and large firms.
  • Even though most assistance categories are offered less often at the entry-level, smaller firms do offer benefits at similar levels to midsize firms across most assistance categories for these lower-level moves. Small firms also offer benefits at similar levels to large firms in more than a third of assistance categories. This data indicates that the competitive landscape is more similar across size for entry-level hires.
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This year, the likelihood of renter assistance being offered is similar across employee level. Company size plays less of a role than in the past, although a lump-sum or no-assistance option is most often leveraged for entry-level employees at small firms and less often at large firms. More than a fourth of small firms leverage lump sums or no renter assistance across employee levels (down from 37%+ in 2020). A fifth or more of midsize firms offer lump sum or no-renter assistance across employee levels (similar to last year: 24%+). At large companies, there is a shift: this policy is more likely to be used for mid-level employees vs. entry-level or executives (33% vs. 22% & 18%), increasing notably above 2020 for mid-level (33% vs. 19%) employees while remaining similar for entry-level (22% vs. 26%) and executives (18% vs. 14%).

  • Most renter assistance items are more likely to be offered for mid-level or executive relocations than for entry-level moves overall. Rental subsidies/allowances, furniture rental reimbursement/payment, and home purchase loans are the only categories similar across employee level.
  • Company size is impactful. While midsize and large firms are most likely to offer most rental assistance items for entry-level renters, offerings are more similar across company size for mid-level employees for most categories, and midsize companies are most likely to offer many types of rental assistance to executives.
  • Similarities emerge for midsize and large firms in rental assistance. They are more likely to offer home-finding trips and reimburse/pay for security deposits for entry-level employees, provide storage to entry- and mid-level relocating renters, and offer temporary housing allowances for entry-level and executives than small firms. These larger firms are also more likely to reimburse/pay for lease cancellation for mid-level and executive level employees.
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