KPMG's LLP's (KPMG) Ben Garfunkel and Achim Mossmann share trends and insights on how global companies manage their international assignment programs, as highlighted by KPMG's 2016 Global Assignment Policies and Practices Survey.
Ben Garfunkel: The GAAP survey is a terrific tool that's been around for a number of years, and this year we invested in a new platform to host the survey.
Achim Mossmann: The new survey is based on the life cycle of the assignment, which will make it much easier for the clients to go through the survey and complete the questions.
Ben Garfunkel: There are more questions than there were―more topics than we used to cover in the old survey. In addition, there is more flexible reporting that will allow us to do better analytics off the back of the data. Surprisingly, even though there has been a bit of a downtick in the global economy, we haven't seen a big impact in terms of overall global mobility activity.
Achim Mossmann: It's notable that in expanding markets, such as Asia-Pacific, we've seen upticks, so China and Singapore in particular, also in the Middle East, so Saudi Arabia and UAE participants indicate that they see more global mobility into these regions.
Ben Garfunkel: Similarly in Latin America, the respondents predicted an increase in assignments to Mexico and Brazil.
Achim Mossmann: While that's the case, still in sort of the developed markets, Germany, United States, United Kingdom, we still see a strong, strong movement into mobility and companies utilize that.
Ben Garfunkel: About half of the survey respondents indicated that the primary objective of their mobility program was support the broader business objectives of the organization. They also largely indicated that managing the cost of the global mobility program was a very, very high priority for them.
Achim Mossmann: Talking about policy trends, so long-term assignment policies are still the main policies utilized by organizations followed by short-term assignment policies. The biggest increase we're going to see is in international business travelers. Companies will utilize that significantly more. We'll see an increase in permanent transfer policies, and in addition to that, a lot of organizations really diversify their international assignment policies. They look at developmental policies and host-based policies, so sort of a broad range of policy being applied to fulfill business, as well as talent management and retention needs.
Ben Garfunkel: Some of the things I expect to see of more in the next couple of years are around data and analytics and technology. Interestingly, about half of the survey respondents indicated that they also expect to see more use of data and analytics, and only half of them thought they had technology platforms today that really supported their administration and operation of their global mobility program. So we're certainly going to see an uptick in that over the next few years.
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