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3 Changes You Need to Make to Your Internship Relocation Policies

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“Why should I pour so much time into interns? They’re here for 3 months!”


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“Why should I pour so much time into interns? They’re here for 3 months!” wrong.


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Interns can be a great asset to a company


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but...


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They’re not always the easiest bunch to manage.


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especially when it involves relocation


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Since your internship is probably one of the first professional experiences your interns have, they are going to want help.


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and it’s important to give it. Since your internship is probably one of the first professional experiences your interns have, they are going to want help.


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Too often, employers just end up throwing a lump sum or prepaid credit card in their interns’ direction and hope for the best.


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And, as a result, find themselves doing this


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We’re going to help change that.


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We’re going to outline 3 different ways you can improve your internship program


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We’re going to outline 3 different ways you can improve your internship program (before next season!)


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stepWRITING A CLEAR 1: AND DIRECT POLICY


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The biggest mistake employers can make is to not treat intern relocations for what they are:


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The biggest mistake employers can make is to not treat intern relocations for what they are: RELOCATIONS.


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And, with a successful relocation, comes:


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And, with a successful relocation, comes: a policy


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In fact... interns are the perfect candidates for a relocation policy. They’re the ones looking for someone to tell them what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.


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In fact... interns are the perfect candidates for a relocation policy. They’re the ones looking for someone to tell them what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. ...which is exactly a relocation policy does.


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Think of your internship relocation policy as a smaller version of your regular policies for full-time hires.


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full-time policy your move with Acme YOUR LUMP SUM — $7,000 intern policy your move with Acme YOUR LUMP SUM — $2,000 HOUSEHOLD GOODS — $6,000 HOMEFINDING TRIPS — $2,000 AUTO SHIPMENT — $1,200 STORAGE — $500 FINAL TRAVEL — $250 SHORT TERM HOUSING — $1,000/month TRANSPORTATION — $1,500 MEAL STIPEND — $500


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don’t forget about taxes


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It’s important to understand the different kinds of thresholds as it relates to salary and taxes.


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It’s important to understand the different kinds of thresholds as it relates to salary and taxes. An intern's salary isn't going to be nearly what your full-time employees are making, which needs be factored into how their policy is structured.


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It’s important to understand the different kinds of thresholds as it relates to salary and taxes. An intern's salary isn't going to be nearly what your full-time employees are making, which needs be factored into how their policy is structured. Meaning, you won’t need to gross up your lump sums to the same level you do for your full-time hires, because the taxes they owe won’t be as substantial.


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Which is an example of this coming back into play


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It’s also important to understand that interns also don’t qualify for the same tax deductions that your full-time hires do.


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let us explain.


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There are typically 3 areas of a relocation that are tax deductible:


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SHIPMENT OF HHG & AUTO 30 DAYS OF IN-TRANSIT STORAGE FINAL TRAVEL


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however: the interns must meet requirements of both the time and distance test


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DISTANCE TEST TIME TEST The distance from an employee’s Employees must be employed full- old residence to their new principal time in the new location for a least place of work must be at least 50 39 weeks (75% of the year) during miles farther than from their old the first 12 months after you arrive residence to their old principal in the general area of their new job place of work location.


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While interns may meet the distance test, many will not meet the time test, meaning they don’t qualify for tax deductions.


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Remember this as you allocate benefits to interns, and remind them that every dollar they receive is taxable.


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Since this can be confusing, try to educate interns on these things ahead of time


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step 2: OFFER SUPPORT FOR SHORT-TERM HOUSING


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Ask an employer what their #1 stressor is: “SHORT-TERM HOUSING”


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Ask an intern what their #1 stressor is: “SHORT-TERM HOUSING”


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Housing is a common concern across the board, but many employers can’t find the time to figure out each and intern’s housing situation, and interns usually don’t have any idea of where to start. Employers struggle to manage the housing costs, logistics, and sometimes both.


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The first step is figuring out exactly how you will help


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The first step is figuring out exactly how you will help What we’ve seen to be the most effective is for employers to handle the housing on behalf of the intern


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While short-term is a taxable event, it’s easier to administer to the interns if it is handled for them. Instead of throwing a $5,000 check the interns’ way and telling them to use it for housing, it can be more effective to lower what you give to them in lump sum and use the remainder to instead directly cover housing costs.


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To take it even one step farther...


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To take it even one step further... Furnished short-term housing can dramatically improve the relocation experience. It takes away the need for a household goods shipment, (as all they would need to bring can fit in the back of a car or in a few suitcases) and, they’ll feel a weight lifted without having to worry about bringing a whole suite of furniture for just a few months. Not to mention, you can rest easy knowing that you won’t be bombarded with dozens of questions about what they should be bringing, how they should get it there, and where they should look for furniture.


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if your internship program is still growing, don’t worry!


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Talk to other employers in the area hosting interns and try to match them up with one another. Any common thread interns can connect on with their roommates, even if it’s across different companies, will be a great starting point. If you can’t quite afford to fully subsidize short-term housing, offering any kind of support (first month’s rent, 30% of rent, or even just assistance with finding house) will be recognized and appreciated.


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step 3: RELEVANT PROVIDE INFORMATION


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TIMING is a huge piece of the puzzle when it comes to relocating interns.


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In fact, one of the biggest downfalls of an intern relocation program is assuming that your interns will know what needs to be done and on what timeline.


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While the amount of tasks interns need to complete is considerably less...


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While the amount of tasks interns need to complete is considerably less... the time sensitivity is much greater.


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Interns probably won’t be concerned with: ● ● ● ● finding schools setting up cable cost-of-living shipping household goods


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But, they will be concerned with: ● ● ● ● the neighborhood they live in cost of rent transportation city life


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By providing relevant information, they’ll resonate more with it and be more inclined to listen to your advice (which will translate to a more positive and successful relocation and internship experience).


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ANOTHER THING TO CONSIDER


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ANOTHER THING TO CONSIDER some interns will be very optimistic when asked the question:


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“ Do you need a roommate? ” NOPE!


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For many of the popular cities, having a roommate, especially for interns on a relatively low budget, is practically a must. Many interns simply don’t understand how expensive it can be, so they’ll need you to educate them on those costs, facilitate the necessary connections, and guide them in the right direction. The earlier they can get their hands on this type of information and start planning, the better.


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don’t forget: interns relocate two ways


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We often place heavy focus on getting our interns to their location…


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and then DROP THE BALL on the back end of the relocation.


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Assisting with the relocation on the back end of the internship will leave interns with a much more positive idea of you than if you had left them out to dry at the end. This is important, as interns are great candidates for future positions, and not only do they need to be a good fit for you, you need to be a good fit for them.


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In the end, the most important thing to remember is to treat an intern’s relocation just like any other.


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Make interns feel like you care about them—and support them through their move. They’ll appreciate (and remember) it!


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