By: John Fernandez | CRP, GMS, SSB

April 13, 2022

The Importance of Providing Spouse & Family Support for a Successful Relocation Process

Relocating for a job can bring many new opportunities to one’s professional career. But moving to a new destination for a job can also mean uprooting a partner, or even an entire family. When a candidate accepts a new position and agrees to move for the job, many negotiate to get relocation costs covered by the new company. Companies that are regularly involved in the talent mobility process work with relocation management companies (RMC) to construct relocation packages that are enticing and helpful to employees. 

But do these relocation benefits ever include any support for the transferee’s spouse or family? Any modern RMC representative would highly recommend including partner/spousal support and family support offerings to recently hired employees. There are many reasons companies should be happy to help ease the transition for their new employees’ families. For example, if the employee knows their family will have an easier time moving, they are more likely to accept the position. Finding the right candidate quickly cuts down on the time of the job search. Also, knowing their family will be taken care of during the relocation process because of special relocation benefits, the employee can have their mind on their work. 

There is no one size fits all relocation package. Each talent mobility assignment is different and should be treated as so. With that being said, there are numerous relocation services that RMCs can provide to moving employees’ spouses and other family members. Let’s look at some of the more common programs worked into the relocation process.

Area Orientation Trips

Orientation trips are a relocation benefit that tends to get overlooked. Many RMCs would recommend that companies cover at least one or two (if not more) orientation trips for the employee and their partner/spouse. The main reason to add this into a relocation package for the employee to utilize it as a house-hunting trip. Including this service helps the employee and their family get somewhat familiar with the lay of the land for their new destination. These trips can also be used to check out different schools and activities for those relocating with children. Taking a tour of a local school might help the family decide which neighborhood they might want to settle in. If the transferee’s kids play sports or participate in other after-school activities, then take advantage of the trips to meet and greet with coaches and directors so that they are not starting from square one once arriving in the new city. Area orientation trips can give kids and spouses a new, exciting spin on the move if a dream house is discovered while house hunting.

Spousal Career Services

Another perk that should be included in relocation packages is career services for the moving employee’s spouse or partner. It’s not unusual for a domestic partnership to make up a dual-career household; this means if the family is moving for one person’s job, there is a chance the other will have to quit or alter their career. But there are ways that companies can work with RMCs to include spousal career services in their talent mobility benefits. These programs can offer comprehensive career assistance along the lines of: 

  • Quick Start Job Search Preparation (marketing tools, job search assistance manual)
  • Job Search Assistance (market information, access to searchable data)
  • Personal Branding (online profiles, personal website, blog, video)
  • Partnering Services (online courses for job search execution)
  • Resume Writing Services (resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profile)

Spouses who are moving with their partner can use this time to their advantage. Some people hold off on a career change, but right after a relocation could be a perfect time. If the moving spouse has to resign from their current position anyway, then it could be a new beginning they need to switch industries or positions, maybe even start their own business. In very lucrative relocation offerings, there may even be grants and financial support benefits for the employee’s spouse to get special training for a new job. And sometimes, some RMCs might even work in entrepreneurial opportunities for relocating partners.

Language Training

For international relocation services, language training might be one of the most essential benefits needed. Those who relocate to a new country with a spouse and children will more than likely have to learn a new language. Learning a new language can be difficult if the family has not been preparing for it for a few years leading up to the move. Companies that plan to interview, and ultimately hire, global candidates should seriously consider covering or reimbursing for classes and tutoring for the employee and their family members to learn the language of their new home. Language training programs give the spouse and family a better chance of adjusting and liking their new surroundings making it more likely that the employee can succeed at their new job as well.

GMS Offers Relocation Services with Spousal Support

For international relocation services, language training might be one of the most essential benefits needed. Those who relocate to a new country with a spouse and children will more than likely have to learn a new language. Learning a new language can be difficult if the family has not been preparing for it for a few years leading up to the move. Companies that plan to interview, and ultimately hire, global candidates should seriously consider covering or reimbursing for classes and tutoring for the employee and their family members to learn the language of their new home. Language training programs give the spouse and family a better chance of adjusting and liking their new surroundings making it more likely that the employee can succeed at their new job as well.

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Executive Vice President John oversees global operations, marketing, business development as well as reporting and analytics. John’s 23 years of mobility experience include excellence in varied positions such as Relocation Counselor, International Assignment Manager, Manager of Latin American Operations, Director of International Operations, Global Account Executive, Vice President of Sales and Vice President of Global Services. The depth of John’s mobility experience also includes multiple assignments and domestic relocations of his own. He has lived and conducted business around the globe and speaks multiple languages.

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