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Three Simple Steps for Relocation Benchmarking

Many of our clients like to hear how their costs, policies and specific benefits compare against a client base of similar size and industry. We are often asked by our clients during our quarterly meetings whether their relocation costs are typical and whether the benefits they are providing in their relocation programs are competitive. Benchmarking is always a smart move. Whether benchmarking against best practices or other companies within your industry, it is important to know and understand how your relocation program stacks up.  Further, it demonstrates to senior management that you have done your due diligence and have made informed recommendations and decisions.

It’s important to remember that purpose of benchmarking is not to disrupt your culture or eliminate things that are working, but to ensure that you are being competitive and to fix things that may not be working. It is Three Simple Steps for Relocation Benchmarkingcritical that your relocation policies to match your corporate culture, budget and the needs of your prospects.

The first step that any company interested in benchmarking should take is to tap the knowledge of their relocation partner. We are always happy to share knowledge and provide our clients with guidance to ensure their relocation policies are carefully and clearly written and that they adhere to tax and legal rules. Since we work with a diverse pool of clients, we are often able to benchmark internally. This does not mean that we will share any proprietary or confidential information. It means that in the natural course of serving our clients we have learned what works for a number of industries and program types and can share the knowledge garnered from our experiences.

The second step for relocation managers who are interested in benchmarking is to do some external research. We suggest working with your relocation partner to identify an appropriate base to target. You will want to look at companies in that are your size, in your industry or have a similar talent needs. From there, you and your provider can work together on a survey questionnaire that addresses your needs. While it can be difficult at times to get feedback from other businesses, a well-executed email or phone campaign should generate enough data for benchmarking purposes. In some cases, it may be wise to partner with a research firm, media publication or relevant association to ensure maximum results.

Last, but not least, it’s always a good idea to check in with industry association, such as the Employee Relocation Council of the Society for Human Resource Management, to see if they have any studies or reports on industry best practices.

Benchmarking relocation programs can be challenging. Do you have any additional tips to share? What works, and what doesn’t?

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VP, Client Services

VP of Business Development Northeast Region


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