By: Sam Hoey | CRP, GMS

February 1, 2022

Answering common questions about relocation packages and the global mobility process

Companies that are just starting to research information about relocation services may need to get some of their basic questions answered. Global Mobility Solutions (GMS) has been a leading relocation company for over 34 years. Our team members are all highly qualified for their positions and are experts in their specialty regarding relocation services. As there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to relocating employees, our team put this guide together in hopes of providing some answers to the most Googled questions. Most of these questions are commonly asked when companies with in-house programs (or no program) are considering outsourcing their mobility programs to an experienced relocation management company.

Here are those Q & A’s:

What Are Relocation Services?

Also known as talent mobility or global mobility, corporate relocation services are benefits provided by an employer or agency to an employee who has to move for a new position or promotion. In simple terms, relocation services are “moving perks.” When the employee accepts the position, they are provided with some different options to help them get to their destination smoothly in time for their start date. Depending on what type of benefits are offered, relocation services usually can be applied to individuals and families alike. International relocation and domestic relocation services are slightly different, but the idea remains the same. 

In most instances, the hiring company will have already signed on with a relocation management company (RMC) to construct and deliver comprehensive relocation packages in order to ensure their talent acquisition program is as competitive as possible.

What’s Included with Relocation Services?

Relocation packages offered to employees should be tailored to fit the company’s objectives, along with employees’ wants and needs. Relocation services can vary in what is offered to, and utilized by, the employee. Common benefits range from assistance in selling a home to temporary housing assistance, school/area tours, and more.

Often, the most common theme among talent mobility perks is financial help with moving costs and shipping of household goods. Sometimes, the company will even offer to cover the cost of hiring moving services completely. Other companies may offer reimbursement options for relocation costs, meaning the employee foots the bills upfront to get to their new destination and the company repays them usually via check or EFT payment. 

Side note: GMS recommends that companies offer employees relocation packages instead of reimbursement options. At GMS, we assign each moving employee a dedicated single point of coordination (a U.S. Domestic Relocation Coach or a Global Assignment Manager). This certified GMS team member is highly experienced in their field and will provide guidance to your employee every step of the way during the relocation process.

How Much Can You Expect to Spend on Relocation Services?

That’s an excellent question. From the hiring company’s standpoint, paying to provide relocation services will depend on a number of variables. How many employees need to be relocated? Are these employees individuals or moving a family with them? Is the company willing to cover the costs of the entire move or just partial support? Are real estate perks offered in the package? 

Going back to the idea that relocation benefits should be tailored to fit the company’s objectives and employees’ needs, it’s hard to put a price range on just how much relocation services cost. Relocation costs are typically worth it in the long run because it increases the chances of getting the right candidate in the right seat for the vacant position. These employees arrive stress-free and ready to work, and are shown to stick around longer. Without global mobility benefits, your company runs the risk of having to hire and train multiple people over because only local talent is applying for the job.

What’s the Average Timeline for Relocating?

When helping companies create their relocation benefits, GMS usually recommends that there be a designated timeframe in which the policies can be utilized. This timeline will vary from company to company, or position to position. In many cases, a 90-day window for employees to start their relocation process does the trick. Employers need to keep in mind that these new-hire employees may have families, and trying to move a family with children is something that cannot always be done within a few weeks. Additional factors should be taken into account as well, such as the time it takes to sell the employees home, or the availability of transportation services for their household goods.

In extreme cases, the company might give the employee a start date within a month of the offer. But the downfall with this approach might be the employee may decline the offer, or the company’s relocation costs will increase if services are needed ASAP and not planned out.

What if an Employee Doesn’t Use/Need Every Relocation Benefit Offered?

GMS prides itself in our proactive relocation coaching. By having a Relocation Coach or Global Assignment Manager assigned to each employee, GMS helps to ensure the relocator is using the right mix of benefits for their unique situations. This can help them to get the most out of their available and applicable benefits, whether it be helping with moving costs, spousal support, or language training. GMS’ relocation experts help to pinpoint why employees may or may not utilize certain benefits to make sure the employee is getting the support they need without contributing to inflated mobility program costs due to the use of unnecessary services.

What Is Corporate Housing?

When thinking about accepting a job out of state, one of the most sought-after relocation benefits is corporate housing. Also known as short-term housing, this benefit is recommended for employers to provide as it might seal the deal for the new hire to sign on.

Corporate housing is usually a 30, 60, or 90-day stay in a furnished apartment or townhome that is covered by the employer. The reason this is such a draw for relocating employees is because it gives the employee and their family a transitional period to get their feet wet and learn a little bit about the lifestyle of their new destination. This period of time is also valuable as it provides the employee a place to live during the period of time it takes for them to secure a new place to live and await the delivery of their household goods. It also can be used for a situation where the employee has to go ahead of their family for the job, while their family finishes up any loose ends before the relocation completely takes place such as kids finishing the school semester.

How Often Should We Review Relocation Benefits?

GMS urges companies who are offering relocation packages to look into reviewing or updating those benefits every 12 to 18 months. The reason being, industries become more competitive and employee needs can evolve. If a competing company in your industry is offering more money or benefits to new hires, it could make it harder for your company to attract the top talent you need.

GMS Is Here to Answer All of Your Relocation Questions

When it comes to your talent mobility strategy, there are thousands of questions about where to begin or how to improve. The relocation experts at GMS have been helping companies move their employees for over three decades. If you have any questions about creating, reviewing, or improving your mobility program or relocation services, please reach out today. Our team can answer any questions you may have while offering insight into alternatives and enhancements to already existing relocation packages.

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Senior Vice President, Global Account Management Sam joined Global Mobility Solutions in 1996 and has a unique perspective with her 25 years of industry experience. Samantha offers her clients relocation expertise and a commitment to excellence in her. Her proficiency in orchestrating the BVO and GPO Programs, as well as relocation policy design and implementation, are invaluable assets to the accounts she manages. Her experience in administering Pre-Decision Relocation services to enhance the recruiting process further demonstrates her unique abilities to service her clients. Samantha’s diverse experience, leadership, and outstanding communication skills enable her to manage the relocation process for her clients with finesse and polished professionalism.

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