How Flexibility Can Control Your Relocation Costs 07.17.2015 | Tim McCarney

Among the forces impacting the deployment of mobile talent, two have emerged as the most prominent. One, not surprisingly, is cost control, that unrelenting pressure to harness spend that shadows every corporate move.

Considering the sizable investment required to relocate employees, for long- or short-term assignments, across states or between continents, focus on cost of benefi ts and maximizing ROI has never been higher.

The other, according to the results of our latest Workforce Mobility Survey, is a more recent phenomenon: the need for greater agility to accommodate rapidly-changing business goals and seize opportunities. Today, an “optimized” workforce mobility program is not only cost-effective, but also equips HR and hiring managers with the flexibility they need to accelerate decision-making, meet the needs of the business, and provide opportunities that sync with their mobile employees’ personal and
professional desires.

Addressing these concerns has become a strategic imperative for companies struggling to build a workforce to meet their future business objectives. In this business environment, “flexible” workforce mobility programs — including Lump sums, capped programs and core/flex approaches — are proving a valuable, viable alternative to “traditional” relocations and expat assignments.

“Customized” employee benefits are nothing new: Witness the trend in health care options, which have evolved to meet the varying needs of employees in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Relocation benefits have been evolving, too, spurred by increased negotiations and excessive exceptions required to meet the needs of a more diverse workforce and budget constraints.

Core-flex programs consist of “core” benefits—compliance-related provisions or provisions that the company feels reflect its culture or employee value proposition—that are offered to all employees and cannot be negotiated. They also include flexible benefits which are discretionary and can be used to
enhance the core benefits by shaping the package to the employee’s unique circumstances.

What makes the core-flex approach compelling is that it allows companies to meet the needs of a wider variety of employees while still controlling costs. The flex benefits can enhance the program to certain employees that need an incentive (critical new hires), can fill gaps in benefits that are necessary for the person to be able to relocate (dual income homeowners), or can be used to support career development (volunteer assignments).

According to our most recent survey of 170 North American companies, the most common benefits provided as part of the core policy are those logistically necessary to the move, such as shipment of household goods, travel-related expenses (final move and home finding trips) and temporary living:


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Written by Tim McCarney

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Tim is Weichert’s Vice President of Marketing, responsible for keeping our brand strong and crafting our brand’s story. Outside of the office, he can often be found worrying about the Boston Red Sox.

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