Whether you're moving for work or you're coordinating a move for an employee (or several employees), planning an employee relocation can be challenging. Our Complete Guide to Employee Relocation will answer all your biggest questions about relocating employees, from what costs are covered in a relocation package and what employee relocation companies can do to help to how to ask for a relocation package.
Start by finding out what kinds of relcoation assistance are typical for someone in your position.
Determine what moving expenses you want your new employer to cover.
Get our advice for how to ask your new employer to help cover your moving expenses, including a sample letter
asking for relocation assistance.
While some employers will have a standard relocation package ready to go when they make you a job offer, not all employers will, and having to ask for relocation assistance can be daunting. Or, maybe your new employer did include a relocation agreement in their offer letter, but it doesn’t cover all your expenses and you want to ask for more than what they are offering.
If you want to ask for relocation assistance for a new job but you feel like your offer is on the line, just remember—even after looking at local candidates, your new employer likes you enough to ask you to move to a new city, state, or country. The worst thing they can say is that they can’t offer any assistance, or they can’t offer more than they already have.
In this section of the Complete Guide to Employee Relocation, we’ll offer our advice for how to ask for relocation assistance for a new job, including:
- Researching relocation packages
- Assessing your relocation needs
- How to ask for relocation assistance for your new job, including a sample template for requesting relocation assistance
Let’s dig in.
1. Research relocation packages
Like with any negotiation, you should be prepared—and that means being well-informed. The first step is to find out what kinds of relocation assistance are typical for someone in your particular situation. Research what someone with your experience can expect, including:
- What a typical relocation package includes
- What someone in your pay-range is typically given
- What is typical for the distance you’re being asked to move
- What companies that specialize in employee relocation services have to offer
- What your new company offers
- What other companies in the same field and of the same size are offering
If you’re not sure where to begin conducting this type of research, start by:
- Doing a quick internet search and checking out websites like GlassDoor—it doesn’t hurt to check if other people have shared what relocation assistance they were offered online
- Contacting HR to ask about their relocation policy and benefits package
- Asking friends, family, and other employees who have been relocated to share information about what relocation assistance they received
- Reaching out to contacts at other organizations to ask about their relocation package experience
- Speaking to your recruiter (if you were recruited), who will typically have details regarding offer letter relocation agreements from different companies they work with
2. Assess your relocation needs
After learning about what you can typically expect from a relocation package, think about what you will actually need and make a list. Your list may include things such as:
- House hunting expenses: You may need assistance with house hunting expenses, including a pre-move house hunting trip, lodging, dining, and travel expenses.
- Home buying and selling: If you have to sell and buy homes, consider asking for the relocation package to cover things like closing costs, real estate commissions, reimbursement for lost profit from a quick home sale, title search costs, attorney fees, statutory costs, appraisals, utility transfers, and inspections.
- Job services for your partner: If you have a partner who is relocating with you, they may need assistance finding a new job. Some employers will provide job search assistance for your spouse, so don’t hesitate to include this in your request.
- Travel expenses: You will have to travel to the new city you’ll be working in, so build these travel expenses into your offer letter relocation agreement. This can also include the cost of moving your car if you aren’t driving it to its new home.
- Temporary housing: If you’re having trouble finding somewhere to live, you can request that your relocation package include temporary housing, such as a rental or hotel, so you can begin your new job on time and continue your search after moving to a new city without added stress.
- Moving: Moving costs are commonly covered by most relocation packages and are the least likely to be disputed, so make sure you include this on your list, covering things like hiring movers, renting a moving truck, moving insurance, packing materials, and storage facilities.
- Packing services: If you don’t have time to handle the packing portion of your move, you should consider asking for full packing service in your relocation package. White glove or full packing service means professional movers will be sent to your home to pack up your belongings, prepare your furniture for the move, and load, unload, and sometimes even unpack your items.
- Lease break coverage: If you have to break your rental agreement early, you may be required to pay additional money to your landlord.
- Other relocation expenses: You should also consider some slightly outside-the-box asks if you need them, such as school relocation assistance for children, childcare services, state driver’s license fees, language classes, or car rentals.
This list will help you when it comes to the next stage: actually asking and negotiating for what you need and want from your new employer.
How to ask for relocation assistance for your new job
Whether you’re experienced with negotiating a new salary, benefits, and relocation package or it’s your first time, it can be overwhelming to ask for more than is being offered. Don’t be afraid to ask for things your company might not include, such as child care needs or lease-break coverage. You may not get all the items you request, but your employer may be able to offer alternatives or make compromises.
Drafting a letter asking for relocation assistance for your new job is challenging, especially if your offer letter doesn’t include relocation assistance in the agreement. We’ve created this rough template to help get you started:
Dear [Employer Name],
Since I will be moving to a new [city/state/country] for this job, I would like to ask for relocation assistance to be included in my benefits package. This way, I can direct my focus solely on preparing myself for the role and all the projects I will be taking on, and hit the ground running.
This is what’s typically offered by comparable companies for people with my job title and level of experience:
[List of relocation things typically offered, backed up by your research]
I would like to also request these additional services on top of the standard package:
I would like to request these services in lieu of some of the typical offerings:
[List of substitutes]
Having access to these services will enable me to enter the workplace focused and prepared to begin fulfilling my job obligations immediately, rather than worrying about all the details and costs of a move and the stressors of finding a home.
Please let me know if you have any questions about my request and when we can discuss this further. I’m open to talking through the options and making adjustments where needed.
If this is your first time relocating for work, it can be overwhelming—especially when you’re starting a new job. Don’t be afraid to ask your employer to include a relocation agreement in your offer letter. Just make sure you:
- Research relocation packages
- Asses your relocation needs
- Ask for what you need and be prepared to negotiate
Learn more about employee relocation on Outside The Box:
- How to Support Employees Through a Long Distance Relocation
- 5 Important Safety Considerations for Office Relocations
- Office Relocation Plans: 9 Steps to a Successful Move
- What is a Reasonable Relocation Package?