How to Negotiate a Relocation Fee Like a Pro


Jobs can sometimes take us anywhere—often unexpectedly. The reasoning can sometimes be sound, or perhaps never fully expressed. Regardless, many times your job can be dependent on your willingness to uproot yourself and family.

Taking the Plunge

This is a personal choice that must take into account many unique variable we’d never be able to express. However, if you’ve made the decision to relocate for a job position there are some simple tips and negotiation tactics that can help you secure a fair-compensation package for your commitment. Moving requires the upheaval of your entire life—your furniture, your mattresses, even your attic storage. Below, you’ll find some of these great tips as described by Monster—the king of the job hunt.

Focus on Your Interests

The whole 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 child care. (She still had to finish paying her 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 relocate.
  • Assistance in choosing a good local school for her older child.

Once you have thought about what help you need, you can prepare to negotiate for a package that suits you.

Find Out What Assistance Is Typical

Your 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 at the company has recently moved, and ask about their relocation packages.
  • Ask your friends or other contacts in similar firms about their experiences or their companies’ policies.
  • If you are using a recruiter, he should be able to provide guidance as well.

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.
  • Job search assistance for the spouse (which may include job search reimbursements, referrals to a recruiter and arranging for interviews inside the company).
  • 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 their new employees’ distinct needs. 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.

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