How To Negotiate a Relocation Assistance Package

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 25, 2021 | Published February 4, 2020

Updated February 25, 2021

Published February 4, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're starting a job at a new company and live a significant distance from your workplace, your employer may offer relocation assistance. This type of assistance can help ensure a smooth transition while you move. If you're relocating for a job and want to receive a specific type of relocation package, it can be helpful to negotiate it with your new employer before you start. In this article, we'll review what a relocation assistance package typically includes and how to negotiate for one that fits your needs.

What is relocation assistance?

Relocation assistance is a package that covers moving expenses, transportation costs and other work-related fees involved in moving. This is usually financial, but it can also include other types of support, such as arranging temporary accommodation and helping you find a new home. A relocation package encourages employees to accept work in distant areas by providing material support and a sense of security. The company benefits by being able to attract skilled personnel, improving both their workforce and their reputation.

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What does relocation assistance include?

Relocation assistance can include many different benefits depending on your family's needs and the geographic location of the new position. The type of package will depend on how far you're moving and whether you'll be relocating within the same country or internationally.

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Types of relocation assistance packages

The expenses covered by relocation assistance will vary among companies and industries. The company's budget and policies, the industry standard for relocation packages, your skill level and the distance involved will all be factors. Common elements of a relocation package may include the following:

Home costs

These are the costs involved with selling a home or breaking a lease early. Some employers may cover the real estate agent's commission, the closing fee on the home and other elements. You might be paid in a lump sum before you make any payments, or you may pay upfront, track your costs and receive compensation later on.

New residence assistance

Transferring to a new location can be expensive and may require you to make several different decisions, especially if the new job is overseas. To smooth the transition, your employer may take several different steps. It's common for companies to arrange for temporary accommodation, such as a hotel suite or a short-term apartment rental, until you can find a permanent place to live. The company may also connect you with local real estate agents to make house or apartment-hunting easier. Another expense that employers may cover is the connection fee for utilities in your new home.

Transportation

Transportation can be very expensive, especially if you need to ship your possessions across the country or internationally. In addition to covering airfare, a rental car and other travel expenses, your employer may offer to pay to transport furniture and other belongings to the new location.

Storage

Once your property has been moved, there's often a delay before it can all be moved into the new home. Sometimes relocation is temporary, and you may only be in the new location for a year or two. In this case, it may be advisable to store personal property for that time until you return. A relocation package may cover the costs associated with storing property over either a short- or long-term basis.

Expatriation

Multinational organizations frequently need to move current employees or new hires to other countries. Relocation packages often include help with various aspects of moving overseas. This could include trips to the destination country to find a new home and take care of other aspects of moving abroad. Companies may offer practical as well as financial support, such as helping to find schools for your children or simply assisting you as you navigate the complexities of setting up a home in a new city. Many companies will help with obtaining work visas for spouses and may offer other help to assist your partner or family members in finding work.

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How to negotiate relocation assistance

While most employers will have a standard package of relocation assistance benefits, you can often negotiate for a package that suits your needs better. Follow these steps to negotiate for a relocation assistance package that provides you with everything you need to move.

1. Research typical relocation packages.

The first step is to find out what kinds of relocation assistance are typical for someone in your particular situation.

  • Contact your company's HR department and ask about your company's relocation policy or standard benefits package.

  • Find out about people who've been relocated recently and ask if they could provide information on their relocation assistance.

  • Ask contacts at similar companies to your own about their relocation package experience.

  • Reach out to transferees at other organizations and ask about their experiences.

  • Recruiters typically have relocation information so be sure to talk about negotiating with your agent if you were recruited.

2. Assess your own needs.

Ask yourself what you might need from a relocation package. This could include factors such as breaking a lease early, child care needs or adaptations for a disability. Make a list of the things that really matter to you and use it as a template for your negotiation. Even if you don't get everything you request, your employer may be willing to compromise or offer alternatives.

3. Emphasize mutual benefits.

Try to find ways that your ideas benefit both you and the company. For example, you could focus on the additional work you'll be able to accomplish if you can find a home quickly. Employers may want to offer you a specific item but are reluctant to do so in case it sets a precedent for other employees making the request. You may be able to get around this by persuading your employer to think differently about the element. For example, if your employer doesn't normally cover storage costs as part of their relocation package, you could ask if this might be included under transportation.

Relocating can be a challenge, but it's also a great opportunity. Living in a new city or a new country can open up new possibilities in both your personal and professional life. With the right approach and a little negotiation, you can ensure a positive start to an exciting new stage in your career.

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