Things to Keep in Mind When Relocating a Heavy Civil or Commercial Construction Employee

As an employer, you need to be open to relocating new, top-heavy civil and commercial construction talent. 


Don’t limit yourself to the prospect of hiring “best in class” out of town employees because of a need to relocate them. Many people are in a position where they need or are open to relocating due to family or health reasons. 


They also may be looking to move due to a desire for a better quality of life or are just done with the weather where they are at. They may want to raise their children in a different or safer location with better school systems.


Your available pool of talent locally may be small. You may have already sought them out, or they may not think as highly of your firm as you do and would not consider going to work for you under any condition.


We have created a short guide for you to keep in mind the areas that need to be discussed and agreed upon when considering an employee relocation.

Essential Aspects to Discuss in a Relocation

1) Timing


It is easier to relocate a family with school-aged children in the summer. 


In other cases, the summer months may be a harder time for the employee as this is the busiest time for them due to the weather. 


Finally, holidays, from Thanksgiving through Christmas and the New Year, are always a tough time to relocate new employees.

2) The actual moving of furniture and personal effects:


The age of, or length of time in the business, or lower management positioned candidates come into the equation regarding the costs here. 


The costs of a U-Haul, Pods, or a professional mover increase based on the services provided. We recommend getting on the phone with the candidate and their spouse/companion to talk this through. 


The cost to move these items with a mover will be 4-5x than with a professional mover, 2-3x with a “Pods” type of move over the costs of using a U-Haul and adding in gas, hotels, and meals on the road.


Additionally, you will need to add costs for the boxes and packing materials. 


Do not fall into the professional movers game of them doing all of your new employees packing. 


This will add weight to the move as they charge per pound mile, and the costs for their services will go up by 50%. Get your employee and their spouse to pack the majority of their belongings.


Agree to pay for the replacement cost of insurance, not depreciated value if using you are using a professional mover. It will only increase the price by approximately $150.


Ask the candidate about the additional items they intend to move outside of furniture, clothes, and personal effects, such as:

  • Pianos
  • Gun Cases/Safes
  • Wood or metal shops and the # of floor-standing machines
  • RV’s, boats, trailered recreational “toys.”
  • Pool tables
  • Extensive libraries
  • Cars that will need to be trailered or shipped


These all will increase the costs to move their belongings. We gather some data for you to be able to estimate these costs better:

  • Cars that need to be shipped by a third party will cost $1000/car +/- each.
  • A 2500 sq ft household will require between $8,000-$12,000 to move exclusive of third-party packing. These costs will not include storing or rehandling from storage to the end destination should your employee not be scheduling a “door to door” move. Those costs can add from $3000-6000 to the move costs.


3) Permanent Housing:


If the employee owns their home and is moving, they will need to sell and then buy in their new setting.


Most firms do not pay for either of these costs. Some have been paying on the buy end, getting reimbursed on the sale end does not typically occur.


If the employee rents, then you should find out what the cost will be to break the lease, if not on a month-to-month basis.

4) Temporary housing



All new employees will have some temporary housing expenses to join your firm. 


These can be hotels cost during the actual move, to hotel costs the first couple of weeks they are there, to extended expenses of up to four to five months if they are selling their house in their previous city. 


These expenses can get quite high and need to be considered and discussed upfront.

5) Flights home while working and in the relocation process.


If your new employee is working and they are attempting to sell/close their previous home, you will need to address getting them home every 2-3 weeks to be with their family.


We recommend a house-hunting trip with the spouse. This will reduce the amount of time and costs staying in temporary housing.


Finally, we also recommend a statement added to the offer letter identifying the approximate costs for the relocation, how they will be reimbursed and that the employee will be responsible for paying these back 100% should they leave on their own accord or are let go for cause within the first 12 months of employment.

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