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RISMEDIA, March 13, 2008-Even as companies brace for the possibility of cutbacks and layoffs in the face of a slowed U.S. economy, they’re bolstering their new hire relocation policies to gain an edge in the competition for critical talent.

That’s one of the findings of a study by Weichert Relocation Resources Inc. (WRRI), a leading workforce mobility service provider. WRRI surveyed corporate relocation and HR professionals from 85 companies across North America to discover the obstacles they face in relocating qualified new hires.

Results indicate that 78% of companies are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit critical talent today, while the majority of respondents said convincing first choice candidates to accept relocations represented their single greatest challenge in recruiting new hires. When asked about the biggest challenges facing their top recruits, 81% cited concern over losing money on the sale of a house, underscoring the current real estate market’s impact on recruitment.

“Despite less-than-favorable market conditions, the need to recruit and relocate critical talent is unrelenting and essential to meeting vital leadership development and business expansion goals,” said Jennifer Connell, WRRI’s manager of Consulting Services. “By adding more robust benefits to their new hire relocation policies, companies are overcoming resistance to relocation among key new hires, and keeping their talent management strategies moving fluidly.”

When asked what benefits they planned to add to their new hire policies, 40% of responding companies said home sale incentives, 30% said extended temporary living, and 27% said a guaranteed home sale program. Other benefits cited included relocation bonuses, loss-on-sale protection, miscellaneous allowances and new home purchase costs.

Confirming these findings, Connell noted that based on the review of more than 200 policies being implemented by U.S. multinationals today, companies are increasingly providing incentives to encourage critical new hires to relocate and are refining policies to help them get their homes sold for the best possible price. Beyond boosting recruitment efforts, such a strategy translates into lower overall costs for the company and an accelerated assimilation into the new corporate culture for the new hire.

To receive a complete copy of the survey report, Current Trends in Relocating New Hires, e-mail

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