Would you say that your corporate travel policy is up-to-date? Do you consider it to be competitive compared to other companies in your industry? If you’ve answered “no” to either of these questions, it might be time to review your policy.
Emerging popular trends such as working remotely and focusing more on work-life balance, combined with the competitiveness of today’s job market, has resulted in candidates taking company’s travel policies into consideration before accepting a job - which is not a negotiation piece that we’ve really seen before. Potential employees are concerned with being away from home more than necessary so they are building their demands into their employment negotiations.
We are seeing a shift away from the “traditional business traveler” by seeing an increased population of the “modern business traveler.” A traditional business traveler (also referred to as “road warriors”), are the people who are willing to travel on a budget by booking cheap flights (which often involve layovers, inconvenient flight times and weekend travel), as well as staying in hotels in which the company has a relationship with. The “modern business traveler” prefers to book things on their own, at their convenience, stay where they feel is most convenient and use their own preferred modes of ground transportation (Uber, Lyft, etc.).
Many current corporate policies do not allow their corporate travelers to use their own “suppliers," if you will, while on business trips for a few reasons. One of the top reasons is security. For instance, when companies choose a large well-known hotel chain, they choose them because they know they will likely be staying in a safe neighborhood and can be reached easily if a security concern arises. Now, if someone is staying in an Airbnb in a neighborhood with high crime without many resources nearby (this may happen if the traveler isn’t familiar with the city and booked the Airbnb because it’s low cost and they are trying to be frugal with the company’s spend), companies may have a harder time tracking down the employee.
A company’s corporate travel policy is starting to noticeably funnel into talent acquisition and retention. Employees that travel for work (which is also increasing year over year) are likely noticing that corporate travel policies are generally beginning to loosen up and become more flexible to meet employees’ needs, which may give an employee a reason for them to look elsewhere for employment if their company isn’t following the flexibility trends. Companies that do not update their policies in order to remain competitive in today’s job market may be at risk of losing valuable talent.
Now we’re seeing (Human Relations) getting more involved in corporate travel programs,” he says. “Thirty-three percent of our companies are saying candidates are asking to see the travel policy before hiring on. Its slow movement, but we’re seeing either some strong links to the HR departments being established for corporate travel offices, or in a few cases we’re actually seeing travel offices move formally from the procurement area to HR.