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New Study Reveals Talent-Mobility Disconnect That Fuels Employee Turnover

Poor Communication, Lack of Awareness about Relocation Programs Drives Employees Away to Seek Career Advancement Opportunities Elsewhere.

SAN FRANCISCOSept. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — A new study out today reveals that employees’ lack of awareness about mobility and relocation opportunities within their company is driving talent away—a risk that few companies can hardly afford given the current talent crisis. This talent-mobility disconnect not only contributes to turnover and retention issues, but also robs companies of the opportunity to promote and build their leadership bench from within, which drives up talent management costs.

According to the Mobility in Focus: Identifying the Talent-Mobility Disconnect report, conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of global mobility management company Topia, more than one-fifth of U.S. professionals say they have quit a job specifically because they were denied the opportunity to transfer to another location; 10 percent have done so more than once. And, among those who have considered leaving their employer, over half say they’d reconsider if given the opportunity to move to another location, even without additional pay or benefits.

Poor Communication Drives up Costs

Surprisingly, it seems the gap is driven by simple lack of communication about mobility opportunities: among the 99 percent of U.S. companies that offer transfer or relocation programs, over 40 percent of professionals say their companies don’t, or at least they’re unaware of the option.

“It appears this substantial gap mostly stems from poor internal communication. Employees know mobility can help build their career and they’re willing to relocate, but the majority never get the chance, so they look elsewhere for career advancement opportunities,” said Topia founder and CEO Brynne Kennedy. “The good news is, this situation can easily be rectified with better communication and greater focus on aligning and optimizing talent from within, which helps companies build strong talent and leaders at a much lower cost than acquisition.”

With the cost to replace an employee ranging from $15,000 to as much as 300 percent of the annual salary, retaining and cultivating talent is a high priority for companies in today’s extremely tight market where the number of available jobs now exceeds the number of jobseekers. That means employers must be aggressively proactive in offering incentives and opportunities for growth, or else risk losing employees to other companies that offer these career advancement opportunities.

“The Topia survey results paint a compelling picture of the gap between opportunities and awareness for too many employees, and of the need to mitigate the administrative pressure on HR with a more holistic and technologically advanced approach,” said Meghan M. Biro, CEO and Founder of TalentCulture. “To date mobility hasn’t really been leveraged to its fullest for talent strategy, but this survey highlights the need of organizations to reexamine how and why they use mobility across their organization.”

Time and Cost Challenges Solved by Modern GMM Tech

According to the survey, the time and cost involved in implementing a strategic mobility program are the biggest obstacles companies face. HR executives already spend an average of 28 hours per month—with one-quarter spending an entire workweek or more—on relocation admin tasks, such as researching work or visa requirements, filling out local tax documents or coordinating benefits for employees.

And, more than half say the cost of a relocation program prevents them from adopting or advancing their mobility strategy, despite more than 90 percent recognizing that mobility improves business growth, agility and diversity and inclusion.

“The good news here is that, thanks to advancements in global mobility management technology, there are tools and solutions that overcome these obstacles, to make operating a GMM program more efficient and affordable,” Kennedy said. “I think the evidence is clear: companies must take immediate action to better communicate about relocation and internal job opportunities, and implement modern, effective solutions to help them manage a strategic GMM program. It’s the only way they’ll win at the talent game.”

For a deeper dive into the study results, Wakefield and Topia will conduct a free webinar at 10am PT on Tuesday, September 18 where research and mobility experts will cover key findings and some strategies companies can use to overcome mobility-related talent obstacles.

Mobility in Focus: Identifying the Talent-Mobility Disconnect was conducted through an online survey of 1,000 full-time employed professional adults and 200 senior HR and talent mobility executives in the U.S. and U.K. during July 2018.

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About Topia

Topia (formerly MOVE Guides and Polaris Global Mobility), the global mobility management company, reduces barriers between people and places to enable employees to work from anywhere through its integrated suite of mobility solutions and services. Over 100 global companies rely on Topia’s technology and service platform for relocation and expatriate management, tax and payroll, and immigration data across more than 100 countries with maximum operational efficiency, employee satisfaction and engagement, and assured compliance. Topia’s philanthropic initiative, Mobility4All, provides a portion of revenue and employee time to assist individuals fleeing poverty and conflict by moving to new locations.

Founded in 2012, Topia has raised over $90M from New Enterprise Associates and Notion Capital and operates headquarters in San Francisco and London, with 17 offices throughout the Americas, EMEA and APAC. For more information, go to and follow Topia on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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