How HR Professionals Should Handle Employee Relocation

How HR Professionals Should Handle Employee RelocationWhen an organization needs to relocate an employee from one location to another, there are procedures that HR professionals follow. These procedures mitigate risks of losing employees, or wasting resources sending employees to new locations.

Relocation is a major decision for an employee, and the employee will also consider career growth opportunities. HR will want to make sure the employee transitions smoothly to the new location and has opportunity for growth, or the employee may look for vacancies in new companies.

In this article we’ll highlight some key factors and considerations for HR to professionally handle employee relocation.

Policy Design

Policies must be written down to make sure that equality prevails throughout the organization and that all employees are treated fairly and consistently. Having clear documentation not only guides HR employees, but gives non-HR employees a transparent view of company policies.

The policies are of three categories of employees:

  1. Fresh employees who have just been recruited.
  2. Employees who have been working for a long time and have significant experience and are more likely to be settled with a home and/or a family.
  3. The top-level management who are well-established in their current locations and have a strong network.

The HR department can devise different policies for each category. For instance, the third category would require the relocation package to be attractive and for that costs will increase. An employee is not likely to find a simple job transfer an enticing opportunity. Hence, a cost/benefit analysis would be required before relocating any employee.

Relocation program example

Generally an employee relocation program will want to address a variety of factors. These factors pertain to employee retention and helping them adjust to a new location, and protecting the company’s investment in relocating an employee.

Some companies prefer to use specialised relocation services for company VIPs, like executive relocation from ARC.

An example of a thorough employee relocation program would look like:

  1. Bonuses and pay adjustments.
  2. Site visits
  3. Place of stay
  4. Moving expense
  5. Family support
  6. Payback clause
  7. Communication

Retention rates also tend to fall after the relocation. As a result, an organization’s relocation packages, practices, and policies are a significant factor that plays their part in alluring and hiring new talent which is a key element in a business’s growth.

Therefore to allure and hire the new talent it is crucial for an organization to ensure that its relocation package is competitive enough. This is the task of the human resource department in any organization.

A great relocation program would guarantee increased competitiveness however there are chances of mismatch between the talent and the requirements of the new location.

If the relocated employee does not adjust well then it weakens the employer’s power to retain the employee and it comes along with the risk of losing a skilled and developed employee.

In the past year, many industries have arranged work-from-home setups with their employees. With remote work software and livestream meetings, there may not be a need for many employees to return to work in offices, which means online hiring will be a preferred method. Instead of employee relocation packages, companies may choose to invest more often in company retreats and in-person events.

How HR can remain proactive

However, relocation doesn’t just require devising a relocation program by the human resource or approving expenses. It requires a solid strategy that aligns itself with the company’s strategy and finances in a way that the relocation programs also contribute.

To ensure the smooth functioning of the relocation programs, the human resource department needs to synergize with other departments of the organization.

For smoothening relocation, the human resource managers can do the following:

  1. Devise policies by collaborating with the chief operating officers and internal business partners.
  2. Collaborate with the talent office and managers to identify employees who best suit mobility opportunities.
  3. Manage a group of vendors and external service providers by collaborating with financial officers.
  4. Resolve legal issues by connecting with the legal department.

It is crucial for human resources to scrutinize the program strategically, financially, and operationally.

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