Practical tips and advice on how to develop effective relocation policies for corporate transferees.
You swore them off four years ago. “Never again,” you said.
Never say never.
The tables are turning and the Guaranteed Buyout is making a comeback beyond the most senior executives. It’s hard to imagine now but, before the recession, the GBO was common in many organizations. Back then, employees were concerned that the historic data used to determine price didn’t account for the appreciation that was driving values higher…almost daily. It wasn’t a big problem, however, because most houses sold quickly and at prices that were higher than the appraised offer. At the end of the day, everyone was happy. Sigh…we didn’t know how lucky we all were.
We are excited today to introduce our latest whitepaper, How to Effectively Customize Your Relocation Program. As many of you know, the first quarter of every year is a great time for HR, procurement and relocation managers to assess their current relocation programs and see if they are meeting the needs of both their transferees and their budgets.
Lately, we have been hearing a lot about exceptions. After several years of an unpredictable relocation environment, it makes sense that relocation managers would be struggling to create policies that have the right level of benefits to accommodate transferees in uncertain times. As such, exceptions surrounding temporary living and other benefits around housing are common.
Sunday is almost here and I’m excited. The Walking Dead returns and I’m ready to get spooked with the best of them, just in time for Halloween. I’m sure you are wondering what this show has to do with HR and relocation. Not too much, actually, but if you stick with me this will be a fun read.
One of the things I love about writing for this blog is that I get to answer relocation questions that people have, in real time. A few months ago, in response to one of our posts about loss on sale policies, a transferee stopped by to ask us a great question about the relationship between capital improvements and loss on sale. Interestingly enough, his timing was impeccable. His question, which I will share after the jump, is one that many transferees are facing today. Relocation managers should be aware of this issue moving forward, as I anticipate most managers with a home sale program will realize similar circumstances among their own transferee base.
It is graduation season and that means there is new talent for hire – and companies are seizing the moment. In fact, CareerBuilder released a report yesterday that more than 50 percent of companies are planning to hire new grads, which is up more than 10 percent from 2009. This is great news, but it also means that recruitment competition will be fierce in some industries.
With the economy still sputtering and the housing market in the dumps, companies are looking for ways to better manage relocation costs and risk. Lately, there has been much debate about which relocation policies are well suited towards the current market. Not surprisingly, fixed free programs have played a role in many of these conversations.
Not be a Debbie Downer, but we may need to think differently about long term relocation benefits as it’s unlikely that the housing market will rebound soon. Sure, there have been some signs of improvement, but the reality is that high unemployment, tight credit, foreclosures and shadow inventory are going to stand in the way of real growth for the next few years. But, that doesn’t mean we can, or should, stick our heads in the sand. Corporations still have a need to relocate talent and if we don’t change our way of thinking about relocation benefits, employees may not agree to relocate.
Not long ago a client asked me to explain the state of the relocation industry for the past 10 years so that she could have a better understanding of what her transferees – some of which have moved several times in the past decade – are going through. It’s an interesting, and loaded, question. So much has happened in the past decade that HR managers, employees and relocation partners are all suffering from an extreme case of whiplash.