Factors Affecting Relocation – External & Internal

 

Relocation for Growth, Expansion, Talent Needs

The top three factors affecting relocation last year overall were a lack of local talent (42%), company growth (39%), and expansion efforts (37%). Company growth remains similar to previous recessionary levels, despite maintaining a substantial increase over 2009 (39% vs. 24%). Lack of local talent remains the top external factor. However, when all types of expansion are considered (facility, new territories, or international), some form of expansion affected relocation volumes for 37% of firms, nearly equal to company growth. Economic conditions affected 32% of firms last year. This remains far lower than recessionary percentages but higher than many non-recessionary years. Overall, the impact of the real estate market on relocation volumes continues to lessen; it is now at the survey’s lowest historical level (15%).

Most firms have reported improved financial performances over the past six years. Combined with diminished real estate issues and budget constraints, as well as increases in relocation volumes and budgets, the picture of a full-fledged recovery appears strong. However, given the continued citing of economic conditions as a factor in relocations, the muted impact of company growth compared to historical ranges for recovery, and the depth of retraction in the Great Recession, some residual weakness may remain. The widespread, continued use of creative solutions for “doing more with less” likely reflects a permanent shift in how mobility policy is used.

  • The impact of factors continues to vary by company size. Large firms felt the impact on relocations from changes in corporate structure most acutely (51% – acquisitions/mergers or corporate reorganization/restructuring), followed by company growth (46%), lack of local talent (42%), and expansion efforts (42%). Mid-size firms were similarly affected by expansion efforts (41%) and a need for talent (39%), the top two factors for medium firms last year, with company growth a close third (37%). For small firms, the biggest issue was talent (46%), followed by company growth (34%).
  • The impact of available talent remains markedly above the level recorded in 2009 (31%) and far above much lower levels recorded before 1996. Regardless of company size, talent shortfalls remain one of the key drivers of relocation volumes overall.
  • Across company size, the impact of real estate has fallen to its lowest point since measurement began in 2007 and for the first time since the housing crisis erupted.
  • Firms operating nationally or internationally (30% and 34%) were more likely to report that competition (domestic or international) affected relocations last year compared to regional firms (14%). Company growth was more strongly felt among national (40%) and international firms (45%) compared to regional firms (23%).
  • Nearly half of for-profit service, manufacturing/processing, and wholesale/retail firms indicated talent needs or some method of expansion were main factors in their relocations last year. Roughly a third or more of these firms, along with financial firms, say changes in corporate structure or growth in competition were key as well. Knowledge/skills transfers was a main factor for far more financial firms than for firms in other industries (44% vs. 28%+).
Question 13-1
External factors having the most impact on the number of employee relocations in 2015
Chart Q13
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Question 13-2
External factors having the most impact on the number of employee relocations in 2015
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Question 14-1
Internal conditions having the most impact on the number of employee relocations in 2015
Chart Q14
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Question 14-2
Internal conditions having the most impact on the number of employee relocations in 2015
Chart Q14-2
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