What Relocating Employees Look for in the US and Canada 10.12.2014 | Jennifer Connell

Weichert Ellie Sullivan

We were proud to have our VP of Consulting, Ellie Sullivan, quoted in a couple of relocation-themed articles this past week, in two different countries.

In a Boston Globe article discussing methods companies are using to convince employees to accept moves into Massachusetts, Ellie noted the continued critical role of relocation in driving success.

“Relocating is so vital to the growth and vitality of businesses, especially today where you see a huge talent gap,” said Sullivan. “There’s also the impact of the millennials and their appetite to experience relocation and to use relocation as a developmental tool, not only for their personal enjoyment, but to advance their careers.” According to the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council, a relocation services trade group, today’s typical transferee is 36 to 40 years old.

In another article, this one in Canada’s ProfitGuide, Ellie spoke on the same theme–getting employees to say “yes” to relocation.

Present the opportunity as a promising career path, not a detour. Offer to keep employees in the loop with return tickets for important meetings, videoconferencing and the support of a mentor. Repatriation assistance, including a guarantee the employee can come back to their former role, was the top incentive mentioned by CERC survey respondents. The allure of global management experience will be more appealing for a CEO-in-the-making than for someone in a technical position. Consider the needs of all family members in the initial assessment, says Sullivan says. That includes helping find schools for kids, along with career counselling and employment assistance for spouses. Sullivan says the family should be included in cross-cultural training. “Oftentimes, the employee relocates to a work location where everybody in the office speaks English, but the spouse and family are forced to muddle through how to shop, how to get healthcare,” she says. Survey respondents said family and having young children (43%) far outranked the undesirability of the destination country (6%), needing a large pay increase (5%), political unrest (4%) and safety concerns (4%) as barriers to a move.

Thanks to Ellie for sharing her expertise!

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Written by Jennifer Connell


Jennifer Connell, SCRP, SGMS-T, is Vice President of Weichert’s Advisory Services group. She has over 25 years of experience in the workforce mobility and employee benefits industries and is a recipient of Worldwide ERC’s Distinguished Service Award. She has spoken on workforce mobility topics at industry conferences throughout North America and written for mobility- and HR-themed blogs and magazines worldwide.

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