Weichert Relocation Resources Survey identifies key drivers of alternative International Assignments
While controlling costs remains critical, more companies are seeking alternatives to traditional expatriate assignments to respond to the faster pace of business and the changing needs of today’s diverse workforce, according to a recent study by Weichert Relocation Resources Inc. (WRRI).
Among approximately 180 HR and corporate relocation professionals responding to WRRI’s Alternatives to International Assignments survey, 80 percent use alternative assignments to respond more expeditiously to the needs of their business units—almost twice the number of those who use them to save on costs (47 percent). Fifty-five percent use them to support project-based initiatives while 48% use them to achieve company-specific objectives.
The survey results also helped define the five most popular alternative assignment types, which include Extended Business Travel (used by 72 percent), Commuter Assignments (58 percent), Local Plus (45 percent), Rotational Assignments (42 percent) and Core-Flex (20 percent).
“In addition to the benefits they offer in lower costs and quicker talent deployment, alternative assignments appeal to a wider candidate pool and address the career expectations of multigenerational employees, making it easier for companies to fill mission-critical positions,” said Ellie Sullivan, WRRI’s VP of Consulting and one of the survey’s architects.
“While the traditional, long-term expatriate assignment will always have its place in a comprehensive workforce mobility strategy, it can typically take months to evaluate candidates and prepare an employee and family for such a move. Conversely, for extended business travel or commuter assignments, neither the employee or business unit is making a long-term commitment. As a result, these moves can be executed faster.”
Other key findings include:
- 62% of responding companies are either currently using alternative assignment strategies or are considering implementing them in the near future.
- 66% of respondents expect their alternative assignments to increase “somewhat” or “substantially” in the coming year.
- While many companies report failed assignments and a lack of ROI from traditional expatriate assignments, 77% consider alternative assignment programs to be “very or somewhat effective” in meeting their mobility needs.
- Among alternative programs, 91 percent of responding companies have a formal policy for Core-Flex, 72 percent have a formal policy for Local Plus and 61 percent have a formal policy for Commuters.
“Our results show that alternative international assignments are becoming an increasingly valuable fixture in today’s talent mobility programs, and the wider range of options they provide will likely drive greater adoption in the future,” said Sullivan. “As one of the few sources of definitive, real-time data on these moves, our survey can help companies identify the types of alterative assignments that will best fit their cultures and objectives, and determine how to best structure such programs.”
A complete copy of the survey results can be requested from firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Weichert Relocation Resources Inc.: Weichert Relocation Resources Inc. (WRRI) is The Next PracticesCompanyâ, delivering the next generation of relocation and assignment management services that help some of the world’s leading companies meet their talent management objectives. A Balanced Scorecard Hall of FameTM Company, WRRI provides a unique combination of stability, financial expertise and seasoned leadership that has made the company a trusted advisor to clients throughout the world. For more information, visit wrri.com.