Top ten relocation challenges for international companies revealed


New research has shown that North America (51%) has moved into first place as the region most critical to future business success, narrowly edging out last-year’s top-ranked region Greater China (49%).

This research is among the findings released by Cartus Corporation in its 2013 Trends in Global Relocation: Biggest Challenges survey of international mobility managers.

Matt Spinolo, executive vice president of Cartus said “In general, the U.S. is still at the top of the list of global destinations for transferring employees because it remains the largest economy in the world and, combined with the rest of North America, remains atop everyone’s list of places where businesses need to move top talent.”

The Cartus survey received responses from 157 international mobility managers from 11 regions around the world who were asked to evaluate local changes and rank issues specific to those regions.

Top ten global relocation challenges

Rank Challenge Response
1 Controlling relocation/assignment costs 76%
2 Housing (availability, suitability, price) 51%
3 Complying with laws and regulations (incl. visa, immigration) 49%
4 Moving employees to areas with limited infrastructure 39%
5 Finding suitable candidates in the local market 33%
6 Schooling (availability, wait-list issues) 29%
7 Structuring compensation packages 28%
7 Attracting qualified candidates for international assignments 28%
9 Safety and security 26%
10 Payroll and currency issues 25%

Housing issues increased 10% from last year, highlighting recent news of rising rents in Bangkok and Dubai causing issues for expats.

Some new trends are also starting to appear with the majority of companies surveyed (60% for domestic relocations and 78% for international relocations depending on whether or not they can obtain visas for the destination country) saying that they’re providing relocation benefits for same-sex partners regardless of the recognised status of the partnership.

80% of companies reported that they’re also seeing an increase in the number of requests for elderly parents to also accompany employees whilst they’re on assignment. The support offered does vary though with some companies offering full support though this is rare.