Core-flex relocation programs build in flexibility and minimize costly exceptions, and ultimately this model can increase employee satisfaction and acceptance rates for both international relocations and domestic relocations. In addition, a carefully considered core-flex program can help companies to:
– Gain a recruiting edge
– Tailor relocation benefits more closely to employee or candidate needs
– Make employees feel more valued and invested in the process
– Empower hiring managers, business units, regional locations, etc.
– Eliminate or at least dramatically reduce exceptions
Customization is Key
For most companies using a core-flex approach to talent mobility, the ability to customize the employee relocation package is the most compelling feature. As employee real estate and family needs become more complex, corporate relocation managers administering a traditional tiered program can find themselves inundated with exception requests.
The core-flex approach allows a more direct and personalized alignment of benefits and needs. In some cases, it allows relocations and international assignments that otherwise might be stalled to proceed. Moreover, building in a flex element is faster and more efficient than a bureaucratic exception process.
The Potential for Cost Savings with a Core-Flex Approach
Customization is the most common reason that companies embrace a core-flex approach, but cost containment can be another motivation. In a typical program, companies might be providing some “one size fits all” benefits that employees neither want nor need. In a core-flex program, companies align benefits more precisely with actual needs, and in most cases, they impose a cap on the flexible benefit amount. They typically tie that figure to the tier or job level of the employee.
Companies more focused on cost containment would tie the core-flex menu items more directly to the core move processes, with more limited menu options. An example is a self-move package for a domestic new hire, or an “assignment-lite” package of travel, household goods transportation, immigration and tax services for a global assignee.
Cons of Core-Flex Relocation Programs
While core-flex programs have the potential to provide companies and transferees with vast benefits, they are not without their pitfalls. Companies considering a core-flex approach should also understand that:
- Program/policy administration is more complex than for strictly defined, tiered policies or lump sums;
- Budgeting can be more challenging due to variable policy elements;
- Continuing management involvement is crucial to ensure the package includes all of the elements essential to a successful relocation/assignment; and
- Employees do communicate and there is always the possibility an employee will feel entitled to a benefit another employee has selected.
Evaluating if a Core-Flex Relocation Program is Right for you
A core-flex approach can help meet employees’ needs for flexibility, making relocation more attractive. It can help companies to attract and retain talent, control overall program costs, and most importantly, achieve their business objectives in an ever-changing competitive environment. If you’re considering the pros and cons of this approach, download the eBook, “Core-Flex Programs: What They Are and How to Use Them,” to learn more about selecting and administering program benefits.