Nearly all of the global mobility people we speak to at MOVE Guides mention an increase in permanent moves among staff. Many of these self-initiated relocations come with limited relocation support, host country payrolls, and local packages. In most instances, we see the use of permanent transfer policy with a cash lump sum to help with relocation expenses. Frequently, we also see employees take pay cuts for moves abroad.

In today’s global society, most young professionals expect to live and work abroad. They seek career development, follow spouses, or just want a cross border cultural experience, often even more than they want monetary gain. They have grown up with mass connectivity through the internet and social networks, widespread travel, and globalization, making them more comfortable with moving abroad than generations before them. They also recognize that, in a global economy and at multinational organizations, international experience, networks and capabilities are a critical part of career promotion. As mentioned last year by Lorna Davis, Global Biscuits Category Head at Kraft, at the Financial Times Woman at the Top Conference, “Young professionals need a global zig-zag to make it to the top of multinational organizations.”

This poses the question to global mobility professionals of how to support self-initiated moves. In prior years, we may not have seen companies offering opportunities for professionals to transfer offices on their own request. International assignments were the standard method of employee relocation and companies were far less open to mobile staff than they are today. However, in today’s era of multinational firms and global work, we see organizations very supportive of self-initiated and self-service moves.

“Why do you want to stop someone who wants to be mobile? We just reduce their package,” said Karen Oppermann-Calvert, International Tax and Social Security Manager, EADS, at a recent conference.

The challenge for global mobility professionals will be to support and manage this growing demographic with relocation services that don't increase costs or create a loss in productivity. New global relocation options like MOVE Guides offer a solution to support this demographic without a corresponding increase in cost or administration.

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Brynne Herbert

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Brynne Herbert

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