Are you moving for a job? If so, it's worth checking to see if your new employer offers a job relocation package. It's more likely than you might think. In a survey by Allied movers, over a quarter of respondents said they'd received some help with moving expenses.
But not all moving packages are alike. In some cases, the company will pay for the full cost of moving. In others, you may be given a flat dollar amount to cover your expenses.
If you're coming on board as a new employee and a relocation package isn't offered, you may be able to negotiate reimbursement of expenses as part of a counteroffer.
There is no obligation on the part of an employer to cover moving expenses for either new or current employees.
What's Included in a Job Relocation Package?
Typically, if offered, most relocation packages include some or all of the following:
The Cost of a House-Finding Trip. The company may cover the costs of traveling to the new location to find a suitable home. These costs typically include transportation and lodging expenses.
Home Sales / Home Buying. The costs of selling your home and purchasing a new home are commonly included in relocation packages. This would include closing costs, real estate commissions, and other expenses normally incurred when buying or selling a house.
Job Search Help. Some employee relocation packages include job search assistance for your spouse or partner.
Transportation. Companies may reimburse travel expenses to get to your new home.
Temporary Housing. The cost of temporary furnished rental housing or a hotel for a certain period of time is often provided. Rent and utility fees are typically included for rental housing.
Moving. The cost of a moving truck and other related expenses may be included.
Full Pack / Unpack. When the company fully covers the expenses and logistics of the move, movers will be sent to pack up your household goods and transport them to your new home, where they will unload, and in some cases unpack, the boxes where you wish.
Storage Unit Rental. Your new employer may pay for the cost of renting a storage unit while you get settled.
Lease Break Coverage. Companies may sometimes pay fees associated with breaking your lease in your prior location.
Check on What the Company is Offering
Before you make arrangements to move, double-check specifics of your relocation package with your employer so you know exactly what will be covered or reimbursed. You don't want to get stuck with expenses for items that you thought would be covered but aren't.
Some employers frequently deal with relocating new employees and may connect you with their sub-contracted companies.
Others may give you a lump sum to pay for relocation, or ask you to keep all receipts for reimbursement. Ask for specifics beforehand.
Negotiating Job Relocation as a Benefit
Because relocation expenses are a one-time cost for a company, negotiating a relocation package is sometimes easier than negotiating a higher salary.
For companies, covering relocation services can be a smart, cost-effective recruitment tactic — employers may try to attract candidates by mentioning in job listings that relocation services are available. Paying moving expenses may also help employers retain internal candidates, which is often cheaper than paying the costs of hiring and training a new employee.
Tips for Negotiating a Relocation Package
Ask Questions. Begin the process by asking if the company provides relocation services and what the company typically provides. Even if the company does not provide full moving expenses, they may be willing to reimburse some costs.
Know Your Numbers. If the company typically offers relocation packages, they may have a sense of the costs. Otherwise, it's up to you to provide the employer with a sense of how the move will affect you in terms of time and money spent. As well, review the various relocation services that employers provide above. This will help you know what you want, and make a specific, detailed request.
Get the Details in Writing. As with any job-related benefit, it's important to have all the details in writing. That way, both you and your employer will be clear on expectations and coverage.
Some Employers Offer Job Relocation Packages: Others may be open to negotiating financial assistance with your move.
There Is No Obligation for Employers to Cover This Expense: No laws require moving assistance. Employers may offer it as a perk at their discretion.
When Offered, Job Relocation Packages Vary: Some will offer a lump sum, while others will ask you to track your receipts for reimbursement.
Always Get the Offer in Writing: The exact terms of the job relocation package should be spelled out.