Cartus Presents Its 2012 Trends in Global Relocation Survey
Posted on June 28, 2012 at 10:51 AM EDT
57 Percent of Companies Expect to Transfer More Employees in Next Two Years While Tightening Expatriate Benefits and Moving to Alternative, Temporary Assignments; Employees More Likely to Accept a Relocation Assignment for Career Advancement Rather Than Compensation
DANBURY, CT -- (Marketwire) -- 06/28/12 -- Despite a challenging global economy, 57 percent of multinational companies expect to increase the number of employees they transfer this year and next, according to the 2012 Trends in Global Relocation Survey released today by Cartus Corporation. Cartus is a leading provider of global relocation services, moving employees into and out of over 165 countries around the world and assisting in more than 153,000 relocations during 2011.
Cartus conducted its analysis of worldwide relocation trends during the first quarter of 2012. The survey contained 111 questions that were answered by 122 multinational firms based in the Americas, EMEA, and APAC, and representing all major industries. On average, each respondent company has approximately 49,500 employees throughout the world and transfers more than 300 employees annually.
When asked, "How do you expect your organization's mobility activity to change over the next two years?" 57 percent of respondents expect assignment activity to increase, 37 percent expect it to stay about the same, and 6 percent of firms surveyed envision decreasing their number of global transferees.
"Our global trends survey uncovered two key issues behind the anticipated increase in corporate relocation activity: a need for companies to support their planned expansion into emerging markets, and a need to fill the void in available local talent in those markets," said Matt Spinolo, executive vice president of Cartus.
Among the more surprising findings of the Trends in Global Relocation study is that despite the respondents anticipated increase in relocation volume, companies are changing the way they deploy employees. Not only are firms moving away from traditional, long-term assignments into more alternative, temporary forms, but they are also trimming benefits and somewhat reducing assignment durations.
Commenting on the finding of companies' reduction of assignment benefits, Spinolo said, "The survey also documented the trend toward benefit 'right sizing' which, for many companies, has been driven by years of a tough economic climate that have made them smarter and more targeted in their assignment programs." Although this pertains to all relocation assignment forms, it is most notable in long-term assignments, where approximately half (51 percent) of companies said they will most likely alter their policies associated with long-term assignment during the next two years.
Meanwhile, employees are also focusing more on their careers when it comes to deciding to accept a job transfer. The survey found that the No. 1 reason (at 90 percent) employees accept job transfers is "career development" over "attractive compensation." Survey respondents ranked compensation a distant second on the list at 35 percent.
"The Trends in Global Relocation Survey provides a worldwide snapshot and inside look at the numerous challenges facing multinational corporations and their transferring employees," said William Sheridan, vice president of the National Foreign Trade Council. "The survey helps our entire industry stay abreast of global relocation trends and is a tremendous tool for companies because it provides a unique set of data that helps them review their present and planned activities in the context of other multinational firms' plans."
Some of the key findings of the survey include:
Commenting on these trends, Spinolo said, "The focus on compliance is clearly being complicated by the explosion in emerging markets, where navigating regulations in the key areas of tax, compensation, and immigration can be incredibly complex. Simultaneously, these issues are posing new questions for how companies handle their growing populations of 'global nomads' -- an emerging group of transferees who move so regularly, and so repeatedly, that they never return 'home' and become career expatriates."
Today's Assignee: More Experienced, Older, More Likely to Have Partner
Likewise, the percentage of transferees who were married/with partner and accompanied rose sharply to 49 percent -- a 29 percent increase from 2010's survey.
Countries Posing the Biggest Challenges - BRICS Countries
Over the next two years, multinational companies believe these five emerging-economy countries, also known as the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), are poised to present the biggest challenges for assignees (in rank order based on responses below):
Other Key Trends
About the 2012 Trends in Global Relocation Survey
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