A lot of attention is given to expats being sent on assignment to another country, as companies understand that the faster they assimilate, the more productive they’ll be in their new roles. But consider, for a moment, those expats who leave home countries in pre-emerging markets. These employees could find themselves returning to very different, almost unrecognizable environments post-assignment, making “home” seem like a foreign country.
This is particularly true of India, which has experienced tremendous economic growth and social and political change over the past half century. For keener insight to the challenges Indians face when returning to their home country after an extended assignment, I spoke with Anita Krishnaswamy, President of Global Adjustments Relocation India and member of the Weichert Global Representative network. Anita brings a wealth of experience working with clients of all nationalities, including those of Indian descent. Continue Reading →
Cost Of Living Assistance (COLA) is designed to provide an adjustment to local standards of living in higher-cost locations. Allowances may be provided when compensation does not reflect local living costs or as an additional form of assistance to mobilize employees that are concerned with higher housing costs.
Because housing costs are one of the largest components of “living” costs, they have a decided impact on COLA programs. In today’s market, affordability in the destination may also be a function of lost equity in the departure (for a down payment) and whether the employee will qualify for financing in the new location due to tighter lending regulations.
In this post, I want to help you understand the trends, evaluate your options and appreciate other factors to consider when creating or updating a COLA program. 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 financial services sector. Here’s what they told us.
MORRIS PLAINS, NJ, August 6, 2015 – Weichert Workforce Mobility, one of the world’s leading providers of corporate talent deployment solutions, received the highest service satisfaction ratings from relocated employees among the largest companies in its industry, according to the Twenty-First Annual Nationwide Relocating Employee Survey.
Conducted by Trippel Survey & Research LLC, the Annual Nationwide Relocating Employee Survey is the only objective, industry-wide survey to rank the quality of service provided by relocation management companies based upon evaluations collected from recently-transferred employees. This year’s results reflect the input of 6,418 mobile employees from 104 companies, moving within the United States.
Among the industry’s five “large size” suppliers, Weichert Workforce Mobility achieved the highest average service satisfaction score and the highest overall net satisfaction rating. Weichert’s service satisfaction score was also higher than those of six of the eight “mid-size” suppliers represented in the survey.
In addition, among large size suppliers, Weichert earned the highest percentage of “top block” scores, which are scores of 9 or 10 on a ten-point scale, with 10 representing the highest level of satisfaction.
This marks the second consecutive year of this Survey in which Weichert has received a higher service satisfaction rating from relocating employees than its largest competitors. Studies show that relocated employees who are satisfied with the quality of service received during their moves are more likely to be engaged and productive in their new roles, reducing their employers’ risk of talent attrition or loss of investment.
“As a company committed to delivering Legendary Service experiences, we are honored to receive such remarkable evaluations from our customers in this Survey,” said Dave Bencivengo, Executive Vice President of Weichert Workforce Mobility. “Our colleagues go to tremendous lengths every day to deliver the best customer experience in the relocation industry and help drive our clients’ business and talent deployment goals. These results are validation that our customer service focus is making a difference.”
Domestic mobility in countries outside North America and the UK can be challenging for even the most globally-minded multinational companies. I’ll examine this topic in detail during our next educational webinar, on September 17, 2015, at 11:00am ET (4:00pm UK, 8:30pm India, 11:00pm China).
Joining me will be Beverly Sunn of APP Mobility, Anita Krishnaswamy of Global Adjustments, India, and corporate mobility professionals from Whirlpool and Bombardier. Together, we’ll share insight and best practices for developing domestic mobility programs for both expats and country nationals in emerging markets, with special focus on China and India.
Topics covered will include housing, education and family challenges that companies must address to attract and retain the diverse mobile talent they need to grow their businesses.
This webinar is eligible for one (1) CRP credit from Worldwide ERC and one (1) CERP credit from CERC. We hope you can attend!
Please note, this webinar is open only to corporate relocation and HR professionals. A valid email address is required to register.
Please register here.
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.
Amidst tougher competition for the best and brightest employees, 60 percent of companies say that relocation policy benefits are critical to recruiting talent. This was one of the key findings of Weichert Workforce Mobility’s ninth annual survey to identify the top relocation challenges and trends and offer best practice recommendations.
This year’s results are based on the input of approximately 170 corporate relocation managers in the US and Canada.
Reducing cost was the most commonly cited driver of the changes companies made to their relocation programs over the past year. In fact, “controlling relocation spend” was the number one reason cited for the wider adoption of flexible relocation programs, which include temporary, rotational and commuter assignments, lump sums and extended business travel. These programs not only offer less costly alternatives to “traditional” assignments, but also make relocation appealing to a wider range of employees and keep talent more readily deployable as new opportunities arise.
When it comes to workforce mobility, the mantra is, “be flexible, but be cost-conscious, too.” When managed right, flexible programs allow companies to be both.
Drawing on the results of this year’s survey and my own experience consulting with HR leaders, I offer the following additional strategies for optimizing workforce mobility: Continue Reading →
If you’re sending employees on temporary domestic assignments, it’s a good idea to have a policy for those moves. Unfortunately, our Annual Mobility Survey revealed that only 37% of companies have a formal policy in place to manage short-term assignments. The danger here is that managing domestic temporary relocations on an ad-hoc basis exposes your company to increased compliance risks because you’re less likely to accurately track the employee’s time in the destination location or withhold appropriate taxes for that time period.
So a domestic temporary assignment policy is a good idea. But what benefits do you offer?
My recommendation is to include temporary living, return trips, travel expenses, tax gross-up and miscellaneous allowances. To enhance tax compliance, many policies state that employees are expected to maintain housing in the home location and it is assumed that the employee will be returning to the original location at the end of the assignment. If the employee does not maintain a home location residence, the company may regard the move as permanent from a tax perspective.
A quote from Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at Corelogic, accurately sums up the current “mood” relative to US Real Estate: “The overall economy has provided mixed signals on its performance so far this year, but one thing is clear: Home sales are off to a brisk start through April. We expect house prices in our national index to be up about 5 percent in the next 12 months, and mortgage rates are likely to move higher over the next year.”
To bolster that claim, Corelogic reported the following on June 9, 2015: “The National foreclosure inventory fell by 24.9 percent year over year in April 2015 to approximately 521,000 homes, or 1.4 percent of all homes with a mortgage. This marks 42 months of consecutive year-over-year declines.”
Additionally and supportive of positive market conditions, CoreLogic also reported (June 8) that distressed sales—real estate-owned (REO) and short sales—accounted for 12.1 percent of total home sales nationally in March 2015, a 3.2 percentage point drop from March 2014 and a 1.9 percentage point decrease from February 2015. At their peak, distressed sales totaled 32.4 percent of all sales in January 2009, with REO sales representing 27.9 percent of that share.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is implementing the new TILA-RESPA Integration Disclosure Rule (TRID) effective October 1, 2015. The objective of this new regulation is to implement easier-to-use mortgage disclosure forms that clearly lay out the terms of the mortgage for a homebuyer.
Under TRID, the Loan Estimate form replaces/combines the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and initial Truth in Lending (TIL) disclosures. As per current regulatory guidelines, the Loan Estimate form must be delivered to the customer within three (3) days of loan application.
In addition, the Closing Disclosure replaces/combines the final TIL and the HUD-1 Closing statement. Under new regulatory guidelines, Lenders/Closing Agents will be required to issue this disclosure three (3) business days prior to closing. Any material changes (loan amount, product, APR) to this disclosure from time of issuance prior to closing will result in a re-issue of the disclosure as well as a new three (3) day waiting period.
Here are some things that our clients should be aware of: Continue Reading →