Housing market slide hits bottom line

Real estate decline makes for costlier relocations, reluctant employees
By Linda Ward O’Farrell
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 06/02/2009

Housing markets have tanked, slid, softened — pick a word, pick a market. So should employers that relocate workers pass the loss on to employees or cover the cost and keep valuable talent intact?

Employee mobility is critical to Canadian corporations’ current and future business requirements. The degree to which corporations can move key employees into strategic positions domestically and internationally directly affects the ability to expand new markets, explore and develop new resources and complete projects.

Declining housing markets in Canada and the United States have had an impact on corporations’ relocation costs and on employees’ appetites for transfers. While home sales in the past few years nearly guaranteed a profit for employees and ensured low to no costs associated with losses on sales for employers, that is no longer the case. For HR practitioners, striking a balance between cost containment and talent management has become even more difficult when employee mobility is concerned.