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How to Tell Whether Your Relocation Package or your Closing Skills Suck...

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by Allied Van Lines, proud sponsor of the “2012 Workforce Mobility Survey”, designed to capture the voice of HR on topics related to workforce mobility. Allied has more than 75 years of experience in corporate, household and international relocation.)

I know - it's tough out there on an HR pro when you're trying to close candidates who require relocation. CoffeeclosersI just had an executive candidate accept a job - after a mind-numbing 2-3 weeks where we blocked and tackled every relocation detail known to man - only to have her pull out when she decided she couldn't move.  #$##!!!

It's hard on an executive recruiter/HR pro out there.  Was the problem the relocation package or my closing skills?   Most of the time, I'd tell you it's the relocation package, not my skills.  And you'd have to accept that, knowing how tough it is to relo people with homes under water, etc.  It's not me, it's the market, right?

But now, thanks to the Workforce Mobility Survey (click here) sponsored by Allied, we've got some actual data rather than my opinion.  

There are a lot of details about recruiting efforts with relocation as a backdrop over at the site.  Here's what jumped out at me as helpful in determining whether your problem closing remote candidates is you or your relocation package:

First, a baseline on what companies (read: your competition) spend on relocation:

"An average relocation package costs $21,033. (Figure 16) While smaller companies, in general, provide less valuable packages – averaging $10,971 – there are exceptions. Some small companies offer highly competitive packages. When a company – big or small – really wants a candidate, it can level the playing field by meeting the competition’s offer, even if that requires a gold-plated relocation package, the survey suggests.

Five percent of the survey respondents rated their relocation packages as “excellent” or “gold-plated,” and another 46 percent rate them as “good.” Even among smaller companies (those with less than 100 employees), 4 percent provide “excellent” or “gold-plated” packages. According to the survey, “gold-plated” packages average $65,333 in value."

Companies that spend the following amounts on a per hire basis consider themselves either "best in class", "somewhat successful" or the often cited "unsuccessful."

"Best in Class recruitment programs spend more per hire, on average $12,737 (not including relocation costs), as compared to $10,504 and $4,750 by “somewhat successful” and “unsuccessful” programs, respectively.

As a result, they secure their candidates of choice 77 percent of the time, as compared to 66 percent and 59 percent for “somewhat successful” and “unsuccessful programs.”

And as you might expect with those cost per hire numbers, the "best in class" crowd isn't afraid to spend above the average for a relocation:

"Best in class relocation programs cost considerably more, on average, $33,193 per package, as compared to $18,730 and $13,167 for “somewhat successful” and “unsuccessful” programs, respectively.

One more piece of data before I play analyst on what it all means.  The following chart from the Workforce Mobility Survey Site shows the relocation components that best in class, somewhat successful and unsuccessful in recruitment companies have as part of their relo packages:

Relo chart

You can't close remote candidates - is it your relo package's fault or are you a terrible closer?

That depends - there's a lot of data flowing above and most of the participants are from larger companies, but I'll offer up some street smart analysis as follows:

If you aren't offering a relo package with the following three components - Temp Living, a Lump Sum Payment and Physical Move - you're wasting your time trying to relocate professional grade candidates.

Think about that for a second - let's say you offer up a 10K physical move (don't nitpick the number, just work with me), 4 months of temp living (12K) and a lump sum to cover incidentals (10-15K).  That adds up to 32-35K, and you're at the average for best in class companies.  To me, that's the entry point in being competitive regardless of your size in recruiting and closing candidates who require relocation assistance.  If you can't offer that, you probably shouldn't be wasting your time.  Add on some low cost bells and whistles from the chart above (info on schools, a relo consult, paid time to get settled, etc.), and you've got a competitve package.

Which would mean the problem might be you.  I'm just saying.  Good data at the survey site, click here to see more... Use it to drive conversation about what's required to compete at your company.

If you would like to learn more about Allied Van Lines, please check out their website or blog. And if you would like to get more information from the Workforce Mobility Survey, you can click here. It’s definitely worth checking out.



Maybe they did not take a job because ...wait for it...
it was not the best choice for their life.

The idea that your "closing skills" or relo package would be the difference is a stunningly narcissistic perspective.

I would bet your closing skills affect the speed with which a "right fit" finalizes, and wins edge cases. Unless you are hiring fools, the primary cause of a job change is the job.

Another Scott

I'm a $110,000 professional that is just about to turn down an offer for a "perfect job" because they offered me a $5,000 lump sum for moving (from MS to TX). This is with a 100,000 employee company and you probably know the name. I almost laughed when they made that offer with a straight face. No wonder the job has been open for 14 months.

As the article says, "If you aren't offering a relo package with the following three components - Temp Living, a Lump Sum Payment and Physical Move - you're wasting your time trying to relocate professional grade candidates."

I couldn't agree more.

Another john

depending on the target city, and the distance moved I would say best to simply five a lump sum for the move , somewhere around 20k seems reasonable to me.


The Art of Negotiating Your Corporate Relocation Package #corporaterelocation #newjob #moving #movers


this is american tactic. In the empire of hustlers, hucksters, and corporate propaganda --this par for the course. In fact, most of the populace wants to get rich. Period. The corporations know this; hence, they will always have a rear-end for each seat. Regardless, if "professional grade" or some 20-30yr who's voice has not changed yet.


Temp Living, a Lump Sum Payment and Physical Move are the three basic things that the company should offer along with Relo package. Whether if ti is a Large or Small company, the employer expects this from the management. And there is no relation between Relo package and the closing skill.


We had what I would call a "gold plated" relo package when my husband was offered a 6 figure position out of college about 5 years ago. They paid a lump sum for 3 months of living expenses plus an additional lump sum for daily incurred expenses during the transition. They paid for a big name moving company to pack, move, and unload all of our belongings plus 30 days of storage (which we did not need since we found a home right away). They facilitated finding a realtor and also paid all the closing costs on the home we sold as well as the home we purchased. They also reimbursed costs for hooking up utilities at the new house. Mind you this was for a new hire. Their package for existing employees I hear is even better. For us, all of these items are a must (especially the realtor closing costs since they can eat your equity).

Another Anderson

My company offered the following:

1. Full realtor fees for the house we sold
2. Paid out our equity once we were under contract
3. Full moving expenses including packing, delivery and up to 60 days of storage (we didn’t need)
4. Relocation support - job assistance for my wife, finding schools, churches, etc.
5. Lump sum payout of $26k

They were top notch all the way around...

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