Atlas Survey Highlights Trends In International Relocation


June 1, 1999


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About one-third of the companies that participated in the latest relocation survey conducted by Atlas Van Lines said they were expecting to initiate a greater number of international relocations during 1999. And while the proof of these expectations won't be known until next year's survey, some 68 percent of 214 companies who participated in the latest Atlas poll said they initiated between one and nine international moves during 1998. On the higher end, 6.5 percent of respondents reported they were responsible for more than 200 international relocations during 1998.

About one-third of the companies that participated in the latest relocation survey conducted by Atlas Van Lines said they were expecting to initiate a greater number of international relocations during 1999. And while the proof of these expectations won't be known until next year's survey, some 68 percent of 214 companies who participated in the latest Atlas poll said they initiated between one and nine international moves during 1998. On the higher end, 6.5 percent of respondents reported they were responsible for more than 200 international relocations during 1998.

"We know we're going to have to make allowances in covering costs of the overall administration of an international move," states Bill Agopian, HR consultant for Toyota Motor Sales USA. "But it's also true that the person who is qualified to take care of a job outside of the country may merit certain concessions to the policy by virtue of his or her relative value to the company. That can be an important factor in a successful transfer."

Of those Atlas survey participants who reported that an international relocation(s) by their company either failed or was declined during 1998, survey respondents most cited lack of adaptability by the employee as the reason (15.7 percent). Lack of adaptability by the employee's spouse or partner ranked next with 7.1 percent, and 8.5 percent reported that an international move failed for other reasons. Interestingly, 68.5 percent of participants said none of their international relocations failed or were declined.

"Some of our employees have declined an international job assignment up front because of family issues - but more often, the transferee will ask to cut the job assignment short after the move has been made. That's usually because the employee -- or the employee's family -- is having trouble adapting to the new culture," Agopian notes. "Some of our most successful international assignments are taken on by newly-hired associates who don't have a spouse or family yet. It's tougher when you're displacing a family unit."

Ten percent of survey participants reported that their companies pay a job finder's fee for the spouse of the employee relocated internationally. Two and a half percent said they find a job for the trailing spouse outside the company; 1.2 percent said they find a job for the trailing spouse inside the company; and nearly 86 percent of participants said their companies do not provide the trailing spouse with employment assistance in the new country.

 

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