Employees are open to serious mobility when it comes to starting a new job, especially Millennials, who are making up an increasing portion of the workforce.
LinkedIn figures show that the average Millennial is 50 percent more amenable to relocating than colleagues from other generations. However, they’re not the only generation on the move: More than 35 million people move each year in the U.S. And it’s no surprise that, per Census Bureau data, about 20 percent of people who moved from 2015 to 2016 did so to further their careers.
As an employer trying to woo top talent to your headquarters or send superstars to an office in another region, you should feel buoyed by these statistics. At the same time, you must be prepared to help employees successfully switch not only positions but households as well. After all, any move is stressful. Add to normal moving stressors a new job title and duties, and it’s easy to see why career moves can produce off-the-chart anxiety — not something that makes for highly productive team members.
Want to ease the concerns and burdens of your relocating employees and prospective personnel? Take a pragmatic approach to ward off any “buyer’s remorse” on the part of your up-and-coming top players.
1. Lend a helping financial hand.
Sure, you may offer your relocating employees a healthy salary, but why not sweeten the deal by pitching in on moving expenses? Use your willingness to pay for some or all applicable relocation costs as a bargaining chip or just a way to generate goodwill.
Give workers a list of the items you will cover and ask for receipts you can reimburse for out-of-pocket expenditures. Or, if you prefer, give employees a lump sum. Remember, however, that if you choose the latter option, your employee will have to pay taxes on that amount. Therefore, it’s a smart idea to “gross up,” or increase the lump sum to cover anticipated taxes.
2. Give an insider’s lowdown.
Figuring out which neighborhoods or communities to consider when looking for housing is a daunting task. Even with modern tools like Yelp and CrimeReports, people still appreciate insider advice from others who actually live in the area. Be ready to compile a list of suggested areas to consider for any workers who are house hunting, perhaps in a shared Google doc so all personnel can add their ideas and suggestions. You can include information on everything from the average commute time to their new office to school district ratings.
Don’t underestimate how important it is for your relocating employees to feel at ease in a new community. If they’re not comfortable with their surroundings, they may not remain with your company for long.
3. Curate a list of moving resources.
Moving includes much more than packing, hiring a moving company, and then unpacking. In fact, the process can become complex very quickly, especially if this is the first time an employee has made a major move.
You can take some of the pressures off of your workers’ shoulders by introducing them to free platforms like Zillow, which shows home values and features to house hunters, and Moved, which streamlines all the logistics of moving. Multivendor platforms can help relocating employees deal with all of those tasks that tend to crop up during a move, such as the need to buy a replacement mattress or locate a safe storage facility.
4. Think flexibility, not rigidity.
Unless you absolutely must have your employee start immediately, give him or her enough time to wrap up last-minute loose ends and responsibilities. Sure, you want your employee to become part of the team as soon as possible, but you also want someone on board who is alert and focused.
Build out a reasonable time frame with your employee. You might even offer temporary housing so the issue of finding a place to live permanently is less worrisome.
Relocation hasn’t gotten any less demanding over time, but it hasn’t become any less important, either. If you’re trying to build a dream team, you’re going to need relocation protocols for far-flung talent. It’s worth investing a little upfront energy to ensure the right people are working for your company.