Globalization and rapid development has led to a rise in expansion opportunities for businesses, and corporate relocation enables businesses to redirect resources to locations as per requirement.
Corporate relocation has been growing at a steady rate, driven by an increasing number of international assignments in the US, Western Europe, Australia, Singapore, Japan, India,and China. Earlier valued at $28 billion in 2016, the corporate relocation industry is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 3-4 percent, reaching $30 billion by 2018.
What is Corporate Relocation?
Corporate relocation takes place when an employer transfers an employee from a current location to another location either domestically or internationally and pays for the moving expenses. Depending on the location and whether the assignment is domestic or international, the employer arranges for the required legal documentation, travel, and any other expense coverage, which is overall referred to as a “relocation package”.
Due to the increase in the number of domestic and international assignments, companies often prefer to outsource the employee relocation process entirely, giving rise to the corporate relocation industry. By outsourcing the process, businesses are able to conduct the relocation process smoothly and according to the requirements of the destination location.
Factors Driving Corporate Relocation Industry
The recovery of western economies from recession combined with developing economies opening up opportunities for foreign investments has led to a greater interest for companies to expand internationally. Rise in the number of IT and consulting assignments and expansion of operations of Fortune 500 organizations have led to a great demand for corporate relocation and outsourcing of relocation services to global service providers.
Specialized service providers of the corporate relocation industry offer end-to-end solutions including legal expertise regarding visas, taxation and residency requirements, and technology platforms to track expense management. Buyers can also opt for standalone services as required, such as payroll support, taxation or spousal support from regional niche providers.
Establishing a presence in an international location and working around the local regulatory complexities becomes a challenge unique to each location. Different nations have different requirements and immigration restrictions and accordingly, the corporate relocation industry has evolved.
Any relocation program comes with high costs, ranging from travel to setting up a new temporary residence, but when the relocation is taking place internationally, currency fluctuations further add to the costs. Due to the high costs involved in corporate relocations, companies generally prefer to keep a shorter tenure for international assignments.
In Latin American countries like Brazil and Argentina, the market is still at a nascent stage as global players are hampered by local restrictions. In comparison, the industry has flourished in the Middle East as large numbers of international assignments increase the demand for relocation services in the region. Outsourcing of relocation services to global service providers has also been accelerated in India, China, and South Africa.
The Employee Factor
A change in environment requires adjustment from the end of the employee, so as to integrate socially and culturally into the new surroundings and give optimum performance. Adapting to a new country and spending time away from home and loved ones puts a strain onto the employees. In order to maximize employee retention and productivity, relocation packages often include additional perks, facilities for dependents or spouses and a firm end date.
The integration of industries and markets internationally and the expansion and growth of companies globally has increased the demand for skilled employees in developing and developed economies. Corporate relocation has expanded beyond domestic assignments into the field of international assignments, diving rise to an entire industry to streamline the relocation process.