You’ve arranged the airplane tickets, rental home and new car for your mobile employees. But your job as a mobility manager isn’t done quite yet. It turns out that employees actually want a whole lot more out of the relocation process than an itinerary stating their flight time and new address.
That’s the latest discovery from our recent research paper that offers revealing insight from the perspectives of all of the key stakeholders in any relocation–from the employees being moved to the corporate managers and business unit leaders who are moving them. It’s a project that makes sense; after all, the more we know exactly what our clients and their mobile employees want out of a move, the better we can ensure the entire process is a sweeping success for all parties involved.
And while both companies/clients and mobile employees have a lot riding on a relocation, research shows that mobile employees are often the most vocal stakeholders. After all, they’re the ones packing up their bags, families and lives. And if they’re not happy with the process, their companies will be left grappling with frenetic employees obsessing over the relocation as opposed to focusing on their new role. And that’s a perfect recipe for soaring stress and plummeting productivity. Continue Reading →
I’ve recently received a number of questions from various corporate managers on the topic of host country housing. In this post, I’ve collected their questions and my answers.
Do companies typically give people their “housing ranges” based on salary level?
These days most of my clients are using “family size” as the number one criterion and the moderate tables for all assignments, with salary playing a secondary role.
When US-outbound assignees make the personal decision to sell their homes, even though we strongly encourage them NOT to sell, we do not feel that the company should provide assistance toward temporary living and/or meals and incidentals during a home leave. Would our stance be standard market practice?
Absolutely. If you indicate that you are not supporting home sale — which is the trending best practice — then it would be standard to say, “you’re on your own” for any home sale-related costs. These days there is a definite trend to taking a “laissez faire” approach to all home country housing concerns. In fact, less than 40% of companies are no longer taking a home housing deduction. The approach is that the company will take on full responsibility of the host housing, but that the assignee remains responsible for whatever he/she does with home country housing. When it comes to home leave, it is expected that the home is available for use. If the individual has chosen to rent the house, there may be an issue, but that would be treated as an exception. Most clients are recognizing that if the employee is collecting rent (read: financially benefiting) on the home country housing, then there’s no obligation to provide assistance with any expenses beyond transportation for home leave. Continue Reading →
The unfortunate certainties of life are death, taxes and, in the case of corporate mobility managers, the never-ending pressure to reduce costs. I am constantly asked by clients to help them achieve that delicate balance between maintaining benefits levels that keep employees engaged and productive while avoiding cost spiral.
Beyond the policy provisions themselves that account for 98% of all costs, clients should examine the processes they use to administer mobility. Every program I review is ripe with opportunities to improve their operational efficiencies. This can be difficult for mobility managers comfortable and familiar with their current processes to acknowledge or see, but often our “outside” perspective can shed light on improvements.
What follows are a number of time tested ideas that might lead to efficiencies and/or cost savings for you: Continue Reading →
The rock band Van Halen will forever be remembered for spandex, teased hair and changing lead singers more often than most people change socks. But there’s another side to VH that you likely never suspected: the band that launched such hit songs as “Hot for Teacher” and “Jamie’s Cryin” pioneered a unique methodology for spotting red flags that can be valuable to today’s corporate mobility managers.
Yes, you read that correctly.
It all starts with M&Ms. Brown M&Ms, to be precise.
For the tenth annual edition of our workforce mobility survey, we took a fresh approach. As you know, the survey’s first decade was all about how workforce mobility was responding to challenging real estate markets across the U.S. and Canada. Our 2016 edition has expanded to a global survey, identifying the top “game changers” that will require mobility professionals to re-examine how they administer their programs in the future.
According to the survey results, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures represent the most prominent workforce mobility game changer, experienced by 55 percent of responding companies over the past year and anticipated by 42 percent in 2016. Unfortunately, while mergers and acquisitions are designed to build scale, expand markets and acquire talent, few organizations anticipate the impact on
Last month, I partnered with Mark Frederick of IOR to present a webinar on the alignment of workforce mobility and talent management. As a follow-up to that session, Mark has written a guest post for our blog that expounds upon some of the concepts raised during the webinar. Specifically, the critical but often overlooked practice of assignment candidate selection.
The hallmark of a savvy Talent Mobility professional and department is behaving both strategically and proactively. One of the more neglected areas of Global Mobility support is on the front end of international assignments. Too often, candidates are chosen quickly without adequate decision making and then whisked away into support services before they leave the country.
A stronger, more strategic approach is to build talent pools of employees who would be ideal candidates for a global assignment. This type of process is all about identifying talent proactively, and the best place to start is with the business unit leaders. Mobility professionals are often “invisible” to the business units, so reaching out to them proactively will not only let them know who you are, but also brand you as a strategic business partner within the organization. Ask the business unit leaders to identify the talent they have that they think would be both interested and qualified for an international assignment and capture that group in a database. Continue Reading →
As companies face tighter competition for the best available talent, internships provide an opportunity to fuel their talent pipeline and present themselves as an employer of choice. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the intern conversion rate in 2015 was 51.7 percent, making internships a healthy recruiting solution. Even more importantly, this report indicated that employees who completed an internship (or co-op program) with their employer are more likely to still be with the company at both the one-year and five-year retention benchmarks. Continue Reading →
I’m always on the lookout for signs of an improved real estate market within mobility programs. And while there are certain areas where selling homes is still difficult, Weichert’s recent research shows an overall decline in the need for loss-on-sale in the departure location for mobile employees and that many companies are finding a healthy and stable rate of home sales.
In fact, more than half of the companies participating in our 2015 Workforce Mobility Survey reported that they provided loss-on-sale assistance to less than 10% of their home-owning transferees.
It’s great to see mobile employees (and their companies) enjoying the advantages of an up market with a low number of homes going into inventory, increased payout of home sale bonuses (due to properties not going into inventory) and low interest rates that make purchasing a new home attractive. That said, there are still instances where home prices in the destination location exceed what an employee can reasonably afford. When this happens, there are signs that mobility professionals must look for: Continue Reading →
The report provides an outlook for workforce mobility trends affecting all industries, an analysis of such mobility hot topics as flexible programs and programs for millennials and a discussion of major challenges that could impact the deployment and management of mobile talent in the coming years.
Some of the most valuable insight in our survey comes from breaking down the results by industry. So for our latest infographic, we’ve pulled out some of the insight we collected from companies in the pharmaceutical sector. Here’s what they told us.
Among the forces impacting the deployment of mobile talent, two have emerged as the most prominent. One, not surprisingly, is cost control, that unrelenting pressure to harness spend that shadows every corporate move. Considering the sizable investment required to relocate employees, for long- or short-term assignments, across states or between continents, focus on cost of benefi ts and maximizing ROI has never been higher.
The other, according to the results of our latest Workforce Mobility Survey, is a more recent phenomenon: the need for greater agility to accommodate rapidly-changing business goals and seize opportunities. Today, an “optimized” workforce mobility program is not only cost-effective, but also equips HR and hiring managers with the flexibility they need to accelerate decision-making, meet the needs of the business, and provide opportunities that sync with their mobile employees’ personal and
Addressing these concerns has become a strategic imperative for companies struggling to build a workforce to meet their future business objectives. In this business environment, “flexible” workforce mobility programs — including Lump sums, capped programs and core/flex approaches — are proving a valuable, viable alternative to “traditional” relocations and expat assignments.