Challenging Times are Best for Disrupting Global Mobility Policies

The year 2020 saw many closed offices, reduced workforces and — to address what many have not fully grasped — the volume of workers leaving major cities for more affordable suburban areas. Will the global mobility industry fully bounce back from the pandemic soon? Industry professionals are hopeful.

Plus Relocation CEO Susan Benevides sees volume of recruits rebounding in 2021, but not in a sudden surge. Instead, she predicts a more gradual return to normalcy as many approach relocation with caution. “I think 2022 is going to be back to more of that ‘normal level,’” she said. “2021 is going to be a year of recovery.” sees an opportunity. Where once companies struggled with talent shortages, there will be a sudden surplus of highly skilled, highly qualified candidates seeking employment. 

Outsourcing mobility programs

A Motus report points to many organizations taking advantage of improving their talent acquisition efforts next year. Outsourcing a mobility program to a relocation management company (RMC) is one key tactic that Plus Relocation also anticipates.

Shifting responsibilities — including making payments and selecting supplier partners — to an RMC can help a mobility team maintain consistent service even if they happen to be dealing with reduced staffing.

When it comes to relocation, for example, the ability to purchase new furniture instead of shipping household goods of talents is one form of adjusting to the new realities. Programs that blend traditional and non-traditional benefits can provide relocating employees with the greatest degree of choice, control and care — and they can also reportedly help a company’s bottom line.

Employers may become more flexible when it comes to their assignees’ choice of work location, if it’s just a few miles away from San Francisco to San Jose. Since March, some companies have offered funds and resources to help assignees move anywhere they’d like. It’s all good. Motus’s research found evidence that remote work increases both employee engagement and retention — momentarily, of course. GitLab reportedly enjoys retention rates above 85 percent

Job markets are still plenty competitive, but the search for top talent looks a little different than it did at the end of 2019. Because of the rise in remote work globally, more companies are finding that their talent pool is expanding geographically. 

If employees can truly work from anywhere, then employers can recruit from anywhere, too. Benavides sees a challenge (and an opportunity) for mobility programs here. Supporting delocation and WFA has the potential to become the biggest talent attractor for organizations. Conversely, being uncompetitive in this area could lead to companies losing talent to rival businesses from across the globe. 

Benevides said many employees will wonder: “Do you want to keep me, or do you want to lose me because another company offered to support my move?” Mobility teams that adapt to this trend now stand to come out on top.

What employers need to offer

Benevides added that she’ll also be watching where people move or go on assignment, while also looking at how global mobility professionals need to offer the following to stay competitive:

  • offer fair and equitable relocation packages 
  • provide a robust set of benefit options to meet any personal need 
  • leverage technology to provide non-traditional policy elements 
  • remove the need for relocating employees to disclose personal information to get the benefits they need 

There is a lot more to be said (and done) on this front within organizations in the coming year. That’s why now is a great time for mobility teams to really focus on building an equitable and inclusive mobility experience for their employees. 

It all boils down to an organization’s tenets of choice, control and care for relocating employees and how it addresses diversity, equity and inclusion matter. This means mobility programs that are hitting on all three areas are doing something right. Challenging times are often the best times for disruption, so if there ever was a “right” time to break the status quo in mobility, the start of 2021 might be it.