By: Sam Hoey | CRP, GMS

March 1, 2022

The most significant obstacles when relocating an employee

Relocating employees can be a trying process. There are lots of moving parts involved. From handling the company’s needs to the employees’ wants, along with the vendors’ schedules, there are various pieces to fit perfectly to make the relocation process as seamless as possible. Like with any other corporate process, some challenges may occur. Relocation challenges can affect both the company and the relocating employee in many ways. 

While each talent mobility assignment is different, companies can stay ahead of these obstacles by setting relocation policies. These policies are typically built in collaboration with and managed by a relocation management company (RMC), which provides the services through a vetted vendor network. Having relocation packages ready to go can help, but that does not mean that relocation challenges will not arise through the employee’s move. 

Global Mobility Solutions (GMS) has provided companies with comprehensive and award-winning relocation services for employees since 1987. With that said, we’ve overcome our fair share of challenges while assisting people through the relocation process. Our qualified team developed unique solutions to these challenges in each case, ensuring a stress-free move for our transferees and their families. These challenges listed below are not a definitive list for potential issues that may pop up, but are some of the more common relocation challenges:

Relocation Costs

Probably the most direct challenge to point out is providing new hires or promoted employees with relocation benefits will cost the company money. But, again, working with an RMC can help assure that the company offers the right amount of benefits while paying an affordable amount. You have to spend money to run a business. If you do not provide any financial backing to an employee for a move, you are only shrinking your talent pool because only local candidates will apply. This makes spending money to relocate employees worth it, knowing your company can get the right person in the right seat.

Buying and Selling Homes

A primary concern many employees have before moving is selling their current home and buying a new house. While the real estate market is up right now in most major cities around the US, there is still a chance that the employee may need time to prepare their home to be sold, or it could be on the market for a while. This may affect the employee’s available start date. Additionally, when relocating to a new state, it can be difficult for most people to buy a new house without freeing up the equity from their current home.

When putting together relocation packages for your relocating employees, including real estate sale programs such as a Direct Reimbursement or Buyer Value Option program is strongly recommended. These special home selling programs give employees more options during their move and are an excellent way to overcome this relocation challenge.

Job Start Date

Another tricky situation many run into when hiring out of state is knowing when to set the employee’s job start date. Because each relocating employee will have different needs, it can be hard to know precisely how long the process will take. Once the job offer letter is signed, employees typically put their two-week notice in with their current employer. Then the question becomes, what period of time is reasonable to expect the employee to be at their destination? Timeline differences may arise between a college graduate who is a renter and a VP homeowner with a large family. Consideration should be given to each employee and their situation.

A good workaround for employees moving with families is to offer corporate housing options. This allows the employee to get to their new destination to start work and have a reliable place to live for about 30-90 days while their family is given more time to finish the move at the origin location.

Household Goods Shipping

When an employee has to move, they’ll need their household goods to get from point A to point B. This step of the relocation process can be a headache if not handled correctly. The last thing the employee wants or needs is to have their belongings show up late due to a kink in the system. If working with an RMC, it is worth asking how they vet their moving companies and what they look for when assigning movers to employees. Significant cost savings can be realized through a competitive bidding process where the RMC gathers multiple quotes from moving companies for company approval.

GMS Can Help Overcome Relocation Challenges

While all of these relocation challenges widely vary, the best way to cover all of them is to work with a qualified RMC such as GMS to help write and manage your relocation policies. Our team’s goal is to help make your employees’ relocation process as stress-free as possible. We have team members who specialize in both domestic and international relocation

Feel free to reach out to us today to get started on a courtesy consultation with our industry experts, where we can review and provide feedback on your current relocation programming. If your company does not currently offer talent mobility benefits, we can also help you in your efforts to create a competitive relocation benefits program. Don’t let relocation challenges keep you from hiring and obtaining the top talent in your industry.

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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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