Relocation Program Zen for HR and Recruiting Teams

Do you have job postings that say, “relocation assistance available?” If so, then you’re already open to considering candidates who you will have to woo to your company and your city. Many companies spend time making the hard sell to their top candidate(s) — likely spending a lot of time talking up the company, the opportunity, and growth potential. Throwing in some details about the city, maybe a book or site of things to do in the city. You may not even do that, after all, they are talking and engaging with you, so they must be sold on the new city, right? Meh. Maybe. You’ve been courting your candidate during the interview process, but once you’ve decided that you’ve found the right one,  have you forgotten to engage their spouse, significant other, or other key family? If you leave this to the new hire to work out — you may be missing an opportunity to have a “phenomenal” relocation experience. Having a less than stellar experience can cause stress and distractions to your new hire that may flow over into their work. What kind of things does your relocation program provide?

Offer relocation tools and resources

Not everyone has the same readiness for a relocation. Be sure to have some great tools and resources for those close to your new hire to see how they are feeling about the move (or have  info ready for your new hire to help prep them for the conversation with the right people). Offering a “relocation” scouting trip and allowing them to invite a guest (or two) of their choice is pretty customary. However, to achieve “zen,’ include in those tools resources that will show that you are interested in helping them get integrated into their new city. People can find out things about the city and some interest by doing searches on the internet, but having resources that will help with the day to day stuff can really help and allow time to focus on the move. The key is to show what it would be like day to day in the new place — not just make it a day trip or a vacation. Where are the grocery stores, where can you get your hair done, where are the parks, etc. Show them — make the mental picture more real. You put all the time and money to recruit the hire and if their loved ones aren’t feeling it once they move, its could be dividing attention for your new hire. They are not focused on work, their new job, or team.

Relocation is more then moving your stuff

A great relocation is so much more than just moving people’s stuff from one house to another or helping them find a new one — its helping them make a “home” — re-establishing the a network of community and comfort that they are leaving behind. Some people are ready to move but still need help getting established.  Does your relocation provider or process help to get people settled? I’m not talking the nice gift baskets (those are nice, so if you do that, don’t stop), but services that help people make connections. Do the kids play sports, do they have pets, did the significant other leave a job behind? Find out and put some resources together for them… maybe even, make some introductions.

If you have a lot of people relocating, host events for them to meet each other. Your new employee is meeting new people at work and making some connections there. If they bring people with them, try to offer opportunities for them to do the same. Nothing is worse than waiting for someone to come home because you don’t have a life of your own. I’ve seen some organizations do this very well. If you’re doing this, great! If you’re not, consider setting up groups that meet the needs of your new employees and their families — find ways to cater to your new hire and to whoever they have brought with them.

Look for ways to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible – for everyone involved in the move. It’ll take a bit of extra work and consideration, but it’ll be worth it! Remember, you’re not trying to replicate what they had — its a new city, its going to be different — you’re just trying to give them the tools to seed that new life, and help them make it grow. A top-notch relocation program that takes into account all the aspects of a move could be a wonderful benefit point  your new employee. Relocation “happiness” → happy family/home life → happy and productive new employee.

What are other suggestions that you have to take your relocation program to the next level?

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Andrea Devers

Andrea is an HR technologist and change management expert. She’s has built her career in global HR Compliance, HR process improvement, and shared services across all functions of HR. Connect with Andrea.


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