HRO Today July/August 2014 - 39

Relocation
Paul A. Sorrentino, vice president
of corporate partnerships at
NuCompass Mobility Services
Inc., says that many companies
are interested in measuring return
on investment for relocations or
assignments, but it's challenging
because each assignment is
unique in terms of employee level,
associated costs, nature of the move,
and goals.
assignments, most don't because they haven't found a
consistent way to do so, " he explains. " Each relocation or
assignment is unique in terms of the employee who has
been selected, the costs associated with a particular move
or assignment, the nature of the move or assignment,
and the goals. "
Service By Service
The providers make some good points. Without the
ability to quantify the overall value of investing in
relocation services, buyers must instead qualify the
opportunities. In this regard, there is plenty to crow
about.
Take the case of BOK Financial Corp., a Tulsa, Oklahomabased
holding company for seven regional bank
brands. Ten years ago, Jeff Reid was hired to create
the organization's talent acquisition department from
scratch. The charge before him was to locate specific
skill sets at major financial institutions, which were
mostly located in large U.S. cities, then encourage these
individuals to relocate to Tulsa.
" Relocation was the primary means for us to be
successful-that's how strategic it was, " says Reid, BOK
senior vice president and senior HR business partner.
The company could not afford to make mistakes when
relocating a skilled transferee; otherwise it would risk
disengaging the new employee and increase turnover.
Another key consideration was overall expense. Reid
was concerned about the company's lack of an efficient,
organized approach to relocation with the ability to have
all the components of mobility within a single system.
" There was no way for me to easily learn if we had just
hired someone for $50,000 a year and given him or her a
$100,000 relocation package, and hired someone else at
the same salary and provided a much lesser package, " he
says. " We didn't have a formal policy. "
There were no rules per se on the different levels of
relocation services. While a standard move involves
reimbursing or fronting the expenses for transportation
of households goods from one point to another, as well
as paying the closing costs on the sale of the former
home and the new home, and picking up incidental costs
like those related to house hunting trips or temporary
living expenses, nothing was written down governing the
financial appropriateness. " Each relocation was based
on how well you negotiated the deal with the particular
provider, such as the company moving the household
items, " Reid explains.
There were other drawbacks to the lack of a formal
policy. The Internal Revenue Service permits certain
reimbursement transactions involving the sale of a home
to be non-taxable via a buyer value option (BVO). This
complicated rule can save companies tens of thousands
of dollars in some cases, assuming the processes and
documentation are accurate. Until BOK Financial engaged
relocation and mobility services provider Graebel
Companies Inc., " We weren't garnering these savings in
past, " Reid says. " We just didn't have the resources here
to do it. "
It's All Talent Management
BVO financial opportunities are just one of the many
benefits of handing over the risk-intensive process of
relocation to a specialist provider. While specific industry
metrics are problematic, many providers will estimate the
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HRO Today July/August 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HRO Today July/August 2014

HRO Today July/August 2014 - 1
HRO Today July/August 2014 - 2
HRO Today July/August 2014 - 3
HRO Today July/August 2014 - 4
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