Overcome Talent Shortages with a “Magnetic” Relocation Policy 02.14.2022 | Jennifer Connell

magnetic relocation policy

When the pandemic first trickled across international borders in early 2020, virtually every industry made necessary shifts or tweaks to the way they operated, desperately trying to maintain productivity while ensuring the safety of employees.

Now, two years later, these shifts have evolved into dramatic transformations, impacting how (and where) we work, engage with our colleagues and ensure the success of our businesses.

Workforce mobility, too, has undergone seismic shifts, and despite the hurdles surrounding international movement in the middle of a pandemic, the value and relevance of an agile workforce strategy have strengthened.

But the intent of many mobility programs is changing in the face of the Great Resignation that has many industries feeling the strain of a global talent shortage.
Strategic clients are re-adjusting their focus and looking at mobility through a new lens, asking two critical questions:

How can I leverage my mobility program to attract top talent?

Does my mobility program offer the right career development opportunities to retain existing talent?

The fact is in these challenging times, “magnetic” mobility policies — relocation policies that address the changing priorities of the modern workforce and attract the talent you need — can be powerful cost-savings agents by helping to reduce turnover and recruiting costs.

This begs the question: how can you ensure your policy is as magnetic as it can be in 2022? Here are some recommendations from our Advisory Services team.

Revisit Your New Hire Policy
Your New Hire Policy will be front and center in recruitment efforts, so make it sparkle. Traditionally, New Hire Policies were scaled-back versions of standard policies. That won’t cut it anymore. We expect to see enhanced, more robust New Hire policies emerging to help cut through the competition for top talent. Today’s employees want flexibility and choice – in benefits, work schedules, relocation benefits, and career paths – New Hire policies should reflect this.

Encourage Up-Skilling & Re-Skilling
Employees are keener than ever to develop new skills and upgrade existing ones, so it’s up to companies to foster a culture that supports this development, and mobility can play a key in this. Clients are embracing a wider array of assignment types and policies – including rotational programs, internships, developmental programs, and employee-initiated assignments – to satiate their employees’ hunger to advance their skillset and career trajectory. Winning companies don’t stop at just creating these policies, but actively promote career mobility, encouraging employees to seek out these opportunities and experiences. Employees who feel like their company is authentically invested in their growth and wellbeing are less likely to seek advancement opportunities outside the organization.

Create Purpose, Align Values
While the value of an assignment may be obvious to the company, carefully measured in dollars and cents, how does this stack up against the value of the assignment to the relocating employee? Today’s (and tomorrow’s) workforce are attracted to forward-thinking companies that align with their values, have a sense of purpose, and are willing to address these core beliefs within their mobility program. Namely, organizations that prioritize and invest in environmental stewardship and social responsibility, actively walking the walk as a force for good, will have a stronger force of attraction for new talent, and deepen the loyalty and trust of existing employees.

These initiatives and values can be promoted throughout the organization, as well as at the mobility level. As a start, think about the benefits that are offered within your mobility policies and whether they are accommodating a diverse scope of employees. Many companies are revisiting benefits that may have previously fallen victim to cost-savings measures – like childcare or spouse employment assistance – and reexamining how these benefits can be offered to foster mobility programs that are flexible, inclusive, and support D&I objectives.

And this is only the tip of the iceberg. We’re aptly referring to 2022 as the third dawn of mobility as we expect to see big changes in response to ever-evolving employee priorities and talent needs. Watch this space as we continue to provide insight into how to make your mobility program magnetic, relevant, and a dynamic tool for growth in your organization.

For a deeper dive on how to make your relocation policy magnetic, check our latest webinar.

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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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