The pandemic hit many large metropolitan areas very hard. As a result, many who could afford to looked to delocate to other areas of the country. Many states offered, and continue to offer, a relocation stipend to those interested in delocating. What states and cities are doing this? Why are they doing it? And what can companies learn from it? In this blog post, we dive into the reasoning behind these relocation offers.
The Who’s Who of Relocation Stipends
Believe it or not, states and cities have been offering incentives to potential residents for years. We could go back as far as the era of manifest destiny, and further, but to remain relevant we’ll stick with the present.
On April 12th of 20201, West Virginia offered a $12,000 cash relocation stipend to new residents, in addition to other benefits like a welcome trip, outdoor gear, access to working space and professional education opportunities.
To help its economy grow, Alaska needs more residents. While the lack of income tax is a big draw, Alaska offers many other incentives, including a Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) that is shared with eligible residents each year to the tune of around $1,500.
Arkansas is seeking young talent! The cost of living may be low, but the Northwestern part of the state is looking to make potential resident’s lives even easier. New residents will receive $10,000 relocation stipend and a bicycle to take advantage of the many trails in the area.
Beyond states, several cities are also incentivizing potential new residents. Incentives range from reimbursed moving expenses and reduced down-payment costs to cash relocation stipends and free land. While each of these cities offers incentives to new residents, they’re all unique in their own ways. Besides, you know, boasting a more friendly cost of living than Los Angeles.
- Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Savannah, Georgia
- Baltimore, Maryland
- Topeka, Kansas
- Chattanooga, Tennessee
- Newton, Iowa
What can companies learn from these programs?
The rise in incentivized relocation isn’t coming out of nowhere. There are a few trends at work here.
The pandemic saw a steep rise in employees working from home. Many employees want to continue to work from their home, be that in the same city as their company, or one hundreds of miles away. Businesses with a more traditional approach may not approve, but there are benefits to this. One of them is a larger talent pool. Companies that allow employees to work remotely can bring on employees from halfway across the world if they so choose.
Another trend that grew from the pandemic is delocation. People in densely populated areas decided they wanted to move away. Many found their employers supporting the move. The value is two-fold. An employee moving to a new place is more likely to be an engaged worker if their employer supports them. Additionally, an employee living in an area with a lower cost of living doesn’t require the same level of salary.
Relocation as a Benefit
And finally, relocation offerings. Businesses often use relocation information when a new hire needs to relocate to a new city, or an employee is promoted to a position required in a new area. In each of these circumstances, employers offer employees lump sums to help with the search for new housing and the final move. Most states and cities offering incentives are providing something very similar to a lump sum allowance. The money is not provided to the individual all at once. Instead, it’s delivered in installments.
Companies can use relocation as an incentive to potential employees. Share with the HR department, field a survey to employees, get an understanding of sentiments around remote work. You don’t have to offer $10,000 relocation stipend to incentivize candidates. But showing you’re invested in the life they want to live? That’s the kind of company people want to work for.
States and cities offering incentives to new residents may not be so new, but the focus on remote workers is. As your company looks to grow, consider the benefits of expanding your talent pool across the country. And consider using relocation as an incentive to those looking to live elsewhere. The perfect candidate is looking for the perfect company. This might be the reason they go with your business.
Interested in learning more about what a relocation incentive might look like? Explore our location services.