Global ArticleWith growing competition for talent, HR is be faced with making tough decisions about relocating existing or prospective employees. Consider the cost and compliance implications such a move will have on the company, as well as the engagement impact it may have on employees.  



Unpacking the Complexities of Corporate Relocation

Tips for tackling compliance and engagement challenges when transferring employees

In HR, one of your biggest jobs is ensuring that you have the right people in the right place. With growing competition for talent, you may be faced with making tough decisions about relocating your existing or prospective employees. Before you send your employees packing, consider the cost and compliance implications such a move will have on the company, as well as the engagement impact it may have on employees.

Current trends in corporate relocation

While relocation is not a new phenomenon, the increased competition for top talent is driving greater interest in relocating employees. Below are some noteworthy results from the 47th Annual Atlas Corporate Relocation Survey:

  • More than 40 percent of surveyed companies indicate employee relocation volumes increased in 2013, with a lack of qualified local talent driving the need
  • 65 percent indicate that their firms offered additional incentives to encourage relocations, including temporary housing benefits, relocation bonuses, cost-of-living-adjustments, extended duplicate housing benefits and loss-on-sale protection

Relocation cost and compliance concerns

According to Cartus Corporation’s 2014 Trends in Global Relocation report, cost control and compliance lead the list of organizational challenges for relocation. The majority of survey respondents (75 percent) ranked cost control as the top global mobility challenge in terms of future impact on their organization.

Aaron Hurst, vice president, Global Solutions at Ceridian, says, “From a payroll and tax perspective, managing the complexities related to in-country regulations can be a huge challenge when relocating employees globally. Moreover, having control and data visibility across the entire organization grows more complex.”

Global organizations may benefit from payroll solutions that offer a single data repository, reporting engine and workflow system so they have better visibility into the entire HR and business operations. In addition, results from the Cartus survey indicate that companies have plans to increase focus on early involvement of tax and immigration providers to help with global relocation compliance.

Engagement tips for supporting a successful relocation

Ensuring the successful relocation of your employees plays an important role in retaining and motivating your employees. According to a CareerBuilder survey[1], 77 percent of relocated workers were happy with the move and didn’t regret their decision largely because:

  • Their financial considerations (expenses and salary) were addressed
  • They had a clear understanding of the opportunity
  • They felt support of family and friends

Conversely, when relocations fail, it is often because of family or personal circumstances. In the Cartus survey, 61 percent of respondents indicated that the inability of family to adjust is a primary reason relocation assignments don’t work. Offering employees resources and support through an employee assistance program can help increase the likelihood of a successful transition.

In addition, it is helpful to encourage employees to think through these five key considerations when making the decision to relocate:

  1. Career – Will this move advance your career now or in the future?
  2. Expense – How much will it cost to move and what will the company pay? Is the cost of living different from your current location?
  3. Family – How will a move affect your spouse’s career? Your children’s education?
  4. Timing – Will the move happen between school years? Will it impact care giving responsibilities?
  5. Process – What formal and informal support exists for this change?


Corporate relocations can be complex and daunting, but with appropriate compliance measures in place and the right tools and processes to help families make successful transitions, they can offer an exciting opportunity for career growth and development.

For more information:

  • Learn more about Ceridian Dayforce Global Solutions
  • Learn about Ceridian LifeWorks Employee Assistance Programs
  • Review our checklist for selecting a global payroll provider

[1]CareerBuilder survey conducted by Harris Interactive January 2012