CapRelo's client-focused technology helped solve a problem for one of our clients and allowed us to be more agile to answer their needs faster. Find out more in our video below!
CapRelo's client-focused technology helped solve a problem for one of our clients and allowed us to be more agile to answer their needs faster. Find out more in our video below!
As Brexit and the impending withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union continues to be a major topic of discussion in the news, Mark Woelfel, CapRelo's Vice President of Global Development in our UK office, explains how it affects CapRelo's global mobility efforts:
While the negotiations of Brexit continue between Westminster and Brussels, we've continued to see the same trends over the past year in relation to its impact into the mobility space. There is a general reluctance towards making long-term talent acquisition strategies until there is more clarity around the terms of the deal, and a reduction by many multinational corporations to make long-term assignments around and into Europe. Since the announcement of Brexit, many countries in the EU (including the UK) have seen a tightening of immigration requirements—not so much in overall policies, but in the application of the regulations—more intense scrutiny of documentation, revisiting of immigration caps and schemes and a generally slower service in processing of individual immigration applications.
Savvy leaders in the mobility space continue to make exhaustive scenario planning around the possible outcomes and have been increasing the use of business travelers and short-term assignments to meet their immediate business objectives. In the UK in particular, we've seen reviews of UK Domestic programs, evaluating their fitness in light of not just changing legislation (such as new GDPR requirements), but for scalability as companies consider the need to utilize more local and regional talent to fill their open positions.
We remain in a "hope for the best and plan for the worst" environment, and CapRelo is assisting many companies in preparing for a variety of eventualities.
In a global marketplace, it's important for U.S.-based global mobility leaders to strike the right balance when working with global colleagues and customers.
Join us on Tuesday, September 18, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. ET for our WERC Learning Zone Webinar: My Way, Your Way, Our Way, where we will discuss a case study that encapsulates the pain points U.S. global mobility professionals have experienced when failing to get buy-in from their foreign counterparts.
In this webinar, you’ll learn:
- Examples of situations global mobility professionals have experienced
- The critical importance of understanding diverse assumptions about effective communication, rules vs. expectations and hierarchy
- How to strike the right balance to communicate effectively
VP, Client Development
CapRelo presents this free webinar through the WERC Learning Zone so you can learn more about creating a successful global mobility policy. This webinar is good for CRP, GMS credit.
CapRelo's digital transformation initiative for both internal and outward, client-facing technology allows us to remain agile to support our clients' needs and requirements. Find out more in our video below!
“It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it.”
This phrase has become a cliché over the years, but like most clichés it endures because there is truth in it. All around the world there are jobs that need to be done, and people that are willing to do them, even if the work is hard and the compensation is sometimes lacking.
As experts in global relocation services, here at CapRelo we strive to better understand the global workforce in any number of industries. To that end, we recently took a look at how salaries differ for a number of common jobs from country to country around the world and found some very interesting results that we just had to share.
For the specific jobs we researched, we relied on self-reported salary information supplied by workers from around the globe. Before we get to those graphics, however, we wanted to supply some additional context and perspective by finding out what the average annual salary would be in the countries we examined if workers were paid their nation’s federal minimum wage, regardless of job title. Several countries such as Norway and Sweden do not have federally mandated minimum wages, instead relying on other processes such as union negotiations within each industry to set standards. In those cases we have listed a minimum wage as “n/a.”
One of the jobs we were most interested to look at in this study was the nursing field. While it’s doctors that are known for making lots of money and are the ones glorified on medical television shows and in the popular conscience at large, anyone working in the medical field in the real world knows that nurses are a truly indispensable part of any good medical team, without whom countless doctors and patients would be much worse off.
Our analysis found that pay for nurses varies wildly across the globe from $3,556 annually in India to $63,000 in the United States, the best of any nation in the study. The average nursing salary in the USA is over twice the global average for the profession, showing that the American medical industry recognizes just how important nurses are. Along those lines, it is worth noting that while the amount paid to nurses in India is a pittance compared to the United States and other countries, that $3,556 figure represents an annual salary over 4 times higher than the annual minimum wage in that country, showing that nurses are highly valued highly even in poorer countries.
Another profession with a reputation for being underappreciated and underpaid is education. Many teachers around the United States have been fighting for better pay and better job support in recent years, and it’s easy to see why once you dive into the salary data from around the world.
While American teachers were among the top-10 best paid in our analysis, they earn almost $20,000 a year less than the average teacher in Switzerland, the country that compensates their educators the best. Even more interesting is to look at these salaries through a lens of relativity, as teachers in the United States make less than 3 times the national minimum wage, while those in the country with the lowest minimum wage - India - make over 5.5 times their nation’s minimum wage. This is just one instance of other nations prioritizing education higher than the USA, a trend that is driven home by the fact that the global average salary for teachers actually exceeds that of nurses, meaning a number of countries see their educators as worthy of compensation on par with or exceeding that of crucial healthcare providers.
Similar to the educator’s initiatives, there have been many highly public efforts in the United States in recent years to increase pay for people that work in the food service industry. Our analysis found that it’s not just America where food servers are paid very little, as there are only two countries - Switzerland and Turkey - where workers in this industry average more than $30,000 a year in earnings. This was also the job with the lowest average global salary, clocking in at a measly $15,861.
The only other job we evaluated that even came close to matching food servers was retail associates. People who work in this industry keep malls, boutiques, and everything in between running smoothly, and they are not paid very well for it. In the United States they make slightly more money than food servers, a trend that is fairly common around the world.
With all this talk of money and salaries, CapRelo would have been remiss if we didn’t take a look at how those who manage everyone else’s money are compensated. As is true for many jobs we evaluated, Scandinavian countries like Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway paid accountants the best, along with Switzerland. It is worth noting that while those nations pay well for most jobs, they also typically have high tax rates. Of those five nations in our analysis that pay accountants over $60,000 a year, only Switzerland has an income tax rate lower than 27%.
A crucial part of any company is their HR department. When looking at the average salaries for human resources managers around the world, we found that the vast majority of countries we evaluated understood just how important HR is. Salaries for those in this profession are typically paid well above their national minimum wage, with Switzerland even averaging six-figure salaries for top-level human resources managers. In fact, of the nine professions CapRelo looked at for this project, HR managers had the highest average global salary at $46,767.
With technology playing the prominent role it does in modern society, we at CapRelo wanted to make sure we took a look at how those that develop some of that technology are paid. To that end, we evaluated general software engineer salaries. Unsurprisingly, given the prominence of Silicon Valley to the American economy, this was the job with the highest salary in the United States of all the professions we evaluated in this study. In fact, the $85,000 average salary for an American software engineer was the second highest in the world, trailing only Switzerland’s $94,567.
Finally, we wanted to look at a pair of job titles that are incredibly important to so many companies even though their specific duties can differ from industry to industry. First, operations managers, which typically oversee a company’s production process. People in these jobs are crucial to running an efficient and profitable business, and are paid as such in many countries. Almost 20 of the countries we examined pay operations managers over $50,000 a year on average, which helped bring the global average in excess of $45,000 annually.
The last job we looked at was project managers. People with these titles can have job duties that vary even more than operations managers as different companies have different responsibilities that fall under the purview of project managers. While there is decent variance in day-to-day duties for people in these roles, what is consistent is how well they are compensated. Project managers are one of only two jobs we looked at where all 43 countries we evaluated where workers are paid at least $10,000 annually, the other being operations managers.
This analysis covered just a sliver of the global workforce, but here at CapRelo we found even that little bit to be truly illuminating. The differences in pay from job to job and country to country allow for interesting looks into what different nations value in their workforce, something that is made all the more interesting when viewed through the prism of different national minimum wages.
Whether your job was a part of this analysis or not, we hope it has been interesting and informative. And if you or your company are considering a move to another country (maybe one where they pay better), remember that CapRelo offers world-class global mobility services to simplify any such move!
CapRelo transforms the global HR and employee mobility experience by combining the best in technology, people, resources and human touch experiences. Get to know CapRelo in our video below!
Millions of American workers relocate annually, many taking on international assignments as businesses develop and broaden their global mobility programs to take advantage of the expanding global economy. Here is a snapshot of global mobility in 2018.
WHAT IS A RELOCATION PACKAGE?
When a company offers an employee long-term employment in a location more than 50 miles from the current work location, a company may offer a relocation package. This usually covers the employee’s reasonable moving and other work-related expenses. By offering transferees a relocation package, employers provide comprehensive financial and other types of assistance to relieve the employee and their family of the expensive burden of relocation. A well-developed relocation package not only provides peace of mind as well as incentive to accept the job offer for the transferring employee but reflects positively on the company’s reputation for attracting top talent.
Are Relocation Packages Common?
In years past, relocation assistance was offered almost exclusively to higher-level employees or specialized contractors. Today, with a more global economy and better-educated global workforce, the competition for the best talent is stronger than ever; consequently, smart companies are jumping on the relocation benefits bandwagon to attract and keep their best employees.
A recent survey by Atlas Van Lines reported an increase of 13 percent over a three-year period among companies offering relocation assistance. Companies are finally catching on to the fact that having a strong, attractive relocation package in place not only makes excellent business and branding sense, but has become a reality for those companies that wish to remain competitive.
- HR PROFESSIONALS ARE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT RELOCATION-
Another recent survey by Worldwide ERC® indicated an upward trend in U.S. transfer volumes: a 4% increase in relocation for current employees and a 7% increase for new hires. And companies anticipated another increase in the next year
- THE ROLE OF MILLENNIALS IN CORPORATE RELOCATION -
One thing that can be said for sure about this demographic group that is quickly taking over the workforce: they like to be on the go. Already having overtaken the Baby Boomers in the workforce, millennials are arguably the most technology- and travel-adept generation to ever show up on the scene.
Millennials are changing the face of workplaces around the world, as they demand work environments that not only acknowledge their contributions but also their need for flexibility and a good balance between work and private lives. In an Urban Bound study, a full 71 percent of millennials also expressed a desire to work abroad at some point in their careers – a fact that shouldn’t be lost on corporate recruiters.
- Relocation Packages and the Modern Workforce -
Relocation packages are increasingly becoming used not only as a way to keep in-house talent happy in the event of a transfer, but as an effective recruiting tool – particularly for globe-trotting millennials, who often relish the chance to travel and broaden their business and personal horizons. If companies find that they’re losing talent, especially as part of a transfer process, then a review of their relocation policies and strategies may be in order to keep up with the changing faces of the modern workforce.
Components of the Average Relocation Package
The average job relocation package will include the following features. Please note that this is a more subjective, than objective, list. Depending on the industry and their competition’s relocation packages, employers can tailor their programs to offer the most competitive and attractive packages to attract and retain top talent. Many organizations either designate an in-house relocation manager to help oversee the move from beginning to end or, increasingly, turn this complex job over to a professional relocation management company.
Successful assignments and transfers depend on competitive, comprehensive relocation packages. These should be compliant with IRS regulations, and should also align with the organization's goals and objectives. Regardless of the type and number of relocation package components, those that meet the needs of both the employer and employee will be most effective. Oftentimes, these components can be negotiated. But what are some of the features common to the average job relocation package?
- Full pack and/or unpack services. The employee's household goods are packed by a moving company, saving the employee time and stress. After arriving at the new destination and home, moving company personnel unpack the household goods.
Quality moving company service with reasonable insurance coverage. Some moving companies are known for quality moves, some are not. Since moving charges are usually based on total weight, insurance for damaged or lost goods should be equal to your goods’ value.
Home sale or lease-breaking penalty assistance. Home sale help can come in a variety of ways, from company-sponsored reimbursement for money lost on quick home sales, professional marketing help to accelerate the timing of sales to the employer buying the home. Renters can expect employers to pay contractual penalties for early lease termination.
House-hunting trip, minimum one. Standard relocation programs commonly include at least one, preferably two, company-paid house hunting trips of short duration to give the transferee and family opportunities to find new homes. House-hunting expenses incurred in looking for a new home: transportation, lodging, meals and in some cases, childcare so the kids can stay home (and out of the way) while the parents can house-hunt in peace. (According to the Illinois-based search firm Witt Kiefer, companies are increasingly encouraging families with younger children to leave them home, and reimbursing them for the expense, while looking for a new house.)
Temporary housing. Standard relocations include at least 30 days of temporary housing for transferees.
Transportation, including auto moving, to the final destination. Most relocation packages include reimbursement for transporting your transferee and his/her family to the new location. If the transferee can travel by auto, reimbursing for mileage expenses is common. Should the move require plane or train transportation, standard packages often include reimbursing the cost of moving the transferee’s vehicle(s).
Miscellaneous expenses. As usual the “miscellaneous” category can encompass a lot of small costs. These can include driver’s license fees, pet registration and licenses, cleaning services at the new home, utility hook-ups and other move-related expenses. To keep this category cost controlled, identify or cap most eligible costs.
These are commonly included features of standard relocation packages, which we outline in our guide. Depending on your industry and facility locations, there may be more features in the typical relocation package.
Popular features in a standard relocation program may also include:
- temporary living expenses when transferees must meet hard deadlines to move
- storage costs for household goods before employees can move into new homes
- spousal employment assistance in the new location
- childcare costs and elder help for transferees caring for elderly parents.
- school location assistance for school-age children
- a loss-on-sale allowance in the event your present home sells for less than its purchase price (not uncommon since the Great Recession)
- trips home for those in longer-term temporary housing, usually limited to one every 30 days
Your typical relocation package may or may not include some or all of the noted features. However, in all cases, you should regularly compare your package with those of your competition. If your program is significantly deficient in some area, make senior management aware of the discrepancy, advising them to consider upgrades to keep your standard package equal to your competition’s packages.
While it can be true that the higher the level of an employee’s status within an organization, the more comprehensive and inclusive the job relocation package will be, more savvy companies are offering to underwrite relocation costs even for newer employees as a means of attracting and keeping their top talent. Each company has its own benefit structure and policies vary, so potential transferees need to understand from the outset what is and isn't included (but could be negotiable) to secure the best deal on job relocation packages.
What Kinds of Relocation Packages are Available?
There are almost as many types of relocation packages as there are employees needing the assistance and the companies that hire them. The company’s financial resources and situation, the length of employment, as well as whether the employee is a homeowner or renter also play roles in determining the size and coverage offered in a relocation package.
A core or typical relocation package usually covers the costs of moving and storing furnishings and other household goods, along with help selling an existing home and costs incurred house hunting, temporary housing if necessary and all travel costs by the employee and family to the new location.
Besides the coverage itself, there are a number of ways to administer the package:
- Direct billing: The transferring company hires and directly pays for a moving company as well as costs involved in selling a current home and all other services needed to help relocate the employee and family.
- Lump sum: A set amount of money is given directly to the employee to pay for moving and related expenses. For tax purposes, the government considers this as income and therefore taxable, so to offset tax liabilities, companies often reimburse for those in the form of a gross-up (link to gross-up blog post), which frees the full amount of cash for the move. Another possible drawback is that it may be difficult to correctly estimate the total costs up front, due to unexpected out-of-pocket expenditures. If a mover’s initial estimate is lower than the actual costs, for example, the employee may have to dig into their own pockets to cover the difference.
- Reimbursement: The employee pays for everything up from and is reimbursed by the company after the move. This requires careful record keeping by the employee, including tracking all receipts for expenses. Additionally, employers will likely set a limit above which they will not reimburse.
- Third-party (outsourced) relocation: In this scenario, all logistics related to moving, including real estate or rental expenses are outsourced to a third party that coordinates a comprehensive array of services. Some of these may include marketing and sale of an existing residence, spousal employment assistance, storage of household goods, if necessary, and rental assistance.
- Expatriation assistance: This is additional relocation assistance used by multinational companies for employees relocating outside the country, beyond the typical moving and transport of household goods and real estate help. Covered benefits may include overseas trips to search for suitable housing and assistance with obtaining spousal work visas, finding and selecting schools for employees’ children and finding the way around a city in a foreign country. Language and cultural assimilation instruction offered through a relocation package serve to help the employees’ comfort zone and confidence by adjusting to the new culture and its customs.
Offering employees choices in relocation packages provides incentives for current and prospective employees to remain and pursue careers within a company. With competition among companies for top talent, offering attractive relocation packages is a win-win for both companies and employees.
WHO GETS A RELOCATION PACKAGE?
While it is becoming more common for new, junior-level employees to also be offered relocation opportunities, typically the higher the employee’s rank within the organization, the more extensive the covered expenses of a relocation package. A recent graduate just starting their career may have only the basic expenses of moving, while a vice president will often have additional services covered, such as child care while house hunting, as well as airfare and car rentals, lodging and meals for the employee and his/her spouse.
HOW ARE EXPENSES COVERED?
Assistance may consist of lump sum cash payments toward expenses, direct billing by the company for all moving expenses or reimbursement after up-front payment by the employee.
Relocation is an area where job candidates and new hires may have a bit more ground to negotiate, as it usually costs much less to move an employee than to pay a higher salary. In fact, a Worldwide ERC survey from 2015 reported that companies spent an average of $71,803 in 2014 to move newly hired homeowners and $23,766 to move newly hired renters.
Relocation Packages are good for both sides
Most companies want to save as much money as possible in the course of job transfers while still ensuring that the employees and their families are comfortable and ready to get to work as soon as they arrive in the new location. When used a recruiting tool, a strong relocation package can make a difference in attracting the best job candidates – a critical factor in remaining competitive in a global job market.
Editor's note: This post was originally published on February 11, 2014, and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
For a baker in medieval England, there were laws relative to the cost of wheat used to make the bread they sold. Bakers could be subject to various punishment if they sold the bread for more than what is was worth. The widely known term ‘baker’s dozen’, of 13 instead of the usual 12, originated when bakers would throw in an extra loaf of bread when selling a dozen for the fear of coming up short.
As a provider of services to clients who rely on CapRelo to ease the mobility process for employees and their families, we never want to come up short. It’s why we are driven to give more than what is expected—just like bakers with that 13th loaf!
It’s rewarding when those with whom you do business rank you as the best at what you do. Such is the case when HRO Today again named us at the top of a list of global relocation companies with the annual HRO Today’s Baker’s Dozen Award.
Every year, HRO Today rates companies based on three subcategories: quality of service, deal size and breadth of services. While the feedback is anonymous, it comes solely from the buyers of relocation services. These are the people for which we wake up every day and come to work. I am honored to announce we have been rated fourth Overall and second for Quality of Service.
Our dedicated team helps to empower employers make the best decisions that drive their global talent. We listen to the needs of global HR teams to find ways to better connect with their cultures and help solve challenges. I’m very proud of our team on this important achievement.
Would you like to learn more about custom relocation solutions? Leave a comment below or give us a call!
There are precious few certainties in life but as the old saying goes, taxes are one of them. With America’s tax season in full swing, that inevitability is sure to be on the minds of many in the United States.
During this time of the year it is easy to forget that America isn’t the only country where tax considerations loom over the population, as well as how different tax rates and financial realities can vary around the globe.
With that in mind, CapRelo decided to take a look at salaries, taxes and take-home pay from a number of countries all over the world, and to contextualize that information for an American audience. Here’s what we found.
To get a baseline on how the average citizen in each country can expect to be taxed, it’s necessary to know how much the average citizen makes. CapRelo examined a report from an intergovernmental economic organization listing the average annual salary for the countries we analyzed. After converting local currencies to their equivalent in U.S. dollars, it was possible to assemble the map above, which illustrates how much the average worker can expect to make around the globe. The countries in darker red are nations where workers are compensated the most.
Of course, the taxman will take a cut, and we were able to find the overall percentage of salary that someone making an average wage can expect to pay in taxes in each country. This was done by taking post-tax earnings and dividing them by pre-tax earnings. We felt this was the best way to produce a consistent comparison across countries, given the occasionally complex nature of various tax codes.
Once taxes have been paid, we get a better picture of exactly how much money the average annual wage is for workers around the globe. This chart shows post-tax take-home pay, once again converted to U.S. dollars. Countries in dark red here have the highest take-home pay.
Comparing maps can make it challenging to ascertain the exact scope of tax impact, so we decided to visualize the data an additional way to show how much of the average wage in each country is consumed by taxes.
Many in America comment on how much they have to pay in taxes, so we thought it would be fun to look at how that rate would change in other countries. By taking the average annual American wage and factoring in the rate it would be taxed in other nations, it is possible to see where things could be better or worse. Only ten of the surveyed countries would produce a lower tax bill than Americans already experience, with the rest taking more… at times, significantly so. Bet you never thought you’d be happy with your current taxes!
Finally, CapRelo wanted to provide an even more detailed examination of taxes around the globe. The result features much of the same data that has already been presented, like average annual salary and post-tax take-home pay for every country (and the average American wage), as well as some new information. First is a more detailed breakdown of the specific tax rate as it applies to the average wage in each country, and second is an analysis of purchasing power.
The latter feature utilizes the Big Mac Index, a metric devised by The Economist that takes the price of a McDonald’s Big Mac in two countries to determine the relative value of money in each place. Utilizing this tool, we were able to find out how much the post-tax take-home pay was actually “worth.” As a result, we see that while somewhere like Russia has an average post-tax take-home pay amount equivalent to just $8,456, that money allows someone to buy the same amount of “stuff” as someone with $19,488 in America. On the flip side, Switzerland’s average take-home pay of $84,006 only goes as far as $65,567 would in the United States.
While taxes may be constant, the information above demonstrates how actual cost impact definitely isn’t. Hopefully seeing how taxes compare across the globe—along with the extra two days afforded by this year’s April 17 deadline—takes a little bit of the sting out of filing this year!