What is Corporate Relocation? 

Unless you’ve been asked to move by a company you may not even know that Corporate Relocation programs exist. Simply put, Corporate Relocation is a conditional move assistance benefit that is offered to employees on an as-needed basis. It is ‘conditional’ because there are formal guidelines for when it can be given. It is ‘as-needed’ because not all job positions or employees can get it.

A Necessity

Relocation is a necessary part of the job recruiting process, designed to move new hires or existing employees into hard to fill jobs or difficult to fill geographic areas. The first choice for any employer is to fill an open job position with someone local to minimize costs. If there are no local candidates the job posting may be listed nationally, offering a 'relocation package' to a qualified candidate.

In the late 1980’s relocation benefits became increasingly important at a time when business was becoming more global and competition for talent was heating up. As a result, a steady increase in benefit offerings has pushed the average cost to relocate one home owning employee to over $90,000.  It is now common in major metropolitan areas for employers to spend more than $200,000 per relocation.

With the high cost of relocating it is easy to understand why most people will not move at the request of a company unless he or she is receiving some form of financial assistance.

Who Gets a Corporate Move?

Relocation offerings are more dependent on business need than any one person. Most job postings will have a section to designate if relocation benefits are available.

  • Company size: the odds of being offered relocation benefits increases as the size of a company increases. The economy of it is simple; large multinational companies can afford to spend more on relocation benefits than smaller, less financially capable companies.
  • Budgeting: even in large companies budget restrictions can preclude relocation. It is common for some departments to be able to offer relocation while others cannot.
  • Job importance: common and easy to fill positions are less likely to get relocation (think Administrative Assistant). Industry specific jobs or hard to fill positions are more likely to receive benefits.
  • Difficult geography: job positions in locations that are out of the environmental norm are often hard to fill. Examples include severely hot or cold climates, and locations that are secluded or a high security risk.
  • Group moves: when a company moves operations to an alternate geography they may offer a special ‘group move plan’ in order to retain employees.
  • Desired colleague: in rare occasions there are highly qualified employees with specific traits that a business cannot do without.
  • Precedent: sometimes relocation will be offered just because someone else received benefits for the same job position in the past. This is done in an attempt not to appear bias or to show favoritism.

If relocation benefits are not offered for a position you are interested in, ask if the company will make an exception for you. Note that ReloTutor provides information about relocations within the United States. None of the materials contained in this site are intended for International transfers. 




Move Acronyms

AMSA  American Moving & Storage Association

CWT   Cost per one hundred pounds

DOT    Department of Transportation

PBO    Packed By Owner

SIT     Storage In Transit


Real Estate Acronyms

BPO   Broker Price Opinion

CMA  Comparative Market Analysis

FDR   Formal Dining Room

MLS   Multiple Listing Service

TI      Tenant Improvement


Relocation Acronyms

CRP   Certified Relocation Professional

COLA Cost of Living Allowance

FMV   Fair Market Value

MVA   Market Value Analysis

PCS   Personal Change of Station (military)



Also see Definitions and Terms