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| 2 minutes read

International Permanent Transfers expected to increase in 2023

From the shadow of the pandemic, global travel for business has re-emerged. In a very recent post we mentioned Kayak's report on how international flight searches are up 64% year over year. Companies have also re-evaluated how global mobility can help support talent attraction and retention through global internships, developmental and rotational assignments, and strategic cross-border transfers (aka international permanent transfers) which ultimately support upskilling and cross-skilling. In another recent post (When the going gets tough, the tough get...relocating?), we talked in greater detail about the prediction that relocation support will be a major player in helping companies to adapt quickly, restructuring and redeploying the right talent to the right place.

Knowing this, we shouldn't be too surprised that according to ECA, international permanent transfers are becoming an increasingly common type of international move for many organizations, often favored for their cost-effectiveness for the company or the fresh challenge they represent for the employee. In fact, it's noted that 62% of companies expect the proportion of permanent transfers to increase in the next three years. ECA's Permanent Transfers Survey identifies trends and best practices for the compensation and benefits of employees who are permanently moving abroad. 

In our own survey findings, soon to be reported on, we found that companies are expecting international activity to increase more than domestic moves - 85% of companies are anticipating international permanent transfers to increase (46%) or remain the same (39%). Data also shows that international permanent transfer policies will be prioritized for benchmarking and revisions in 2023 - 54% of companies have this on their "to-do" list. Plus's Consulting Services team is already seeing some of those requests arrive even now!

On top of the numbers, this recent info from AIRINC explains why the one-way transfer policy works well. "Having used one-way transfers successfully in the past, companies are recognizing that the world has gotten “flatter.” For mobility between countries with economic affinity and comparable standard of living, employees may be satisfied with a one-way transfer rather than a full assignment." Rising remote work requests are also having this policy (or a version of it) applied to them. 

The international permanent transfer policy is just one useful item in the mobility toolbox, though. Mobility is also about effectively applying the right policy for each of a company's specific talent mobility situations.  As AIRINC points out, "While many of the new ways to support one-way transfers make sense, such as for volunteer assignments or remote work requests, one-way transfers are not to be used for all transfers."

Permanent transfers are becoming an increasingly common type of international move for many organisations, often favoured for their cost-effectiveness for the company or the fresh challenge they represent for the employee. ECA’s recent Permanent Transfers Survey found that over half of companies have seen an increase in the proportion of one-way relocations they manage in relation to their overall global mobility population in the last three years and nearly two-thirds predict an increase in the next three years.


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