Industry Trends

Mapping the Mobility Business Model of the Future

Smiling businesswoman meets with a male colleague.

A growing, vibrant business must be nimble and able to respond to changes in the marketplace. An essential element for success is the ability to find and place talent where an organization needs it. To support this, HR professionals must create effective mobility policies and processes, even during a global pandemic.

Unfortunately, when it comes to managing mobility, many organizations say they are struggling. Our recent study, in partnership with HR Research Institute, found that only about half of the mobility leaders surveyed give their organizations high marks when it comes to overall employee satisfaction or level of support. And, more than a third of those organizations don’t have a comprehensive talent mobility/relocation policy at all.

As we know, mobility encompasses a wide variety of situations, from international to domestic, to long-term and short-term assignments to virtual assignments and hybrid working arrangements. While no two situations or organizations are alike, there are common threads among leading mobility teams that any organization can apply to enhance their own business model.

Here are some best practices to help map a successful mobility business model.

Clear Structure and Process

Having a structured program and strong policies in place helps ensure that mobility happens smoothly and stress-free for everyone involved. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to where employee mobility and relocation is best managed within an organization. Regardless of who manages them, the vast majority of organizations with highly successful talent mobility programs (74%) say they have comprehensive talent mobility/relocation policies. They have consistent internal processes and know who owns them.

The HR Research Institute study found that organization size has a lot to do with where and how mobility is managed. For example, organizations of 1,000 or more employees tend to use a team-based approach. They also are more than twice as likely to use relocation management companies as their smaller counterparts. In smaller organizations, HR is overwhelmingly the gatekeeper for employee mobility and relocation management.

Defined Budget Oversight

Budget accountability is also a key factor in a creating a successful mobility business model. High-performing organizations have dedicated mobility budgets, most likely under the oversight of corporate HR. Centralized budget management is important in establishing consistency and transparency.

But regardless of where the budget lies, simply having a budget is critical. More than one-third of survey respondents said their companies don’t have a mobility budget at all. And in smaller organizations, the numbers are even higher (40%).

Questions to Ask:

  • Where is the accountability for managing talent mobility/relocation in our organization?
  • Do we have consistent, well-documented processes that we regularly review and update
  • Are we leveraging additional expertise of a relocation management company?
  • Do we have an annual talent mobility budget?
  • Who oversees the mobility budget and how often are budget performance reports shared?

Flexible Relocation Policies

Just as there is no one-size-fits-all answer to where talent mobility management lies in an organization, neither is there a single approach to today’s relocation policies. The most successful organizations know that to attract and retain employees, they must adopt a mantra of flexibility. Being flexible transcends everything from the types of compensation packages offered, to hybrid and remote work options, employee health and well-being policies and DEI&B-friendly relocation initiatives.

Encouragingly, global mobility leader organizations have kept diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEI&B) initiatives in mind when updating relocation policies. These organizations have accomplished this through greater flexibility (42%) and structuring policies to support DEI&B (25%). More than a quarter of global mobility leader organizations have made changes to their relocation initiatives to improve DEI&B through more equitable compensation policies.

The highest performing mobility organizations also offer broad flexibility in the types of mobility paths available to employees. Today’s talent mobility leaders know they must provide a menu of options to support employees’ needs, from business travelers and commuters to short- and long-term assignees.

Questions to Ask:

  • In the last year, have we updated our policies to facilitate greater diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging?
  • Do we flex our mobility policies to fit the diverse needs of employees?
    How are we meeting employees’ desires for remote and hybrid work options?
  • What do we offer to encourage employee health and well-being while on remote assignments?
  • What are we doing to encourage greater diversity in the assignee pool?

Looking for more best practices to guide your mobility business model? CapRelo’s seasoned client services team can help you navigate the complexities of global mobility. Contact us for more information.

About the Author

Tracy Langlois, CRP, GMS

Vice President, Client Services

Tracy is a service delivery expert, exceeding the needs of clients around the globe. With 20+ years of experience in global mobility, clients rely on Tracy for collaboration to ensure process and procedure alignment, to identify efficiency to program a…