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The Role of Relocation Packages in a Return-to-Office World

October 26, 2022

As COVID-19 cases decrease and the world reverts to a sense of “normalcy”, return-to-office plans are on the rise. Whether it’s going in five days a week or two, offices are making a comeback.

In a survey of 31,000 employees, Microsoft found that 50% have been called to return-to-office full-time by next year (if they haven’t resumed to in-office work already).

Hiring managers are facing some resistance on the transition, especially when working to recruit candidates outside of their metro area. One incentive that could close the deal? Read on for some of our insights into relocation packages.

1. Working from home was eye-opening for employers and employees, and it changed the game for relocation packages.

After working remotely since 2020 with rising sentiment that physically being in the office is unnecessary, many employees do not want to return. In fact, 60% of candidates have no problem quitting their return-to-office jobs to look for a remote position. Many people do not want to give up the ease of working at home that allows them more time for their children or other responsibilities. Cutting out a long commute is another a big factor in the desire to continue remote work.

To entice an employee to move to another state - let alone return to being in an office full-time - relocation packages may need to increase, or be bundled with additional incentives (like increased support for moving, or relocation services for other family members) in order to attract top talent.

2. Despite in-office resistance, relocation packages help companies keep and attract employees.

We’re seeing more companies offer relocation packages to attract top talent to major US markets.

When a company offers a newly hired or current employee assistance to move to the location of their job, packages can include

  • Packing and unpacking services
  • Transportation and moving costs
  • Money for housing or temporary housing
  • Mortgage assistance
  • Cultural or language training
  • Funds to pay for house hunting and childcare while doing so
  • Early lease termination stipends
  • Or full reimbursement for moving costs

When a company puts this type of assistance on the table, in-person work becomes more appealing.

3. Relocation packages help companies in more ways than one.

These benefits demonstrate a company’s care for their employees and helps to secure top talent in competitive industries. In the fierce competition for software engineers, a relocation package could be the deciding factor for candidates.

A bigger talent pool emerges when you’re willing to move your candidates, and this type of support aids in retention long-term. Hires can come from anywhere if the company has the ability to bring them. Additionally, recruiters can find top talent faster if they aren’t restricted to one area - and they may be able to build a more diverse team.

4. As helpful as relocation packages can be, they’re not available for everyone.

For the most part, companies only offer packages to middle and upper-level employees with niche skills. Entry-level employees are less often offered relocation, and this can result in higher attrition and a stronger preference for remote work. If candidates want to be more sought after and they find that remote positions are scarce, a great tactic is to hone niche skills that make them more desirable to companies with these types of budgets.

In this return-to-work landscape, relocation packages are a tool to give both job-seekers and employers what they want. Job-seekers can work for a company that they know values them. Employers can find top talent who are willing to work in-person.

What’s your experience with relocation packages? Have you ever been offered a relocation package, and if so - why did you accept or decline?

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