Monster Contributing Writer
Sooner or later, many of you will take jobs
that require you and your family to move. You will likely incur significant
expenses in the process, and if you are like most people, you will want your
employer to pay for at least some of them. The following advice should help you
handle this negotiation as effectively and collaboratively as possible.
Focus on Your Interests.
point of negotiating for something is to address your real needs. Before you
limit what you ask for, make sure you know what you want. Think broadly and do
not limit yourself to financial expenses. For example, one client of mine
decided these were her needs:
- Assistance in selecting and paying for childcare (She still had to finish
paying her old nanny.).
- A higher cost-of-living subsidy.
- A higher mortgage cost allowance.
- A bridge loan, because she could not sell her house before she had to
- Assistance in choosing a good local school for her older
Once you have thought about what help you need, you can prepare
to negotiate for a package that suits your unique needs. Find Out What Assistance Is Typical.
preparation for this negotiation should include the following:
- Ask your new employer's HR department if the company has a written
relocation policy or if it offers standard benefits.
- Find out who has recently moved at the company and ask about their
- Ask your friends or other contacts in similar firms about their experiences
or their companies' policies.
- If you are using a recruiter, he or she should be able to provide guidance
Keep in mind that companies tend to vary in what they offer,
and larger companies have more standardized policies. Therefore, compensation
can differ by industry, city or even position in the company (executives tend to
get more). Nonetheless, the following expenses are commonly covered:
- Moving costs.
- Temporary lodging costs.
- Travel costs back home if you relocate before your family moves.
- Assistance for a spouse who has to find a new job (may include job-search
reimbursements, referrals to a recruiter and arranging for interviews inside the
- Assistance in selling your house.
- Develop Ideas that Benefit Both Sides.
No matter what is standard,
many companies are willing to negotiate packages that address the distinct needs
of their new employees. Still, even though everything is negotiable, your
employer is more likely to agree to your ideas if they benefit the company as
well. So anticipate this reality, and provide the advantages for your new bosses
when you share your ideas.
For example, my client made sure to tell her
new company, "I will be able to work longer hours and be more productive from
the start if I can get a few important matters settled quickly."
client had an employer that, while willing to provide extra assistance for her
relocation, did not want to set a precedent of deviating from its written
policy. This person solved the problem by saying, "Well, what if we agree that
this assistance will be called a signing bonus?" Get It in Writing.
Once you and the company agree
on a compensation package for your relocation expenses, make sure you capture
that agreement in writing. A formal contract is not necessary, just a simple
signed letter explaining what assistance is being provided by what time.
A negotiation about relocation compensation is the same as any other
negotiation. If you focus on effective preparation, collaborative negotiating
and out-of-the-box thinking, you will do well.