NetExpat offers a range of results oriented and cost-effective services targeting mobile employees and their partners to help them during the whole life cycle of their relocation, from pre-departure to repatriation.

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Written by: Kay Hall, SVP, Global Advisory Services EMEA and Cecilia Franchi, Senior Director, Advisory Services Americas

There is a big focus on this generation, who are tech savvy and expect state of the art technology and information at their fingertips. The changing demands of the millennials is good in that it propels organizations and vendors to evolve, scrutinize policies, streamline processes and focus on the employee experience, which has been long overlooked.

The trend towards self-service including cash lump sums has evolved as part of this generational shift. On the positive side, cash reduces administration and offers flexibility to the assignee and the business. All good, or maybe not...organizations are not always conscious that cashing out a service or benefit in kind is effectively transferring responsibility to the transferee. The dilemma is that Millennials don't know what they don't know (not to say that older generations are all-knowing). This means that Millennials may declare a preference for an easy, quick, self-service solution but they are not necessarily aware of longer-term consequences. These can include living in dangerous neighborhoods or sub-standard housing; the choice of a flat screen TV over their partner's career. We seem to be entering an era where companies feel OK with lessening their duty of care towards employees, however we wonder how this aligns with the corporate talent objectives. Does it leave your most valued workforce generation lifetime champions of your corporation?

Choice and flexibility are good but within certain parameters and often only for select demographics. Do you think the flexibility that exists in your own mobility program aligns well to your long-term talent strategy? Which types of flexibility work well for you?



Studies confirm that the number one cause of assignment failure is due to the inability of the mobile employee’s partner to adapt to their new environment.


It probably isn’t the first time you’ve heard that statement, and it definitely won’t be the last, but today we want to address a topic that is not always top of mind when it comes to partner assistance: Integration Support.

When discussing the topic of partner assistance, many employers think of job search support, which is an extremely important part of support that should be offered to partners relocating on assignment. According the NetExpat/EY Relocating Partner Survey, the majority of mobile employee’s partners/spouses were working prior to their assignment, but 44% of them were not. This is a huge percentage of the partner population that is being forgotten when an employer decides not to offer any support to those relocating partners who are not seeking employment.

While at first glance, it may not seem as complex for a relocating partner to navigate the in’s and out’s of their new daily life in a new location, (i.e. no work permits, job searches, interviews, and salary negotiations), don’t underestimate the need for all partners to feel supported when it comes to the importance of developing their own local network. When moving to a new place, all existing networks have been stripped away making them feel vulnerable; in addition, for many it can be an extremely daunting task to rebuild. For partners who are seeking employment, these networks are developed more easily through the natural process of their job search, but for other partners this can require more courage and self-motivation to achieve. Ultimately, all partners should be given the support they need to succeed and develop a network via technology and personal contacts, find new hobbies, volunteer and even further their education when desired. All partners deserve the right to a fulfilling experience while on assignment and a satisfying expatriation.

Here are keys to the ideal integration support:

  1. Don’t ask your DSP to provide this service – Helping someone open a bank account or sign up for a gym membership in a new country can be valuable, but it only provides short term gains. Use a service provider who specializes in supporting the employee and their families. They have developed methodologies and access to trained coaches who understand the needs of the partners/spouses and can customize support directly to their needs in order to make them feel heard and valued resulting in long term success and a fulfilling assignment.
  2. Don’t throw cash at the challenge - Today’s mobile employees are no longer interested exclusively in the financial aspect of their international assignment package – they are extremely concerned about the fate of their partners while abroad. While cash provides a financial cushion, it does not provide access to the tools needed to help each partner experience success on assignment.
  3. Don’t hide from it – According to the NetExpat/EY Relocating Partner Survey, the resounding message expressed by mobile employees and their partners to their international employers is that addressing the well-being of the relocating partner is a key driver to successfully managing international mobility.

NetExpat Celebrating 20 Years Serving Global Mobility

Make sure to check out our latest Newsletter featuring contributions from GSK Pharma, International Flavors & Fragrances, L’Oréal Luxe, PMI, and TraQs Consulting:

  • What Do Your Uptake Rates Tell You?
  • Global Talent Management at GSK
  • Reconciling the Dilemmas Within International Mobility
  • Better Data for a Better International Mobility
  • Mobility Council and Talent Development at IFF
  • And much more! 

Click here to download 


Written by: Cecilia Franchi, Senior Director, Advisory Services Americas

There is a contradiction in global mobility programs around the world. More and more, organizations are using international mobility to fill critical business needs and as part of the essential developmental experience of valued talent; however, when that business need is filled, or that talent has gained the skills they lacked through an international assignment, most organizations end their mobility support. International experience is recognized as a key element of a leader’s resume, but what if the next step for these motivated, mobile employees is leaving? Post-assignment attrition is growing, we all know it, with attrition rates rocketing up to 60% in the technology industry! Unfortunately, the picture may actually be even bleaker: as more companies move away from full-fledged traditional expatriate assignments to fill global business needs with the increased use of “local plus” assignments, permanent moves, and localizations, these globally mobile professionals quickly fall off the radar post-move.

So, should companies also track the attrition rates of their “local plus”, permanent transfers and localizations?

A compelling case can be made that in order to protect the resources invested in these mobile employees, greater efforts should be made to retain them whatever mobility package or status they are on; a mobile employee’s global perspectives and capabilities will benefit the entire company. Sadly, few companies take advantage of the vast knowledge that these mobile professionals gain from different markets, ideas for inventing or enhancing products and services, and strengthened human networks across functions and geographies. The international mobility function can have a big effect on retention and engagement of their entire globally mobile workforce if they are able to work closely to co-create solutions with their global talent management colleagues. When organizations lose track of who has global experience, or fail to formally support these mobile individuals, especially if they are ready to move on less expensive packages, they lose a huge opportunity to serve their global corporate ambitions. There needs to be a connection between the system of record and tracking them as globally mobile employees. While this may seem tactical, it takes on strategic importance when tied to career management.

Mobile employees need to know that they are on a career development track that gives them personal and professional satisfaction, whatever mobile status they’re on, or they will find someone who does appreciate it. Companies need to take a pro-active, global talent management approach to retaining and engaging their entire globally mobile workforce.

Written by: Peter Hawthorne, Senior Consultant, NetExpat

In a recent survey only 10% of companies believe their Global Mobility policies were aligned with the strategic agenda of their organization. The remainder provided operational and administrative support for relocating staff.

When speaking to a group of Global Mobility professionals recently, none had reviewed their organization’s strategic workforce plan to see if their policies and processes aligned. If Global Mobility professionals wish to elevate their standing in their organization, the first task is to align their policies with the business strategy by asking these simple questions. What will be the key factors to identify? Who is considered Key Talent in the organization? How does that talent contribute to the success of their organization? What is the culture and capabilities required to best drive organizational improvement? How does leadership integrate the talent within the organization?

From there, start to engage your Talent and Leadership Development colleagues to discuss how Global Mobility can support their agenda. For instance:

  1. Overcome the challenges of a lack of intercultural awareness and its impact on the performance of the individuals involved
  2. Improve female acceptance of global assignments by offering Relocating Partner Support
  3. Identify the unique capability development acquired through cross border work e.g. cognitive complexity, which then requires building into the next role of the individual

Ultimately, by starting the debate with your HR colleagues and line managers, Global Mobility professionals are able to identify where cross border work of key talent adds value for their specific business.