Back to Basics: Strengthening Your Mobility Program - Follow-up Q&As

If you missed the Closing Panel on Day Five of our EMEA Online Summit, you can catch up here and read some of our speakers' responses to your questions
Back to Basics: Strengthening Your Mobility Program - Follow-up Q&As

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You can watch the recorded video of Day Five by clicking on the link here:

FEM EMEA Online Summit - Day Five

Closing Panel Discussion:

Back to Basics - Strengthening Your Mobility Program for Survival and Growth

Our panel was comprised of: 

We collated the questions that attendees posted in the Chat function and our speakers have kindly added their answers here:

Q. How do you go about cutting salary costs if employees themselves choose to move to a location with a lower cost of living?

Andy King: I would start by not calling it a salary cut. It is a cost of living adjustment. I would make it part of the request process to move to another country and state that in line with the request and having worked with data providers (such as equis or airinc) to confirm if a reduction what the salary would be reduced by. I personally would see what the business would want to do if the COLA shows an increase but would likely have in the application process the stipulation that moving to a country with increase COLA does not mean an increase in salary due to the voluntary nature of the move.

Caroline Thorley-Farrer: If the employee is moving to a location where we have an office and an entity, for consistency among employees, we will have to align salary to host location. Imagine if we bring in someone from overseas without adjusting salary and we manage to introduce a gender pay gap issue (or similar). While we are happy to facilitate the personal request to move, the employee will need to align to the local salary structure.

Nicolai Wassmann: The salary will be adjusted to local salary market if it is permanent move.

Q. How can you ‘track’ employees if they are pushing back against so much interaction. Aren’t we in danger of communicating too much?

Vivi Cahyadi: More than anything, the assignee tracking feature enables employers to effectively perform their duty of care and act swiftly in case a remobilisation is necessary in emergency situations.  In our technology stack, this feature is designed with the safety and security of assignees in mind.  In addition to providing real-time data and predictive data analytics to proactively monitor life threatening situations, emergencies, or risks that may impact mobile talents, this also allows our clients to strategically and accurately mobilise their workforce as required. 

Andy King: If tracking for business travel then this is a duty of care responsibility. If this is for personally driven request to work from another country then this is a pre-requisite to the request being reviewed to ensure compliance with regards to tax regulations.

Vicki Marsh: If you have a clear explanation of how you track – i.e. not to the very street level, but only to the country or state level, for example, as well as an option to accept, employees can opt in or out as they feel comfortable. Some employees really see the benefit of not having to enter data themselves, and recognise they are comfortable sharing such information if it means eliminating manual tasks.

Q. Do you think mobility needs to ‘own’ risk management?

Vivi Cahyadi: To a great extent, this is already done in practice.  Many vendors within the supply chains are required to have risk management protocols in place with the safety & the wellbeing of the assignees as the number one priority. 

Andy King: Not sure what to say to this one, I would say risk management is a legal team's responsibility or the COO with legal and mobility supporting with information and process and policy that they can agree to.

Vicki Marsh: I think the world is changing and we need to flex our remit and expand our value. Assignments, moves, projects, business trips, remote working – they are all blurring and will only continue to do so as the emphasis on personal time and wellbeing increases.

Nicolai Wassmann: Ownership belongs, where there the competencies are and should be directed thereto. In my view mobility “owns” risk management for compliance areas such as individual tax, social security, employer reporting requirements, immigration. To some extend also employment law.

Q. Vivi, where are the hotspots for you now?

Vivi Cahyadi: In EMEA, we are getting many enquiries for middle eastern (Dubai) & scandinavian countries (Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki and Copenhagen), central & eastern european countries (Prague, Budapest and Bratislava), many smaller towns in Switzerland and suburban areas in UK, Germany & France.  Paris, Frankfurt, London, Luxembourg still remain extremely popular. 

In the US, there are still requests for metropolitan cities (NYC, LA, SF, Phoenix, Dallas, etc) as well as many remote locations where our clients have large local operational presence.

In APAC, we are seeing talent requirements in Tokyo, Singapore, HK and many cities in Australia.

Q. How can you use technology to improve your talent management strategy?

Vivi Cahyadi: AltoVita’s solution is designed to mindfully improve the experience of both employees and end suppliers with instant booking and sub-policy features suitable for fully managed, lump-sum and managed lumpsum.

We utilise technology to enhance clients’ strategic cost containment approach from two angles: (1) technology-assisted streamlined operation with fast response which includes self-service and instant booking features and (2) direct API integration with supplier management systems so that data only needs to be entered once thereby offering a diversified range of portfolio, including serviced apartment, corporate housing as well as private homes which often come in larger spaces & extra bedrooms.   

Self-service, instant booking and fast analysis for budgeting & duty of care perspectives features are readily available in our technology stack and can certainly improve the experience of not only the assignees, but also the end suppliers.  This collectively contributes to an efficient and duty of care compliant workflow.

Vicki Marsh: It really depends on your strategy. For example if your strategy is talent acquisition, having a mobility system to centralise data and benchmark policies and packages will help you stay competitive. If your strategy is ensuring the right people are moving at the right time, introducing business cases and performance evaluation as part of move preparation will help drive the right level of talent to the right roles. If your strategy is talent retention, your system will help by monitoring and providing insights to career development trends and attrition rates. Speed of deployment is supported by streamlining processes and gaining efficiencies – and of course great tools are expected by great talent.

Q. Could remote working be quite divisive if some employees want to work remotely but the company says no?

Nicolai Wassmann: It may be perceived that way and therefore the company needs to explain background for the “no”. It could be that the position can only be done at office site (researchers, receptionist), you need to stabilize organisational/team pressure which require you being close to your team etc. It could be the “no” is only for a period of time. Many reasons justifies a “no” but it has to be explained and you need to have an aligned approach (not saying “no” to some and “yes” to others).

Q. How are you tracking your people? Do you have a registration obligation in place?

Andy King: There are two ways of tracking. If business driven, all travel is booked through corporate travel tool (no exceptions, if someone’s tried to book and expense, expenses are rejected to ensure message is understood). Reports can then be generated by individual, country or team if necessary. If personal driven, they need to register in HRIS where they would like to travel to work from and this is then either approved or rejected by Mobility. This can again then be reported on but at an individual level.

Q. Do you reduce salary – let’s say if someone goes from NL to India to work?

Andy King: If it is business driven we would be hard pushed to do this. If it is personal driven -  absolutely.

Many thanks again to all our speakers and to the session sponsors, Alto Vita and Equus Software

You can access all 5 days of the recorded sessions and watch them at a time that suits you by clicking on the link here: 

FEM EMEA Online Summit Catch-up 

Keep sending in your questions and comments!

Take a look at the full week's agenda here

Meet the speakers here


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