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Employers Willing to Pay to Relocate Employees

An improving but still highly competitive job market means that more workers might be looking beyond their own backyard for employment options. Forty-four percent of U.S. workers said they would be willing to relocate for a career opportunity, according to a nationwide study by CareerBuilder, an online career site. Of workers who were laid off during the previous 12 months and who found new jobs, 20 percent relocated to a new city or state.

Paying Relocation Costs

At the same time, many employers struggling to find workers for skilled positions said they are willing to pay to bring talent to their locations:

  • 32 percent reported they would be willing to pay to relocate new employees in 2012.
  • 19 percent would be willing to pay a smaller first year salary in order to give a signing bonus to relocate an employee.

The national survey was conducted from Nov. 9-Dec. 5, 2011, among 3,023 hiring managers and HR professionals and 7,780 workers.

“One of the key trends we saw coming out of the recession is the movement of labor in and out of markets across the U.S.,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “Workers have had to expand their job search geographically and employers in need of hard-to-find, skilled talent have had to recruit across state lines.”

While employers will move current staff and new hires for a wide variety of positions, the top areas for which they are most likely to pay to relocate employees are tied to technology and revenue generation.

By industry sector, the survey found the following percentages of employers willing to pay relocation costs:

  • Engineering—30 percent.
  • Information Technology—23 percent.
  • Business Development—21 percent.
  • Sales—21 percent.
  • Financial—16 percent.=
  • Marketing—13 percent.
  • Legal—11 percent.

Many Eager to Relocate

A large majority of workers who relocated in the previous 12 months—77 percent—reported they were happy with the move and didn’t regret the decision. Workers reported benefitting in the following ways:

  • Made new friends—31 percent.
  • Made a fresh start—30 percent.
  • Had new experiences we wouldn’t have had anywhere else—29 percent.
  • Earning at a higher level gave the family more spending options—27 percent.
  • Better long-term career opportunities—22 percent.
  • Area is nicer and schools are better—19 percent.

Relocation Challenges

Of those workers who relocated during the previous 12 months, 41 percent said their family didn’t relocate with them and they have to travel to see them. Top challenges associated with relocating included:

  • Cost of living is higher—26 percent.
  • More stress on the family unit—24 percent.
  • Difficult to make new friends—18 percent.
  • Feeling homesick—16 percent.

Related Resource:

Relocation Expenses Policy (Exempt), SHRM Templates and Tools

Quick Links:

SHRM Online Compensation Discipline

SHRM Salary Survey Directory

SHRM Compensation Data Center

SHRM Metro Economic Outlook reports


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