Relocation NegotiationMonster Contributing Writer
Sooner or later, many of you will take jobs that require you and
your family to move. You will likely incur significant expenses in the
process, and if you are like most people, you will want your employer to
pay for at least some of them. The following advice should help you
handle this negotiation as effectively and collaboratively as possible.
Focus on Your Interests.
The whole point of negotiating for something is to address your real
needs. Before you limit what you ask for, make sure you know what you
want. Think broadly and do not limit yourself to financial expenses. For
example, one client of mine decided these were her needs:
* Assistance in selecting and paying for childcare (She still
had to finish paying her old nanny.).
* A higher cost-of-living subsidy.
* A higher mortgage cost allowance.
* A bridge loan, because she could not sell her house before she
had to relocate.
* Assistance in choosing a good local school for her older
Once you have thought about what help you need, you can prepare to
negotiate for a package that suits your unique needs.
Find Out What Assistance Is Typical.
Your preparation for this negotiation should include the following:
* Ask your new employer's HR department if the company has a
written relocation policy or if it offers standard benefits.
* Find out who has recently moved at the company and ask about
their relocation packages.
* Ask your friends or other contacts in similar firms about
their experiences or their companies' policies.
* If you are using a recruiter, he or she should be able to
provide guidance as well.
Keep in mind that companies tend to vary in what they offer, and
larger companies have more standardized policies. Therefore,
compensation can differ by industry, city or even position in the
company (executives tend to get more). Nonetheless, the following
expenses are commonly covered:
* Moving costs.
* Temporary lodging costs.
* Travel costs back home if you relocate before your family
* Assistance for a spouse who has to find a new job (may include
job-search reimbursements, referrals to a recruiter and arranging for
interviews inside the company).
* Assistance in selling your house.
* Develop Ideas that Benefit Both Sides.
No matter what is standard, many companies are willing to negotiate
packages that address the distinct needs of their new employees. Still,
even though everything is negotiable, your employer is more likely to
agree to your ideas if they benefit the company as well. So anticipate
this reality, and provide the advantages for your new bosses when you
share your ideas.
For example, my client made sure to tell her new company, "I will be
able to work longer hours and be more productive from the start if I
can get a few important matters settled quickly."
Another client had an employer that, while willing to provide extra
assistance for her relocation, did not want to set a precedent of
deviating from its written policy. This person solved the problem by
saying, "Well, what if we agree that this assistance will be called a
Get It in Writing.
Once you and the company agree on a compensation package for your
relocation expenses, make sure you capture that agreement in writing. A
formal contract is not necessary, just a simple signed letter explaining
what assistance is being provided by what time.
A negotiation about relocation compensation is the same as any other
negotiation. If you focus on effective preparation, collaborative
negotiating and out-of-the-box thinking, you will do well.