3 Important Global Relocation Trends to Watch Out For

Relocation will always be an essential part of the global mobility industry. Without it, potential assignees would not be able to transfer to their new region of employment. Without an adequate job, they would not feel at home in their new accommodations. This in turn can affect adversely their disposition and their productivity, not to mention their performance.

Global mobility managers who have successfully relocated assignees should not rest on their laurels either. Trends do develop that can influence important aspects of relocation such as budget, assignee preferences, ease or difficulty of the transfer, immigration issues, etc. They should always keep their ear to the ground and network with partners like California Corporate Housing to ensure they are always on top of the relocation situation.

One report by Cartus says immigration is one of the challenges facing global mobility managers. While providing the right visas to assignees has never been a walk in the park, 70% of these leaders admit the process and procedures have been getting tougher.

Government policies and the political climate are the factors that usually bring change. The current administration, for example, has made it clear that it will be stringent in granting working visas to foreign talents.

Countries in Europe that are becoming more insular are also raising immigration blocks, or at least compelling their duly elected leadership to consider them.

There is no easy way out of this. The one smart thing that global mobility managers can do is rigorously look at the data and see which assignees have an easier path into their country of employment than others.

Though the process may have become stringent, some foreign nationals will have an easier or tougher time than others. As discussed in a previous blog, for example, the restrictions that Chinese immigrants have been facing recently have opened a window for Indian talents to enter the U.S.

Global Mobility Solutions have pointed out a second trend:  corporate relocation programs that are decided at the headquarters level. While much has been written about assignees who want more flexible terms, and are even willing to take a pay cut for it, this new development places the decision firmly on the shoulders of the HQ head. For global mobility managers, this may lead to a number of adjustments.

First, they would have to know how their HQ works, if they have been used to having their decisions made on a regional or local level.

Second, they would have to prepare their proposals and programs way in advance, and not rush them at the last minute. Again, HQ might take a different perspective from their immediate bosses. Finally, it would not hurt for global mobility managers to develop closer relationships with these distant decision-makers in order to expedite matters more smoothly and efficiently in the future. Communications would have to be stronger.

Finally, global mobility specialist Phil Oakey names a third trend: data privacy rules. This should not be confused with the use of big data to mine for candidates or screen for mobility-related information. Countries, especially those in Europe, are becoming protective over how the data of their citizens are being used.

Regulations are being put into place. Global mobility managers would have to be careful in how they process the data they get about their assignees, who they share it with, and how they use it.

They also have to sign certain documents guaranteeing that the safety and privacy of that information, along with their assignees, are being safeguarded. Breach of these agreements can slow down hiring or even threaten future proposals. Studying these rules is a must for global mobility managers who want to hire the best foreign talents.