Relocation packages

If your skills and talents are much in demand, some of the biggest employers from around the country will be tripping over themselves to snap you up – and they may offer you more than a generous starting salary.

Along with the usual perks, they may also throw in a relocation bonus to help make the transition into working life smoother.

Some of the biggest recruiters offer new-starts up to £1,700 (taxable) to relocate. Relocation packages are particularly prevalent in sectors where there is a skills shortage, but the biggest employers tend to extend the offer to all new recruits.

Employers hope that it will cover your deposit, first month’s rent, some new clothes and shoes, and maybe even your travel expenses for a few weeks.

With starting salaries among top employers ranging from around £17,000 to £24,000 an extra lump sum to help you out is quite literally a bonus. But relocation bonuses are not widespread. Surveys suggest that fewer than 15% of employers are using them as incentives.

However, that figure may increase as more employers seek to help graduates pay off rising student debts. Employers want their new recruits to be a success at work, so if they can take the pressure off their financial difficulties, many will.

When Jill moved to Norwich to start work for an insurance company as an HR trainee last year, she found that the relocation package came in very handy.

“I got the money as soon as I joined and used it to put down a deposit on a flat and pay my first month’s rent,” recalls Jill, a graduate of Stirling University.

“It wasn’t the relocation bonus that attracted me to the job, but it was very useful especially at a time when I didn’t have much money. Without it I would have had to get a loan out or borrow from friends and family.”

Some employers help new starts find accommodation close to their work, giving them information on how to go about finding a flat and contacts with people in the company who may have a flat to let.

If a new job means relocation, you should ideally give yourself a couple of weeks to a month to find a place, depending on how well you know the area.

But should you find yourself without a home on your first day, your employer, especially if it’s a big one, should be able to find you some temporary accommodation while you conduct your own search.

But what if you’re not poached by an employer offering a decent relocation bonus? Ask your personnel department if anyone else from your university or part of the country is joining the company, as you might be able to share a house with them.

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