The online news magazine of Atlas® World Group.
March 22, 2024

As the World Turns

  • Corporate Relocation

As the World Turns

In the ever-evolving landscape of global mobility, factors from market dynamics and geopolitical shifts to technological advancements and policy changes weave an intricate tapestry of challenges and opportunities. To successfully meet both for stakeholders, Atlas® World Group (AWG) leaders well-versed in the nuances of global mobility continue to maintain a strategic balance between tradition and innovation.

“We should be proud of how our industry has responded to the volatility of the past few years,” says Janelle Piatkowski, Founder, President, and CEO of Cornerstone Relocation Group®. “We have quickly adjusted course and addressed the changing needs of clients and their relocating employees, providing us many opportunities ahead for continued growth and transformation.”

At Champion International Moving, newly minted President and COO Jason Paschel credits his predecessor, Rudy Planavsky, and the management team for setting Champion up for success.“Rudy and his team steadied the waters for Champion to have a growth mindset focused on the future. Work-from-home, high interest rates, and other economic factors have impacted global mobility in recent years, but I am extremely optimistic about where we are heading and know that global mobility will always play an important role with regards to managing and attracting talent,” says Paschel.

Top talent, especially in technology and high- skilled fields, has become a global commodity. According to research from the 2024 Atlas® Corporate Relocation Survey, corporate relocations have seen a revival in response to these talent needs and changing workplace demographics. The demand for highly skilled talent, coupled with new job requirements arising from the impact of artificial intelligence (AI), has fueled relocation growth.
“With AI, different skill sets are needed, resulting in new jobs and/or a need to re-skill current employees,” says Piatkowski. “These may not be traditional IT roles—some roles will target individuals with engineering or general business administration backgrounds. Some countries have adjusted their immigration laws to better attract this talent, making it easier to relocate someone internationally into critical roles.”

Two other factors influencing the rise in talent relocation are generational impacts and workplace policies. By 2030, all baby boomers will reach retirement age, underscoring the need for solid succession plans. Additionally, while remote work remains a trend, many companies have returned to full on-site or hybrid models that may require their employees to relocate to areas closer to the office.

Paschel sees the uptick in corporate relocations as a return to form. “We have entered a time where life has settled a bit again, allowing people to put focus back into their careers. There has always been a correlation between career development opportunities and relocation. I think we will continue to see this increase for years to come.”

As AI takes center stage in the digital-solutions conversation, it offers great potential to unlock benefits for relocation programs such as forecasting, budgeting, and analytics. AI's ability to optimize services throughout the supply chain, generate personalized recommendations for relocating employees, and enhance overall efficiency is undeniable. But finding the right fit is essential.

“What’s right for Champion may not be right for a fellow subsidiary—or the individual,” says Paschel. “We need to be
sensitive to the needs of each client and transferee and customize solutions that meet their unique needs.”
For Jessica Nichols, Director of Avail Move ManagementTM—a subsidiary focused on providing customer-service solutions to the Agents—striking the balance between people and machine is key. “Everything can be done virtually nowadays, and many customers expect that same option for relocations,” says Nichols. “Bridging the gap between technology and personal connection is something I look forward to continuing to work on.”

Piatkowski emphasizes that as exciting as AI and other digital advancements may be, no technology can replace the human touch.“We pride ourselves on the level of human expertise found across our teams. We feel that no technology can replace the assurance, guidance, and wisdom of seasoned professionals,” says Piatkowski. “But there is limitless potential for AI solutions when combined with human emotional intelligence.”

Heading into 2024, Atlas’ global mobility experts are closely monitoring several key trends paving the road ahead.
Sustainability remains a driving force in the industry, from paperless processes to innovative programs like Discard and Donate. Questions on sustainability efforts have become commonplace in requests for proposal, reflecting a collective commitment to reducing environmental impact throughout the mobility supply chain.

Additionally, real estate dynamics, influenced by class-action lawsuits and restrictions on foreign buyers, are shifting the markets in the U.S. and Canada. Housing affordability, heavily dictated by mortgage rates and inventory for buyers and renters, is impacting accessibility for transferees. As global supply chains grapple with geopolitical uncertainties, changing immigration policies reflect intensified efforts to attract top talent, leading to global policy shifts. Plus, the desire for personalization and flexibility in relocation benefits—and the need for employers to adapt to those—highlight the dynamic nature of the global mobility industry.“Our ability to stay nimble with change is vital to our success,” says Paschel. “We need to continue to be a speedboat and never become a cargo ship.”

Through the integration of technology with human intelligence, Atlas’ next chapter promises strategic expansion and evolution, fueled by the pursuit of excellence in global mobility solutions.
In an era of consolidation, Piatkowski sees Cornerstone as a right-sized solution for corporate buyers of mobility services. “With AWG’s strong finances, powerful Agent network, and shared-service resources, Cornerstone offers big-company capabilities and security while also providing the personalized experience transferees want. Our blend of deep capabilities and ingrained service culture positions us right at the heart of the global mobility market.”
For Avail, predictive analysis capabilities present exciting opportunities. Says Nichols, “The ability to position our Agent family to be ‘the’ solution in the mobility marketplace based on our ability to source the best options possible for our customers through that knowledge is the future.”

As for Paschel, he sees the future of Champion filled with opportunity at every turn and encourages his team to be bold in their thinking to drive Champion and Atlas® forward.“Our industry desires fresh perspectives and innovative approaches,” says Paschel. “The concept of ‘This is how we have always done it’ is out the window. I tell our sales teams that our clients and prospects have an appetite for new ideas. Get out there and show them what we can do. The time is now.”