CapRelo Blog

Controlling Global Assignment Costs

Posted by Amy Mergler on Thu, Dec 06, 2018

Business man pulling a big green dollar sign concept on background

Finding a balance between employee support and cost management when overseeing global assignments is a challenge, but it can be done. Most importantly, it's imperative to properly plan for assignments and actively manage expenses.

No two global assignments are identical, so rather than creating a one-size-fits-all solution, you may opt to evaluate some custom-fit solutions that take the bigger picture into consideration to create opportunities to save. In addition, you may consider these measures to help manage and reduce global assignment costs.

Assignment Cost Control Measures

  • Establish goals and select the appropriate candidate for the assignment. To avoid the cost of a failed assignment, one of the most important steps is to properly plan your business goals and objectives to screen candidates and identify the best talent for the assignment. Candidates can be assessed not only on their job skills, but also on their ability to manage and adapt to a different culture and environment.
  • Review your assignment program regularly. There may be areas in your program where minor adjustments can be made to reduce costs without negatively impacting employees. For each possible adjustment, analyze how it will impact the relocation process and how it will affect your employee's productivity during the assignment.
  • Regulate cost-of-living allowances. There may be a significant difference between the costs of living in originating and host countries. Set allowances that are applicable to their respective locations, and recalculate cost-of-living subsidies regularly to reflect financial fluctuations in the host country's economy. Use a salary cap when calculating the COLA to further contain costs.
  • Reevaluate host country housing guidelines. To control housing expenses, employ more conservative standards to determine guidelines for host housing using the most current data available. Remember to review and adjust the guidelines regularly to account for local real estate value and currency fluctuations.
  • Lower house-hunting trip reimbursements. International airfare, transportation at the location, as well as lodging and food can be expensive. Reduce these costs by limiting the number of days allocated for these trips. Unless necessary for school enrollment, limit trips to the employee and spouse/partner only.
  • Reassess the costs of language training, cultural training services, home-finding and familiarization trips. Though these services are often crucial to an employee's successful assignment, you may be able to do some research and compare providers to determine if there are more cost-effective ways to provide them, such as providing web-based language training. Pay attention to service quality and client satisfaction to ensure you make both cost-effective and responsible decisions.

Managing Global Assignment Costs

Topics: global assignment costs, managing costs, global assignments, global mobility, global relocation

CapRelo and JK Moving Cycle for Survival

Posted by Barry Morris on Tue, Dec 04, 2018

Chris Finckel Cycle for Survival

CapRelo and our sister company JK Moving Services once again committed our support to Cycle for Survival, an indoor team cycling fundraising event to beat rare cancers. The fundraising effort supports research for pancreatic, brain, stomach, ovarian, and thyroid cancers; leukemia and lymphoma; all pediatric cancers; and many others.

This is the 11th year for the event. So far, Cycle for Survival has raised more than $140 million to fund innovative clinical trials, research studies, and major research initiatives led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Every dollar raised goes directly to lifesaving research within six months of the event.


CapRelo and JK Moving have each reserved one stationary bike to ride at the event on Friday, March 1st at the Equinox Sports Club in Washington, DC. Each team will be comprised of four to eight members. The event is essentially four back-to-back 50-minute spin classes that the teams ride in relay style. The classes are challenging, high energy, and inspiring. During the relay, survivors, current patients, and doctors speak briefly between each ride.

Below is a great video that gives a sense of what the event day is like and really shows the profound impact Cycle for Survival is making in people’s lives.

As captain of the CapRelo team, I’m looking forward to joining my team of enthusiastic riders and fundraisers for the ride and supporting a worthwhile cause! Please consider joining us in supporting Cycle for Survival by visiting our team page and making a donation.


Click here to learn more about Cycle for Survival.

Click here to visit the CapRelo Team Page.

Topics: community, charity, CapRelo Employees

Upcoming Mobility Shows and Events - December 2018

Posted by Amy Mergler on Thu, Nov 29, 2018

CapRelo Upcoming Events 3

We will be attending and/or sponsoring the following upcoming events. If you’re attending, look for us and say hi, because it's a great opportunity for us to stay abreast of the latest global mobility trends, as well as develop and strengthen trusted partnerships. 


Greater Richmond Relocation Council Winter Conference

Date: Evening Event, December 3; Conference, December 4

Location: New Delta Hotel, Richmond, VA

Attendee: Pete Larkin

The GRRC winter conference will include a keynote global economic update, panel discussions and roundtable sessions.

Click here to learn more and register.


Wisconsin Employee Relocation Council Holiday Meeting

Date: December 4

Location: Maggiano's Little Italy, Wauwatosa, WI

Attendee: Christopher Bloedel

The WiERC holiday meeting includes a guest presentation on attracting corporate investment in the Milwaukee region and a peer activity on talent acquisition.

Learn more and register here.


Portland Relocation Council Winter Meeting

Date: December 5

Location: World Forestry Center - Miller Hall, Portland, OR

Attendee: Patrick Cacho

The PRC winter meeting will focus on educational topics ranging from tax reform updates to a panel on Inclusive Mobility: How Global Mobility & Inclusion Can Partner for Results. The PRC is encouraging attendees to dress for the holidays and will award prizes. There will also be a variety of volunteer opportunities to support JOIN, a Portland organization that supports the efforts of homeless individuals and families to transition into permanent housing. 

To learn more and register, click here.


Heart of America Relocation Council Holiday Meeting

Date: December 5

Location: Lidia's Italian Restaurant, Kansas City, MO

Attendee: Christopher Bloedel

The HARC holiday meeting's panel discussion will focus on the Evolution of Mobility and Talent Management. A holiday reception will follow the panel discussion. When you register for the event, you will have an opportunity to donate and support Move for Hunger.

Click here for more information and to register.


Greater Washington Employee Relocation Council Membership Mingle & Meeting

Date: Mingle, December 6; Meeting, December 7

Location: Mingle – Cure Bar and Bistro, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Washington, DC;
Meeting – Partnership for Public Service, Washington, DC

Attendee: Pete Larkin

The GWERC will host a special holiday membership mingle on Thursday, December 6, followed by the December membership meeting the next day. The meeting will feature industry and association updates and a relocation and mobility panel discussion, as well as a presentation by motivational speaker Gian Paul Gonzalez.

Learn more and register here.


Bay Area Mobility Management Annual Holiday Celebration

Date: December 7

Location: W Hotel San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Attendee: Patrick Cacho

BAMM's annual holiday celebration includes a holiday luncheon, an opportunity to network with industry colleagues and a silent auction to support BAMM charities,  

To find out more and register, click here.


New York Council of Relocation Professionals Holiday Event

Date: December 11

Location: Columbus Citizens Foundation, New York, NY

Attendee: Pete Larkin

Details for NYCORP's holiday event are not currently available, but you can register to attend.

Click here to register.


If you can’t attend, please be sure to follow CapRelo on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Topics: CapRelo Employees

Recruit & Retain Talent with a Better Global Mobility Program

Posted by Amy Mergler on Tue, Nov 20, 2018

A robust and responsive global mobility program can make your organization stand out among your competitors and help you attract and retain the top talent in your industry. Find out how:

Recruit & Retain Top Talent

Topics: talent acquisition, talent retention, talent recruitment, global mobility policy, global mobility program

Understanding Global Assignment Costs

Posted by Amy Mergler on Fri, Nov 16, 2018

Plane flying above skyscrapers-cropped

Confidence in the economy is rising, and with it, the number of companies seeking to establish, strengthen or expand their positions globally is increasing. Often, this involves expatriating talent to fill key positions in other countries. Some companies will also provide global assignment opportunities to expand their employees' knowledge and skills.

Whether your company is well versed or new to managing global assignments, the
cost of them can be daunting. However, when appropriately planned for and managed, global assignments can positively impact a company’s global business goals.

Sending an employee and a family of three on a three-year global assignment could
cost in excess of USD $1 million. So, it’s not surprising that many global companies
believe traditional overseas assignments are cost-prohibitive. Some companies have
reduced, frozen or even eliminated their global assignment programs. However, to
remain competitive, companies still need to place the best talent at the appropriate
locations, and often that talent isn’t available without a global transfer. This is when
the proper management and oversight of relocation costs becomes imperative.

Understanding the Costs

If you’re planning global assignments, there are ways to scale back costs without
compromising operations or impacting employee productivity. Finding that balance
between employee support and cost management to successfully oversee global
assignments is a challenge, but it can be done. Below is a list of some of the expenses
businessman hand working with new modern computer-croppedassociated with a global assignment:

  • Candidate Assessment – Conducted by the company to determine if the employee is the right candidate for the global assignment.
  • Pre-Decision Assessment – Aligns the individual needs of the employee and the employee's family with the business goals of the assignment.
  • Immigration – Obtaining the appropriate documentation for the assignment. The reason for the assignment will dictate the appropriate visa type.
  • Tax Implications – Determining the tax implications of the assignment and responsibilities of both the company and the employee. 
  • Tax Assistance – Providing the employee with tax assistance, which could include consultation; preparation (for both home and host countries); filing (for both home and host countries); tax equalization.
  • Host Country Housing – Providing reasonable and customary rent and utility costs for the employee's housing in the host country according to regional guidelines based on family size and location.
  • Allowances – Ongoing payments made, separate from base salary, during the assignment: 
    • Cost-of-Living Allowance (COLA) – An allowance or differential paid to the employee for similar goods and services in the host location that they have int he home location based on family size and salary. Intended to cover costs to purchase host country goods and services over those from the home country.
    • Transportation – An allowance for a car for the duration of the assignment, the amount of which may vary by location and family size.
    • Hardship – An allowance paid in addition to salary and COLA for assignments in locations designated as a hardship for the employee based on factors that include potential violence, incidence of disease, medical care quality, geographic isolation and availability of goods and services.
  • Miscellaneous Expense Allowance – One-time payment made, separate from base salary, intended to cover expenses not expressly covered in the Letter of Understanding, like renter's insurance, obtaining a new driver's license, immunizations, taxis, etc.
  • Cultural/Language Training – Provided to the employee and the family to assist in understanding  the host country culture and language.
  • Home Finding and Destination Services – Locating housing in the host country, as well as registering with local authorities and setting up accounts.
  • Departure Services – Home sale, property management, lease termination, etc.
  • Global Household Goods – Transporting (via land, air and/or sea) or storing household goods and personal effects.
  • Temporary Living – Fully furnished housing at the destination location.
  • Repatriation – Return of the employee to the home country at assignment completion.

Managing Global Assignment Costs

Topics: global assignments, global mobility, managing costs, global assignment costs

CapRelo - Integrating Change

Posted by CapRelo on Thu, Nov 08, 2018

Listening and absorbing information is one thing, but acting on it is something completely different. The initiatives we're taking at CapRelo have helped define our key strengths, which include technology, talent and our global footprint. Find out more in our video below!


Topics: CapRelo, CapRelo technology, CapRelo Employees, Why CapRelo

Strike an Ideal Balance Between High-Tech & High-Touch Relocations

Posted by Amy Mergler on Thu, Nov 01, 2018

Golden scales isolated over a white backgroundOrganizations should seek out external mobility management partners that offer balanced services, incorporating both smart technology and human touch. Companies and their employees need web-based tools capable of facilitating back-end information management and accounting processes and tracking progress; however, in the event that challenges unfold, more traditional customer service support will allow for the employer and the employee (or even his/her spouse/partner) to contact an experienced professional for assistance.

This balanced approach provides a channel for employees to perform tasks like filing receipts, while also providing access to human representatives who can provide practical, empathetic advice during distressing situations.


Mobility management services that balance technology and human touch outperform software-only methods, giving both organizations and their employees the power to best manage administrative activities and address unexpected challenges. For businesses that want to make their mobility programs more effective and budget-friendly, selecting the right partner is key. Not every mobility management company—even those that purportedly offer balanced options—can offer cutting-edge technology and high-quality customer service.

When researching potential partners, companies should look for experienced, knowledgeable firms who offer secure technology that is easy to use and understand and easily accessible, for both the employer and relocating employees. In addition to technology tools necessary to facilitate a successful relocation, close attention should be paid to the company’s human-touch customer service options, including a designated point of contact and after-hours availability to address emergency situations.

Balancing High-Tech & High-Touch Relocations

Topics: mobility technology, relocation technology, global mobility management, relocation counselors

Upcoming Mobility Shows and Events - November 2018

Posted by Amy Mergler on Fri, Oct 26, 2018

CapRelo Upcoming Events 2 

We will be attending and/or sponsoring the following upcoming events. If you’re attending, look for us and say hi, because it's a great opportunity for us to stay abreast of the latest global mobility trends, as well as develop and strengthen trusted partnerships. 


Greater Pittsburgh Relocation Council Meeting

Date: November 1

Location: U.S. Steel Tower, Pittsburgh, PA

Attendee: Pete Larkin

The GPRC November meeting will focus on the costs associated with household goods moving.

Click here to learn more and register.


Delaware Valley Relocation council Fall Summit

Date: November 6

Location: Sky Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Attendee: Pete Larkin

The DVRC wants to "ignite your passion for innovation and ingenuity" at the 2018 Fall Summit. The summit will include industry updates; a keynote address discussing global, national and regional economies; and a game of Relocation Hollywood Squares!

Learn more and register here.


Southern California Relocation Council Fall Meeting

Date: November 8

Location: The Reef, Long Beach, CA

Attendee: Patrick Cacho

The final SCRC meeting of 2018 will offer three educational sessions focusing on strategic sourcing, transformation in talent mobility and growing up expat. The meeting will also include networking during a waterside happy hour. 

To learn more and register, click here.



Date: November 8

Location: City Winery, Nashville, TN

Attendee: Christopher Bloedel

The TRC fall meeting will feature a keynote address on creating the future, rather than predicting it; a panel discussion on talent mobility trends, changes and challenges; and mobility games.

Click here for more information and to register.



Date: November 14

Location: Bridgewater Manor, Bridgewater, NJ

Attendee: Pete Larkin

The NJRC fall conference will include a keynote address focusing on conscious inclusion; a presentation by The Bag Project, an NJRC community outreach partner; a cultural simulation to give attendees a chance to experience socializing in an international setting; and a round of Mobility Match Game.

Learn more and register here.


Corporate RELOCATION COUNCIL of Chicago Annual Business Meeting & 40th Anniversary Celebration

Date: November 15

Location: Pinstripes, Northbrook, IL

Attendee: Christopher Bloedel

The CRC will celebrate 40 years with discussions on the future of the global mobility industry and GDPR compliance and relocation, followed by the presentation of the new board of directors and the Sandra M. Welbourn service award and networking featuring bowling and bocce. 

To find out more and register, click here.


Charlotte Metro Area RELOCATION COUNCIL Quarterly Meeting

Date: November 29

Location: Topgolf Charlotte, Charlotte, NC

Attendee: Pete Larkin

Panelists from the corporate, household goods, RMC, tax and real estate fields will weigh in on lump sums and the shared economy in an in-depth discussion during the CMARC quarterly meeting. The event will also include the CMARC annual holiday raffle benefiting Friendship Trays of Charlotte. Separate registration is required for the meeting and to play golf.

Click here for more information and to register.


If you can’t attend, please be sure to follow CapRelo on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Topics: CapRelo Employees

Incorporate Technology & Human Touch in Your Global Mobility Program

Posted by Amy Mergler on Thu, Oct 18, 2018

Modern communication technology illustration with mobile phone and high tech background

According to research from the U.S. Census Bureau, an estimated 22 million Americans relocated in 2017. It is likely many of them leveraged some form of relocation technology to manage their respective moves. After all, mobile users downloaded more than 175 billion mobile applications globally in 2017 to help manage their everyday activities, according to App Annie. This collective zeal for technological convenience has affected how people manage their relocation activities.

While relocation apps and portals ease and expedite some parts of the relocation process, they are not all-encompassing: There are variables that even the most advanced technology cannot address, including the emotional upheaval that occurs when relocation becomes reality.

For this reason, it is important for businesses that manage employee relocation and assignment activities to partner with mobility management providers that take a measured approach wherein technology and personal interaction are both available when needed. This sort of balance increases employee comfort and allows the company to deal more effectively with the unexpected hiccups that inevitably unfold during corporate-sponsored moves.

The Danger of Standalone Technology

Mobile applications and other technology solutions have transformed how people perform common tasks. Often, these tools streamline once time-consuming activities through automated features. Additionally, these features can make it easier for multiple business units involved with employee relocations to keep track of progress and monitor costs. A Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) study showed that 60 percent of corporate leaders believed online resources would drastically improve existing company relocation strategies. Improving relocation strategies, however, is far different from improving the total relocation experience, including dealing with relocating employees, external vendors and mobility management providers. This is where technology alone can fall short of a balanced approach.

In addition to moving information between the appropriate parties and tracking expenses, businesses must be prepared to address complications that software simply cannot. For example, a technology-only solution will not help relieve the anxiety a relocating employee might feel when faced with managing all of the tasks associated with moving the family and household to a new city. In these moments, human support is critical. Relocation technology solutions, while helpful, offer little aid in such situations. To effectively manage these scenarios, a company must rely on experience, knowledge and empathy. Just one negative relocation experience can make talent less likely to accept an assignment or transfer offer, whether they were directly involved or if they heard about it “through the grapevine.”

Balancing High-Tech & High-Touch Relocations

Topics: relocation technology, mobility technology, relocation counselors, global mobility management, mobility management

Embracing Employee & Community Wellness

Posted by Barry Morris on Mon, Oct 15, 2018

Employee Wellness Team

According to Forbes, happy and healthy employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees, and when it comes to salespeople, happiness has an even greater impact, raising sales by 37%. At CapRelo, we're not only devoted to providing the best customer service to our clients, but also to doing right by our team.

Over the years, we have found it pays to take stock in our employees' personal well-being, as well as that of our community. Hosting on-site and off-site wellness and outreach initiatives makes it easier for employees to make better decisions in their own lives. Not only during our busiest seasons, but all year round, making sure folks take a few minutes to think about themselves through various programs is a priority.

CapRelo's Employee Wellness Programs

Employee wellness is best approached with a hands-on strategy. CapRelo publishes a monthly wellness newsletter distributed company-wide, as well as encouraging participation in a monthly wellness webinar series offered by Cigna. Some of the other workplace wellness and community outreach programs we offer include:

Stone Feather Catering1. On-site Farmer’s Market: Chef Pepper Owings of Stone Feather Farm is on-site at the Sterling, VA campus twice a month to offer healthy, organic alternatives to typical lunch options, as well as a variety of local and organic produce. 

2. Weight Watchers Meetings: With our second 2018 session now underway, our first Weight Watchers session was a great success with 28 employees participating and a total loss of 323.4 pounds.

3. Managing Diabetes: We partnered with a Registered Dietitian and Health Educator to develop on-demand training about diabetes prevention and management.

4. Wellness Passport:  CapRelo’s flagship benefit program invites employees to earn points by taking control of their health and offers many resources, discounts and chances to win gift cards and cash rewards, all while staying involved at work. 

Putting an emphasis on our employees' wellness leads to a happier work environment and, ultimately, a more successful company. 

Topics: employee benefits, employee engagement, employee wellness, community, employee productivity

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