Tips to Negotiate a Relocation Package for Your New Job
Congratulations! You got a new job! You’re excited about the position and can’t wait to get started – the only problem is the job is in another city. Fortunately for you, many companies are willing to negotiate a relocation package, especially for new hires crossing state lines. Come to the negotiation table prepared to discuss your relocation and the benefits provided to help you get to your new home. Not sure where to start? We have your back.
How to Negotiate a Relocation Package
During contract negotiations, ask about the company’s policy on relocation allowances. Ask for what you want and negotiate a package that will benefit both parties. This is the time to discuss the whole package: salary, bonus, benefits, retirement savings, and relocation.
Come to the conversation prepared with the facts. You can start by asking the Human Resources department about their current standard benefits and relocation policy. If you’ve met other employees who moved for the position, ask them what was beneficial and what they wished they had done differently. Look into the policies of similar companies and finally, if you found the job through a recruiter, ask him or her for guidance.
In any negotiation, it’s important to address real needs. Ask for what you need and be willing to negotiate to find a compromise between you and your employer. Take a look at your specific situation. What is your current salary in relation to the cost of living? Now, calculate the cost of living in the new location. What would you need to earn in order to live at the same (or higher) standing in the new city? That’s how much you should negotiate for your salary. Then estimate how much moving will cost you and your family. Negotiate that cost as a relocation package or signing bonus but stay open to settling for partial coverage.
Make sure to come to this conversation prepared with expected moving costs and quotes from moving companies. While negotiating, describe each of your desires in a way that shows benefit to the employer. For example: will certain benefits allow you to have an earlier start date?
Submit all your negotiations in writing. Express your excitement about working for the company while submitting your counter-proposal. Keep this in a reasonable range of the initial offer. In the end, make sure to get the final relocation package in writing. This does not need to be a formal contract – a signed letter detailing the terms, timeline, and funds will work fine.
What to Ask For
You know how to negotiate, but what should you ask for? A variety of factors come into play when relocating for a job. Not only do you need to get to the new location, you also need to wrap everything up at your current location, figure out where to buy a home, pack your belongings, and make accommodations for your family. The following benefits are commonly negotiated into relocation packages.
Location Scouting Trips
Moving to a new city can be a big undertaking. It’s important to get a sense of where you want to live within the city prior to making the move. Ask for the time and budget to take reconnaissance trips prior to your start date. Use these trips to look for neighborhoods you’d like to live in, housing, traffic patterns, school districts, and distance from extracurricular activities such as gyms, sports teams, shopping, and theaters.
Assistance Selling Your Current Home
If you need to sell your home prior to relocating, your new company might help cover some of those costs. Selling your home can be a big financial task due to real estate commissions, closing costs, and more.
Make sure to discuss the moving expenses section of the relocation package in detail. Does it cover the packing and unpacking of boxes in addition to ground transportation to the new location? Will you have a stipend for unexpected expenses incurred along the way?
Clarify how you will be reimbursed for these costs. If you’re given a lump sum for your relocation, keep all receipts from your move. We mean all of them. Have a receipt for your boxes, packing peanuts, packing tape, movers, moving truck, gas, hotel stays, etc. If you used any personal funds to cover moving expenses, you might be able to get a tax deduction for a move over 50 miles away from your previous residence and job. You also must work for at least 39 weeks following your move to qualify.
Temporary Housing and Storage
Sometimes, companies will cover a set period of temporary housing while you find a permanent home. This is typically offered in cases where they want you to begin work at their office shortly after signing the contract – not allowing time to find a residence. If your company has an executive condo or apartment for relocating employees, ask to stay there for 60 to 90 days after your start date so you have time to look for a permanent home. If they don’t have a temporary housing option, ask for your relocation package to include the cost of one to two months of temporary housing, such as a hotel stay or short-term lease.
While you’re looking for a permanent residence, you will need somewhere to keep your possessions. There’s no need to unpack everything if you will just move into your new home in a month or two. There’s also the chance that a home sale could fall through, leaving you without a place to live. Negotiate up to six months of storage to take some of the stress out of moving.
Job Search Assistance for Your Spouse
If your family is relocating for the job along with you, negotiate job search assistance for your spouse. This could include a referral to a recruiter in their industry, reimbursements for job search expenses, or internal company interviews. It is important to make sure your spouse is comfortable with the move and has the resources available to find a career in the area.
Many factors come into play when relocating for a job and negotiating a strong relocation package is just the first step of your journey to a new workplace. Starting a new job is stressful enough. Let our team of professional movers handle your moving needs. Contact our office to start making your relocation plan.