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How the Competition for Top Talent is Leading to a Relocation Revolution

Katrina Helmkamp - Feb 24 2020
Published in: Mobility
Technology like MobilifySM that sits at the intersection of Human Resources and Human-Centered Design Thinking can help employers competitively attract and guide talent through their relocation or transfer. 

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, nearly 800,000 households move for work each year. With an estimated 250,000-300,000 corporate-sponsored relocations annually, that leaves half a million new hires or transferees a year to grapple with the stress and complexity of finding a new home in a new place while starting their new job on time and ready to be productive.

What are employers using in lieu of a fully outsourced relocation management experience to recruit new talent and seal the deal with potential transferees? Lump sums, of course—and not just for entry-level employees either. In fact, Atlas® World Group’s 2019 Corporate Relocation Survey shows that firms of all sizes are at least as likely to offer lump sums to experienced professionals (59%) and even executives (55%) as they are to entry-level employees (50%).

Not surprisingly, this also coincides with companies’ ongoing focus on cost containment. Per the Atlas survey: “Lump sums have consistently topped the list of cost-containment measures across company size. In 2018, more than half (54%) of large firms used this means to contain costs—nearly twice as often as most other options.”

The irony is that lump sums are almost certainly not saving time or costs within HR departments. For companies that have not outsourced their mobility program, people leaders invest significant time estimating competitive lump sum relocation budgets for job candidates, iterating on those budgets, and then personally answering dozens of questions from transferees throughout their moves.

Even HR leaders whose companies outsource relocation find themselves jumping in to help lump sum transferees who fell victim to scams while organizing their own van line moves, dealing with “straggler” invoices from a professional move that strayed outside of the fixed budget they promised to the hiring department, and tamping down escalations both predictable and novel.

So on one side of the equation, you have beleaguered recruiters and hiring managers trying to attract and retain the best talent available through well-informed, market-driven relocation budgets. On the other side, you have minimally supported, highly stressed new hires or transferring employees who are expected to be fully focused on their new jobs on day one.

[I was] too focused on the relocation and not focused enough on learning [my] new role.”

~ Recent lump sum transferee 

Considering that more than 30% of companies are unsatisfied or not even familiar with the current lump sum solutions in the market today,* it’s clear that there is a gap to be bridged. That’s why Cartus is so excited about our newest flagship product: MobilifySM.

Mobilify’s data-driven budget and self-move tools provide a radically simplified relocation solution

Designed to support small-to-mid-sized companies without a formal relocation program as well as larger companies with significant lump sum populations, Mobilify sits at the intersection of Human Resources and Human-Centered Design Thinking. Its patent-pending technology provides data-driven, market-competitive budget support and recommended service offerings through a guided, user-friendly interface—all powered by Cartus’ proprietary algorithms and unparalleled move database.

 Having managed nearly 600,000 U.S. domestic relocations in the last 10 years alone, Cartus is uniquely positioned to expand a company’s options when searching for that perfect next hire by instilling confidence that the relocation packages generated by Mobilify will be competitive against other offers.

As noted in the Atlas survey, “For the past eight years, the key external factor affecting relocation volumes has been the lack of qualified local talent. Companies cannot grow without the right people, so relocation’s function as a talent engine is critical.”

Companies cannot grow without the right people, so relocation’s function as a talent engine is critical.”

~ Atlas® World Group 2019 Corporate Relocation Survey

When building a cost model, Mobilify calculates an initial budget range based on the candidate’s job level, family size, and geography. Recruiters or hiring managers can then easily scale the recommended sums—broken out by service—up or down based on the candidate’s strategic value to the organization and their individual needs, enabling the most competitive offer possible.

This flexibility is especially crucial in light of how companies prioritize the most important outcomes of their relocation program:


Providing a Rewarding Employee Experience. Literally!

When asked about the most stressful parts of moving, two-thirds of recent transferees and new hires cited buying/renting a new home as being of paramount concern. Nearly 40% of respondents also said that worrying about the overall task of relocating negatively affected their ability to focus on their new role.*

Mobilify solves these pain points directly. A sleek dashboard layout enables employees to see their entire relocation budget distribution—including a guaranteed van line move—and real-time move status right from their homepage. Moreover, anyone interested in buying or selling a home can ask to be matched with a top-performing, background-checked real estate agent from a nationally recognized brand, with opportunities to earn cash back incentives on both the sale and purchase of their residences.**

Ultimately, “mobility simplified” isn’t just marketing copy—it’s the guiding principle that has informed Mobilify’s design-led thinking and Agile development process from day one. The result is a pioneering product that radically simplifies the relocation process for both transferees and people leaders, while allowing companies of all sizes to balance their needs for talent acquisition and cost containment.


*Per Cartus’ 2019 Lump Sum Process Pulse Survey.

**The cash back bonus is offered in most states.