Chicago Relocation

2012 survey regarding international relocation, their current and predicted workforce, and trends in international relocation

September 5, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

During the National Relocation Conference in San Antonio, Worldwide ERC surveyed ninety-three HR and mobility professionals about their workforce, hiring prospects, assistance and willingness to relocate. Similarly, Brookfield Relocation Services released their 2011 survey reports which elaborate the international relocation trends over the past 12 months.  Each help pain the picture for Global Relocation trends of the past year and highlight what the future might bring.

2012 Worldwide ERC Corporate Benchmarking Survey Results

Of those surveyed, approximately 50% said that over the past 12 months the size of their company’s workforce, both in the United States and globally, has increased.

39% thought their employees would be less than willing to relocate if given the opportunity; only 22% said they believed their employees would be willing to move.

Reasons for not relocating were family concerns, compensation, employee career aspirations, partner’s career and quality of life at the new location.

Brookfield Global Relocation Services Global Relocation Trends: 2011 Survey Report

This year the number of married transferees was slightly higher at 68%.  80% of spouses or partners accompanied their significant other on the move. However, children appeared to deter relocation.  The number of international assignees who moved with children was at a record-tying all time low at 47%.

The 2011 top relocation destination was the United States with (20%), followed by a tied China and Great Britain (14% each). China appeared again this time at the top of two lists as the most challenging location for assignees as well as most challenging location for administrators. India and Russia also made both lists.

74% of companies provide cross-cultural preparation for their transferees.  25% of companies make training mandatory. However 89% of  assignees rated the sessions as good or great.


Assistance such as cross-cultural preparation, pre-decision assistance, and learning which locations can be difficult to adjust to all help make a smoother transfer for the assignee. The economy is still scaring people, thus their hesitance to relocate, but these efforts to make sure the employee understands and feels thoroughly prepared can help put transfers at ease.


Some comments from Baird & Warner Intern Elizabeth McGrath