Want candidates to move? Get creative with your relocation package

With in-office work trending up, employers are having to address the age-old question of how to convince top candidates to relocate.

Uprooting a candidate’s family to start a new role leads to anxiety for all parties involved. It often requires a candidate’s family to move with them and could mean selling their current house and starting the homebuying process from scratch. Couple this with the high interest rates we’re seeing in 2023, and requiring a full relocation gets complicated and costly as an employer.

Recruiters at Charles Aris Executive Search have coordinated offers that require relocation numerous times throughout the years, but the process is more frequent with industrial clients in the agriculture and manufacturing spaces hiring for roles that require in-person work. In the first six months of this year, we’ve started seeing more negotiations between clients and candidates to settle on a relocation package that works well for all parties, and this often requires creativity surrounding the details of the package itself.

Instead of simply agreeing to cover relocation costs up front, we’ve seen the most effective relocations occur when clients provide thoughtful oversight from the initial packing process to a candidate actually signing for their new home.

In the inaugural Charles Aris Mid-Year Agriculture Offer Report, we tracked the dollar amount associated with our clients’ relocation packages to provide readers with a benchmark for understanding the comprehensive market rates for top talent in this space. Half of the offers in this report included some form of a relocation package, and one included a “full relocation,” which entailed a third-party service to assist with the move in its entirety and six months of temporary housing in the new location. Download the full report here: 2023 Charles Aris Mid-Year Agriculture Offer Report.

As we witness a return-to-office movement across industries and functions, here are three creative ways to assist winning candidates with their relocation:

Buy down your candidate’s mortgage rate.

Federal interest rate increases we’ve seen in 2023 have made the homebuying process more expensive compared to years prior, and the task can be especially challenging for current homeowners who refinanced their mortgage during the historically low interest rate period in 2020 or who took the time to start or complete home renovations. If your organization’s role requires the winning candidate to relocate, consider offering additional funds towards their new home to help buy down interest rates. This buydown could be permanent (i.e., through the entirety of the mortgage), or you could offer funds towards a temporary rate buydown, which would lower interest rates for the first few years of the candidate’s new mortgage.

Offer candidates extended rental stipends.

Some candidates might be reluctant to buy a new home at all, or, in some cases, must wait to relocate their families either due to a spouse’s career, a child’s education or any other variety of factors. Offering a rental stipend designed to fund a candidate’s temporary residence in an apartment or AirBNB is common practice during relocations, but organizations should consider extending this stipend period to accommodate for high interest rates and other factors that could dissuade a candidate from buying a new home, and, ultimately, relocating for the role. We’ve seen this model work especially well for candidates whose families can’t immediately relocate because it gives them the flexibility to travel back and forth from their prior address without committing to a new house.

Consider a third-party relocation service.

For organizations that want to provide a comprehensive relocation package, the best option is generally to hire a relocation service that handles the planning, logistics and strategy behind a candidate’s move. There are a vast array of organizations offering such services, and their scope can range from general packing, storage and house hunting advisory to actually coordinating the sale of a candidate’s current home and the purchasing of their new one. Depending on your organization’s budget and the candidate’s preferences, some type of third-party service is generally a positive addition to the relocation package and has become common practice among many larger companies.

To learn more about relocation, or our recruiting capabilities in the industrial/agriculture spaces, contact Eric Spell at eric.spell@charlesaris.com or Greg Harper at greg.harper@charlesaris.com.