Trends Reshaping Global Mobility: Points You Need to Consider

Published: 08 May 2018
Elaine Baker

Mobility programmes are required to be agile and flexible in adapting to global relocation and moving market trends.  Some of the key trends that SIRVA sees in today’s market include: 

Policy changes to meet flexibility

Traditional tiered policies are evolving to provide flexible solutions, catered to specific relocation programmes (e.g. developmental rotations) and employee preferences and priorities. RMCs are moving upstream to provide a more consultative approach to organisations looking to transform their mobility programmes.

  • Most organisations are adopting some form of segmentation or core/flex.  
  • Lump sum programmes continue to be utilised for some tiers of US domestic relocation programmes; lump sums for global (international cross border) moves have not been implemented on a large scale, largely due to the complexity of the move types
  • Lump sums are being utilised more broadly across US domestic programmes (beyond interns and new graduates), transforming corporate employees into consumer buyers in the marketplace

Regional Trends

  • Americas: Core/Flex policies are common for domestic moves within the USA, and the preferred model for early career employee 
  • Asia: Some policy tiers will include an element of a lump sum for intra country or domestic moves and Extended Business Travellers (EBTs) continue to be a focus area as a viable alternative to more traditional move types that are administratively burdensome and require a significant investment.  

Expanding outsourcing

Pre-decision counselling (guidance provided to the relocation initiator regarding candidate and package selection) has traditionally been provided by an internal corporate resource. SIRVA has seen a rise in the use of RMCs to provide this service as part of the vendor partnership scope of services, recognising the ability of the RMC to act as an extension of the organisation.

Global organisations are considering a centralised programme structure, provided there are regional hubs or teams in place to support the business locally.  Responsibilities with the regional hubs vary by company, largely due to agreed capabilities and capacity of internal and external teams.

Suppliers in the Americas are feeling price pressure from Procurement teams to rationalise costs in all areas of the relocation lifecycle.

Europe and Asia continue to grow from mainly in-sourcing their relocation needs to outsourcing their mobility programme to RMCs. These partnerships help take mobility programmes to the next level – from operational to strategic – allowing for alignment of mobility programmes with overall business objectives.

Technology investment is key for relocation programmes, particularly in Europe due to the regulatory climate and intense need to protect data.

Shift towards a centralised programme management model

Global mobility companies are moving towards centralised programme models – streamlining the process and creating a more integrated experience for clients and their relocating employees.  Organisations recognise the value of a centralised model’s ability to provide a consistent experience, both for the relocating employee and the internal customer, that leverages global vendors for cost efficiencies and programme scalability.

Technological advancements

Technology is advancing faster than we ever thought possible. With these advancements comes consumer demand for instant information and insights at the click of a button. RMCs must continue to innovate and provide tools and reference resources that drive progress and educate companies on innovative ways to mobilise their workforce.

Demand for transparency

It is important that companies meet expectations of full transparency into mobility programme costs, predictive analytics and reporting from start to finish to ensure clients and their people are plugged into the relocation process at all times.

Cost-quality paradox

Organisations are demanding a focus on cost rationalisation and minimisation from all external partnerships while maintaining, and often increasing, expectations around service quality.  RMCs can achieve this balance through an integrated supply chain and a preferred vendor network, providing a single point of accountability that translates into higher service levels and higher cost savings. 

Interested in finding out more? Connect with Elaine Baker on LinkedIn or directly at You may also reach out to