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2016 Year-end Global Mobility Trends: A Corporate Perspective

Posted by Janet Turner on Jan 27, 2017 11:03:00 AM


Global mobility is becoming a more common facet of corporate business, and yet, it's anything but perfected. As the year comes to a close, it's important to look at what's driving corporate relocation trends and how companies can effectively maintain a candidate pool that aligns with these trends. BGRS's 2016 Global Mobility Trend Survey offers some insight into the year's emerging trends, especially those practiced by companies at the forefront of successful global mobility.

Key areas of mobility management

Moving into 2017, more and more companies are moving away from traditional models to improve global mobility management through five key areas of focus outlined by BGRS:

  • Leveraging links between global mobility and talent management
  • Implementing candidate selection processes
  • Better cost management
  • Engaging millennials
  • Better repatriation planning practices and outcomes

Managing costs

One thing nearly all international assignees can agree on is the amount of pressure to lower program costs. While pressure has either increased or stayed the same amongst 96 percent of respondents' programs, cost planning and associated management practices are still not widely utilized. While lower costs remain a top priority for companies, surprisingly only 26 percent of the companies in question require a cost benefit analysis to justify international assignments.

Millennial assignees

According to BGRS's survey, companies with a greater alignment of global mobility and talent management are sending the most millennials on international assignments. However, this appears to be incredibly uncommon, as assignees between 20-29 years old are only more abundant than those older than 60. As millennials continue to flood the workforce, they bring with them different perspectives – namely the expectation of global assignments. While the highest percentage of assignees fall within 40-49 years of age, companies that see their mobility role as mainly a strategic driver of their talent agenda are sending the most millennials abroad.

Aligning global mobility to talent agenda

The function of global mobility teams has traditionally been to simply offer top-notch relocation services to employees. However, within many important companies, the teams' roles are evolving to answer a need for finding, developing and retaining key talent. While talent management remains one of the single most important factors in the global mobility agenda, due to a failure to communicate the importance of international assignments to employees' careers, 73 percent of companies don't maintain a candidate pool for future assignments. Supporting employees through career management is essential to promoting international assignments.

Companies that reported a greater alignment to talent management are at the forefront of successful mobility by focusing on candidate identification, selection and assessment tools, as well as offering effective career management throughout assignments.

While such a small percentage of companies have managed to implement an effective global mobility agenda, 2016 has been a year of positive trends. Moving into the New Year, more companies will see alternatives to the traditional model, as aligning mobility to talent management, tapping the millennial workforce and effectively managing costs – among other factors – become more widely practiced.


Topics: International Relocation, Freight Forwarder, Corporate Relocation Services

Janet Turner

Written by Janet Turner

Janet Turner is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Accelerated International Forwarders.

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