Today’s companies are forever seeking ways to mobilize employees faster, easier and more cost-effectively, making the theme of this year’s annual CERC Conference, “Global Mobility: Building a Better Model” especially fitting. The Conference will be held September 25-27 in Vancouver, and Weichert Workforce Mobility is proud to be among the impressive array of subject matter experts and thought leaders who will be contributing to this year’s program.
I’ll be hosting a session discussing the Top 10 Cost Saving Opportunities for Your Domestic Mobility Programs. This session will outline the techniques organizations are using to identify cost savings in their domestic mobility programs, from home sale practices and controlling exceptions to widespread program changes including flexible approaches. I’m proud to be joined by a panel of industry veterans — Louis Lagacé from CN, Sandra Cairns from Dwellworks and Fred Haladay from Atlas Canada — for this program.
As always, subject matter experts from our Canadian offices will be on hand in the Exhibit Hall to answer any questions. We’re looking forward to meeting fellow Conference participants and hope you’ll join us for what promises to be a memorable event!
This week, we were happy to learn that we’d been nominated for two EMEA EMMA Awards in the categories of Relocation Management Company of the Year and Best Vendor Partnership, where we were nominated alongside Cisco Systems.
While we are certainly honored to be considered among the top RMCs in the EMEA region, we are particularly proud of the Vendor partnership nomination with Cisco Systems. Cisco has been an amazing partner, open to new ideas and fiercely dedicated to leveraging workforce mobility to drive their global talent management initiatives.
Although it’s an honor to simply be nominated, we always have our fingers crossed. Winners will be announced in London on November 11.
More than seven weeks have passed since the Brexit vote, and as much uncertainty exists today as on 23 June. For this post, I wanted to provide an update on my initial Brexit thoughts, overview the current state of affairs and try to determine the potential impact on global mobility. Although the more dire predictions haven’t come to pass, there have been some unexpected initial reactions:
• Mortgage and other interest rates have fallen in response to Brexit. More than one million borrowers with “tracker” mortgages (a mortgage comprised of a mixture of fixed and variable components) have benefited, and many lenders have also passed the falls on to other borrowers on variable rates. Those who want to take out fixed-rate loans have also seen rates fall.
• After an initial sharp fall, the stock market has rallied strongly to levels higher than those before the vote.
• The pound has lost more than 10% of its value against the dollar, down to its lowest levels since 1985. It has also fallen in value against the euro and currency experts expect it to remain at least 10% below where it was on 23 June, in the long term.
• If economists are correct, imported goods –food, clothing, homeware, etc — will consequently get more expensive. This will increase COLA payments made to assignees in the UK, and therefore cause an overall increase in cost for UK assignments in the long term.
Singapore has been ranked #1 for both quality of life and happiest country in Asia, and that’s because the economic, political, socio-cultural environments – including healthcare, education, and transportation — are all top notch.
When we ask our service providers to weigh in on the challenges expats face when settling in to life in Singapore, there are very few downsides reported. Basically speaking, according to PERC and the anecdotes we hear from our clients and assignees, it is one of the easiest countries to adjust to when relocating from virtually anywhere in the world.
In this blog, we will address the various components of expat life in Singapore, highlighting the pros and cons.
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
Similarly, the mood is generally positive, as is the latest real estate report: fewer distressed properties, fewer foreclosures, continued appreciation.
Speaking of hot, that’s a word your local Realtor might use to describe the real estate market. In fact, we’re seeing a lot of emerging “hot spots” across the United States—areas that are experiencing favorable real estate market conditions. Sure, questions remain. How long will the trend last? When will the Fed raise the interest rates? What impact will that have? When will supply increase to cool off appreciation? When will TRID be an afterthought?
We have no choice but to wait. As the answers unfold, let’s enjoy what summer has to offer. Here are some market highlights from the National Association of Realtors (NAR):
Conventional wisdom and experience dictate that saying you want to break up and actually doing it are two very different things. That’s why many people were genuinely surprised when the majority of UK citizens voted to support British departure from the EU in the recent referendum.
Although the intent to exit is now official, the full scope of what leaving the EU will entail is still unknown. Cancelling UK treaty obligations could be relatively easy, but negotiating new trading relationships, tax treaties and immigration rules and regulations could be much more difficult and take much longer, without any guarantee of success. In the interim, there are some things that are important to understand regarding the implications of the Brexit referendum, particularly in regard to workforce mobility.
Although it may be a new term to you, the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) treaty has been around since the wake of the Titanic disaster to ensure that all ships are soundly constructed and safe to operate. The latest SOLAS amendment, created in response to a rise in reports of ships sinking at sea due to under-reported cargo weights, will require all container weights, including contents, to be verified prior to shipping. This amendment goes into effect on July 1, 2016.
In some areas of the world, such as the United States, Canada and most of Europe, gaining access to container scales should not pose a problem. But in certain regions of Asia, Africa and South America, where shipments are typically graded by volume instead of weight, there could be issues.
The Weichert Move Network has been monitoring these developments and strategizing with our move management partners as to how to best address the new regulation once it goes into effect. While there will be a lot written about SOLAS in the coming weeks, there are basically two things our clients and their globally mobile assignees need to be aware of: Continue Reading →
In today’s highly competitive work environment, employers are seeking ways to effectively expand their talent pool, and are also recognizing that the global mobility of talent is a key driver of growth. While employers seek to leverage the collective knowledge and experience of their employees, diversity of the globally mobile workforce has not kept pace with the profile of the general workforce. Specifically, when it comes to embracing a more diverse workforce, LGBT employees face significant barriers to global mobility opportunities.
Forward-thinking companies are incorporating Diversity and Inclusiveness initiatives into their global mobility programs wherever possible, and where restricted by law, are both working around and creating solutions that help LGBT employees seek out and accept international assignments as part of their career journey. Through the efforts of strong leaders, these companies are implementing inclusive solutions to foster the success of all international assignees, by considering the individual support needed by all candidates. Above and beyond the challenges to promoting a more inclusive corporate culture, the current global regulatory environment is dynamic and increasingly complex.