Minimum distance for a company to pick up relocation expeneses for a new hire?

I’m nowhere near actually having to address this question, but it has kind of made me curious. I’ve kind of been keeping my eyes out for a new job, and one thing I’m trying to figure out is the geographic area to narrow my search to. Now, I’m planning on staying in the same general area I’m in now, but I’d probably be open to relocating within the larger area to accommodate a job on the opposite end of it if necessary. Basically I’d wouldn’t mind living/working anywhere within 45 minutes or even an hour so of where I am now, but I wouldn’t necessarily want that to be my daily commute.

So, I know some companies do offer paid relocation, but I’m wondering if there’s a lower limit of how far that would need to be. For example would it be weird to ask for it if I was already within a 45-60 minute commute, but wanted to reduce it to less than 15 minutes?

Like I said, I don’t have a specific case in mind or anything like that, and I’m not sure this would even come up at all, but I was interested to hear if there’s general standards or rules of thumb for this kind of thing. If it got to the point that I did pursue something at the far end of my range, and I was actually offered the job, the commute and/or relocation would then enter to the equation.

You won’t get relocation expenses if you are within an hour. I know people who commute two each way.

Many companies won’t pay them at all now. Not even if you are moving halfway across the country. My husband had an opportunity last year that fell through because they wouldn’t pay relocation. We weren’t moving without it.

You don’t mention which city / market area you live in. If you’re in a major city (like, say, Chicago, where I live), a 60-minute commute simply isn’t at all unusual, and I can’t conceive of a company being willing to pick up that kind of expense, unless they really wanted you.

Unless you’re in a very small market, in which a 45-60 minute commute really is unheard of, if I were your new employer, I’d consider this to be a very strange request, and not a great way to start off a working relationship.

When I got out of graduate school, and got my first “real” job, the company paid relocation expenses, but I was moving 150 miles or so (and that was over 20 years ago). As Dangerosa notes, my understanding is that it’s becoming much rarer for a company to pay relocation expenses.

In this market, I highly doubt that any company would offer you a relo package for that distance. As Dangerosa mentions, in the current economy, it’s not unheard of to not even pay a relo package for people moving across the country. The market dictates what is required. And if they can get someone local vs. someone an hour or more away, why would they offer you relo package?

When I’ve had job offers, they usually state in the offer a minimum distance for which they’ll defray moving costs (e.g. moves over 300 km or something like that).

Obviously it’s up to the company, but if there’s a stated policy, and you’re under the limit, you could conceivably try and negotiate some kind of signing bonus instead: “You know, you’re not going to pay me moving expenses, how about a bonus of (moving expenses)/2, so we both win?”

I like the test provided by the IRS for working in the US:

So if you meet the IRS definition, then it should be reasonable for an employer to apply the distance test in the same manner. This does not mean the employer is obligated to pay moving expenses. It’s just that meeting the IRS requirements (there are two others) should be sufficient guidelines for employers.

If they want you bad enough, there really is not much of a limit. My SO got a new job 4 years ago. He used to drive 19.5 miles each way. The new job is 55.5 miles from the old house. We figured no way would the new employer cover that moving cost, but we asked anyway. Surprised us, buy they agreed, with very little fuss, to a full moving package, closing costs on selling the old and buying the new house, and a slush fund of sorts, to cover incidental costs associated with moving. But my SO is well regarded and was well sought after in his field. So it all depends on how badly the new employer wants you.

And how flexible they can be. A lot of companies have very little flexibility in moving off standard.

I’m in H/R and moving is one of the few things you can negotiate.

Right now since 2008, we will no longer pay for any moving expenses since we don’t need to recruit long distance, and really we’ve only hired 5 full time people since then.

Our company is a fairly big multinational and we are in Chicago. We have paid relocation from Rockford, IL; Peoria, IL; Milwaukee, WI and even Michigan City, IN. The last location has a commuter train into the city.

As a rough rule, we would have balked at paying anyone moving within the Chicago Metro area, especially if we had people regularly commuting. I recall one instance, we found a guy from Seattle, we paid relocation to, only to find he had lied to us and had physically moved two months earlier and used his Seattle address in order to get $1,500 in moving expenses.

For that he agreed to pay it back.

But you can discuss it. It truly is one of the few things, that is negotiable. There’s usually a cap for all but the top positions. Like ours was up to $1,500, but we also have corporate hotel suites, that we could put you and family at for up to 2 months. We also could get discounts with a house/apt hunting service. So you could use them at a 50% discount.

So even if you couldn’t get it all, you may get something. Like know, if I hired a full time, and he was in a similar position to the OP, I would have no issues letting them stay at the corporate suite till they found a new apartment or use the discount for the house hunting service as we pay for that anyway.

So do find a tactful way to bring it up. You may not get the full relocation package, but you may get something.

If he had been my employee, in addition to having him repay the relocation, I would have fired him. If he’s going to start out being deceitful and unethical, how could I ever trust him to do anything else for the company and not potentially put the company at greater risk?

I don’t think it’s just you, Omar Little. I can’t imagine a company NOT immediately terminating. That’s what’s known as a “fireable offense” right? Lying + embezzling?

My company is hiring and according to what I hear, still pays relocation for most jobs. I believe they use the 50 mile rule shown above.