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Key factors for transferees that shape global mobility

May 14, 2017
Vukasin Vukosavljevic, Head of Content & Design at Crater in the USA, looks at how changing trends are affecting the global mobility industry

There’s a well-known term that’s been circulating for some time now, of which we’re all aware – ‘Global Citizenship’. Even though the term is weighted with meaning, it usually refers to people who have a global identity and a sense of belonging to a much broader community. In his recent manifesto on the future of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg stated that progress now requires humanity to come together as a global community, encouraging and empowering civil society on a transnational scale.

The main driver is the rapid advancement of technology and its direct influence on the ways in which we communicate, engage, and share information. Today's businesses have many opportunities to reach new markets and expand their operations anywhere in the world. Modern infrastructure has paved the way for more efficient solutions, where anybody can easily join the global economy and compete for market share.

The implications of this shift on the moving industry are massive. In-home estimates are being replaced with video surveys and automated inventories. Transferees have changed their expectations and are continually looking for more convenience. As a result, the removals and relocations industries are undergoing an evolution that is happening more rapidly than at any other point in history.

For global mobility, 2017 will be the year of raising challenges and ongoing innovation. Here are some of the key factors that I believe are going to influence transferees and continue to shape the moving industry.

Talent management and assignment allocation

Global talent management is of critical importance. From a strategic point of view, the success of the entire process depends on whether or not the individual moving is capable of achieving the company’s goal, and adaptable enough to live in a new environment.

The habits of transferees have also changed dramatically. The millennials as a generation are bringing big shifts to the global economy and mobility. Traditional long-term assignments are of little interest to them, so it’s no surprise that they are in decline. As a group, they are more mobile, constantly looking for meaningful experiences, and long-term assignment packages are something they simply don’t require.

The trend that the mobility industry was able to experience first-hand is the increased demand for rentals. Renting has become a common choice, especially with millennials. Nevertheless, this brings new challenges into the process.

These factors impact the way businesses approach their mobility programmes. For example, rising property prices in some places are making other locations more attractive for companies planning to expand their businesses. It’s important to keep in mind that although the costs for certain geographic locations are high, marketing there is essential so companies are left with no choice.

On the other hand, the global search for talent is continuing to drive mobility, regardless of the economic and financial constrictions. Earlier migration trends were usually seen from developed to developing nations, but most recently, transferees are moving in the opposite direction as well. Exponential growth is the primary goal for all companies as they are competing in highly competitive markets. Having a strong presence in developing countries, and being able to spot talent before competition does, are aspects no company can neglect.

Technology breakthroughs

Transferees are becoming more culturally engaged, and global mobility programmes are more popular than ever. It comes as no surprise that all this amazing technology available at our fingertips has made that happen twice as fast.

More and more moving companies are using video survey technology and switching to a new way of conducting estimates. Transferees have raised their expectations and movers are adjusting to it.

The truth is that moving is stressful, and the majority of products and services people consume nowadays require little or no effort from them. This is why video surveys and easy scheduling are critical for all movers. Transferees see it as a convenience.

Outside factors

There are a lot of factors outside our control that affect international assignments. These factors are most often volatile, unpredictable, complex, and cannot be overlooked by organisations or movers.

Demographic changes, latest immigration policy changes, terrorism and conflicts, environmental issues and political unrest must be taken into consideration when creating global mobility programmes.

Clearly, these factors are always going to be present and will continue to shape global mobility and the way organisations recruit and relocate employees. We can adapt by designing flexible global mobility strategies and policies that allow better oversight. In other words, support the needs of various business units, types of employees moving and different ways companies are organised.

Creating effective informational systems that provide better insights into hostile environments and different allocation assignments is also important. Understanding and managing tax and compliance risks remains essential for achieving an effective global mobility strategy. And the innovative use of technology will continue to bring a better experience and simpler processes to the entire industry.

CRATER

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