Let’s be honest, moving is expensive and if you are moving for work, you should not have to incur that cost all by yourself. Unfortunately, companies are not always upfront with the how much they are willing to help you and you will likely need to push to get the best offer. Negotiating is never easy, and according to a survey conducted by Atlas Van Lines, 72% of employers only give employees two weeks or less to decide whether or not to accept relocation, so you need to move fast.
The following are steps you need to take to quickly customize the relocation package that works for you and how to approach your employer about making it happen.
What do you want?
Negotiation 101: always come into a negotiation meeting knowing what you want, and what you need. Seems like a simple step, but it is often ignored. If you enter a meeting without a solid plan, it will be very easy to get caught up in the stress of negotiation and give into whatever your employer proposes.
Make your list of needs and wants without bias. Don’t let finances dictate what you put on the list – your employer can decide what seems reasonable.
Do your research
What is a normal relocation package at your work? Ask your HR representatives for a document containing the relocation guidelines. The document will give you an idea of what you will automatically get without negotiating and may also give you ideas of what other things you may need/want. Treat these just as guidelines. There are exceptions to every rule, especially if you are a valued employee.
Talk to coworkers or friends who have relocated for work. Find out what they received so you can add needs/wants to your list and use their packages as a negotiating tactic.
Many cities even have relocation experts who can help ease the process. Take the time to find one in the city you may be moving to and see what advice they have to offer.
First and foremost, make sure your negotiation meeting is timed correctly; this is not a discussion that should wait until the last minute. Schedule a negotiation with enough time to have a follow up meeting in case your employer needs to get approval on something or you need to discuss something with anyone who is moving with you.
Have a presentation and budget ready to share at your meeting. Creating a presentation will prove to your employer that you have put a lot of thought into this and it will help you remember your major talking points.
Enter the meeting knowing the minimum offer at which you will accept the job. Don’t stray from this. Relocation is a huge decision and not one you want to make in the spur of the moment.
Remind your employer that this relocation is vital to them, and you are an asset who is helping them. Negotiation is all about making your offer seem mutually beneficial. For example, how will having your utilities set up for you before you arrive benefit your employer? You will be able to hit the ground running and start working as soon as you get there.
Be flexible, negotiations are two-sided. You are probably not going to get everything in your presentation verbatim, so be ready with alternatives. Suggest if you can’t get “x” you will need “y.” Another tactic is to bring up the idea of a “signing bonus.” Your employer may say that the company can’t put it in the contract that they offered you something due to a variety of reasons, but you could suggest that they just give you a “signing bonus” that covers the cost of that request.
Finally, get it in writing. For obvious reasons.
Most companies are willing to negotiate a relocation package, so don’t let the stress of the situation stop you from saving thousands of dollars and making your move easier.