Flexibility is the name of the mobility game in 2023 it seems. In fact, CapRelo CEO Barry Morris recently pointed to flexibility as the second biggest trend in the industry.
“Companies want to ensure that their employees are getting mobility services the way they want to receive them,” he notes. “We know that different people want different services in different ways, and it is important to have a flexible mobility program that will meet their needs.”
Assignee Needs and Choices Vary
While many mobility programs rely heavily on the traditional relocation benefits, such as the transportation of household goods, lease break benefits, final move trips, and Homesale/ home purchase benefits, there is an increasing call for offering more than “core” services.
For the HR manager tasked with crafting a flexible menu of non-traditional benefits options, though, how do you know what’s most important to entice your assignees? After all, the range of possible non-traditional benefits is virtually limitless — so which are likely to be the most popular must-have options?
To answer that, first understand that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Our relocation experts have found three key factors that differentiate the most-asked-for relocation benefits:
1. What benefits are considered standard in a company’s policies and policy design;
2. Whether the employee is a homeowner or renter; and
3. The employee’s salary level. Generally speaking, we find that assignees at higher salary levels need different things than those who are not as cash fluid.
While preferences vary based on the three factors above, CapRelo’s data shows some interesting trends as to where employees generally are choosing to spend their relocation budgets. What is trending this year in non-traditional benefits? Here’s what we see.
If you’ve ever moved, you know the hassle and sometimes hours of phone calls involved in disconnecting and reconnecting utility services. Regardless of whether the relocating employee is a homeowner or renter, by far the most frequently used non-traditional benefit is assistance in setting up utilities in the new location. Next in line for employees planning to rent in their new location is renter’s insurance. Those purchasing a new home most often opt to use some of the relocation budget for mortgage or closing cost assistance, and home warranties.
It should come as no surprise that specialty services also rank high on assignees’ list of non-traditional services. Locating a housecleaner or local person to handle handiwork needs can be challenging in an unfamiliar location. By choosing those services through the CompanionFlex platform, assignees benefit through CapRelo’s partnerships with companies like Porch. They work across regions, meaning the local specialist hired to hang the TVs, unpack and put away household goods or provide house cleaning is already vetted and trusted.
Particularly on the global side, assignees are interested in creative benefits that help them and their families settle into the new environment seamlessly. This can include assistance in learning a new language, finding services for special needs children, researching and enrolling in schools, and offering career assistance for a relocating spouse.
Many assignees in higher tier positions also are choosing to spend some of their relocation dollars on financial services, like access to private banking through CapRelo’s preferred network. Credit support is another popular banking service across employee tiers.
Technology to Track Preferences
CapRelo’s CompanionFlex platform not only makes it easy for an organization to decide how it wants to structure its relocation policy and give assignees the control they want over how their relocation dollars will be spent. It also provides out-of-the-box analytics so that HR managers can track which services are actually being selected by which employees, and adjust policy design as needed to fit assignees’ preferences.
The HR team will find an extensive CompanionFlex library of nearly 100 employee benefit options, both traditional and non-traditional and can choose which ones to make available to relocating employees. Assignees can view all their available benefits options and choose what they want to use. The platform is all about flexibility; an HR manager can easily add services not in the library, and the shopping cart interface lets employees save favorites while they shop.
Are You Providing the Benefits Your Employees Want?
The imperative for flexibility in global mobility programs is here. If your mobility team is looking for innovative ways to wow transferees with flexible, yet affordable, relocation program benefits, talk to the CapRelo team about CompanionFlex. We can help you create a customized core/flex program and user platform that lets employees shop online and choose from nearly 100 benefits, using their CompanionFlex virtual wallet to fund the benefits they want. Learn more.