CapRelo Blog

US Global Mobility: Changes, Challenges – and Fun?

Posted by Jim Retzer on Tue, Sep 30, 2014

Recently, George Herriage, CapRelo's executive vice-president and-COO, talked to Re:locate’s Fiona Murchie about current trends in US relocation, both inbound and outbound.

You can find the full article titled "US Global Mobility: Changes, Challenges - and Fun?" here

people george herriage

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With a worldwide focus on global growth, where are US organisations doing business, 

FM: How does the current US business, economic, and political environment affect relocation? and where are they sending their employees? I asked CapRelo’s Executive Vice President/COO, George Herriage, for his views.

GH: Although the US economy has been volatile over the last several years, the business

 climate continues to be positive. We’re seeing unemployment rates continue to decline, 

which, in turn, means the need for talent mobility increases.

We are cautiously optimistic about the economic climate, as growth in wages is static at best. However, interest rates are still a bright note, keeping home ownership affordable and allowing businesses to expand.

Another area we are monitoring is the impact on our industry caused by federal budget challenges and the US government sequester. The federal sector and its supporting industries are being disrupted by these challenges. For example, regulations tied to the mortgage industry and real estate disclosure laws are problematic to implement, and that affects our clients.

FM: For outbound relocation, what is your perspective on where US companies are sending their assignees as expansion into overseas markets gathers pace? That is, where are you noticing movement ─ Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America?

GH: Employee relocations going outside the US are still primarily focused on Europe and Asia. However, longer-range planning shows Latin America as an emerging destination for our clients.

FM: For inbound relocation, what types of employee are being relocated or sent on assignment? From what geographic regions and business sectors are they coming?

GH: We see a blend of more seasoned senior-level employees and the younger Millennial staffers. Not surprisingly, emerging companies tend more toward Millennials, while more established organisations are predominantly relocating senior-level employees.

Within the US, Texas is experiencing an uptick in inbound relocation activity due to a business-friendly environment and the success of the oil and gas industries. In California, business has increased due to our client’s business needs.

Outside the US, key activity for our clients is from the UK and China.

FM: What are your thoughts on the current state of US domestic relocation?

GH: There are several trends we have noticed, including growing demand for corporate relocation services and a shift toward more renting versus homebuying. This is being driven by Millennials not purchasing homes and fewer overall homeowners since the real-estate decline.

Government relocation will be static for the next few years, due to the constraints on federal budgets, and so on.

FM: How has relocation changed over the last decades, and what are your predictions for the future of employee relocation?

GH: What we see is that the services we provide are evolving to address real-time business needs and challenges  – for example, technology-driven services, rental services and lump-sum management.

We do not expect to see consolidation in the mobility industry. That is, there won’t be fewer relocation management companies, just different ones.

Also, technology will continue to change the face of relocation, as it has in every other industry. Technology-driven organisations will emerge to address new buyer demands.

Lastly, all facets of the industry are rethinking their business models, from household goods movers to relocation management companies, from mortgage providers to real-estate firms.

The next few years will see constant changes of directions and models – it will be a lot of fun to be a part of it!

Topics: CapRelo Employees, global mobility, re:locate magazine

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