By: John Fernandez | CRP, GMS, SSB

November 9, 2021

How Core-Flex Policies Work

When relocating for a new position, a company may offer relocation benefits to help the employee with moving expenses and to help ease the relocation process altogether. Oftentimes, larger companies will have several tiers of relocation packages to offer their new employee, depending on the employee’s level, the size of the move, and if family members are involved. A relocation policy type that is becoming more popular with companies is the core-flex model. Core-flex relocation policies incorporate a core relocation benefit section, along with a list of flexible, optional benefits that can be used depending on the relocating employee’s needs. 

Core-flex relocation programs do not give relocating employees free range on moving expenses as most lump-sum global mobility packages do. However, core-flex options eliminate some of the stress from the relocating employee. For example: the hassle of hiring suppliers, service quality, expense, and tax overruns.

What Should a Core-Flex Policy Include?

While each relocation management company (RMC) will help companies customize and construct different relocation packages, the main, or “core”, components of a typical U.S. domestic relocation policy might include: 

  • Relocation coaching – a certified relocation specialist is assigned to each employee who is moving to help guide them throughout the entire process. 
  • Home-sale assistance – typically included in most relocation packages, RMCs usually help transferees sell their current house with a range of home disposal options that include the Buyer Value Option (BVO), Guarantee Purchase Offer (GPO), direct reimbursement, and home marketing assistance.
  • Corporate housing options – also known as short-term or temporary housing options. This benefit gives the transferee the opportunity to stay in a furnished apartment or townhome for 30, 60, or 90 days while they adjust to their new area and are on the hunt for a new place to call home. 
  • Travel expenses – Most times, companies will cover a variety of travel expenses for the employee and their family as they travel to the final destination to begin the new position or promotion.
  • Shipment of household goods – this one seems like the most obvious. This generally includes the packing and shipping of household goods and is usually included in relocation packages.

Flexible add-ons that can enhance a Core-Flex policy include, but are not limited to:

  • Home purchase assistance
  • Storage of household goods at the destination
  • Spouse/partner career transition assistance
  • Mortgage assistance
  • Child/elder care assistance
  • Miscellaneous allowance
  • and more

Advantages of Core-Flex Relocation Policies

A major advantage of core-flex policies is that they give the employee just enough decision-making ability to feel like their needs are being met. Making a new or current employee feel valued and heard goes a long way when trying to attract the best person for the open position. 

It gives the employee more freedom, which in turn can make the relocation process go quicker. The employee can select from a menu of services that are provided by competitive and vetted vendors, empowering the employee and providing them the flexibility to put the mobility process in motion on their own.

There is also a huge potential for cost savings using the core-flex approach when relocating employees. In most standard relocation packages the company might try to utilize a “one size fits all” approach. This could mean that there are benefits that employees either won’t utilize or might not even need. With core-flex policies, the company can better align relocation benefits to each employee while putting a cap on flexible benefit spending amounts. 

Constructing Solid Core-Flex Relocation Policies

GMS has been helping companies put together the best relocation packages since 1987. Our highly experienced team can assist in the moving of new or current employees in any industry. Team members at GMS have over 50 years of combined experience helping companies create and benchmark their core-flex relocation policies. GMS specializes in and is happy to help companies construct competitive core-flex relocation policies that offer both employee choice and company control. Reach out today with any questions regarding the core-flex model for relocation benefits.

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Executive Vice President John oversees global operations, marketing, business development as well as reporting and analytics. John’s 23 years of mobility experience include excellence in varied positions such as Relocation Counselor, International Assignment Manager, Manager of Latin American Operations, Director of International Operations, Global Account Executive, Vice President of Sales and Vice President of Global Services. The depth of John’s mobility experience also includes multiple assignments and domestic relocations of his own. He has lived and conducted business around the globe and speaks multiple languages.

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