Cartus 2014 Global Relocation Trends Survey: It's All About Family When it Comes to the Success of a Costly Job Transfer

-- The No. 1 Reason Why Employees Turn Down Job Transfers? Family/Personal Circumstances
-- Family's Inability to Adjust to a New Location is Among Top Reasons for Assignment Failure
-- 'Split Families' on the Rise

PR Newswire

DANBURY, Conn., May 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Family plays an increasingly pivotal role in the success—or failure—of a job transfer, according to Cartus Corporation's just-released 2014 Trends in Global Relocation: Global Mobility Policy and Practices survey of international mobility managers.

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Survey respondents listed "inability of the family to adjust" as the second most-cited reason (61 percent) for assignment failure, just two percentage points behind "changing business conditions" (63 percent). Even before a move, the importance of family cannot be underestimated: 76 percent of respondents rated "family or personal circumstances" as the top reason why employees turn down relocation assignments.

Stress can also occur in "split family" situations when the assignee and family live in separate geographic locations during the assignment, with the employee traveling back and forth. The number of companies that said family members were always allowed to accompany an employee on long-term assignments is down 14 percentage points in just two years.  

"Increasingly, a family's happiness and ability to adjust are nearly as important to the success of a job relocation as the employee's own job performance," said Matt Spinolo, executive vice president of Cartus. "The rise in split families is a trend we are hearing more and more about as companies reel in costs and move employees to new locations that can pose challenges in terms of infrastructure or security."

"As multinational corporations increase their assignments to challenging locations in areas such as Africa, China, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Indian Sub-Continent, we see more unaccompanied assignees or those who do not have young dependents, due to the lack of social amenities available there," said William Sheridan, president of the National Foreign Trade Council.

Spinolo also pointed out that 50 percent of companies surveyed expect their mobility volume to increase during the next two years.

An Expat Exodus?

Despite the high cost of international job transfers, 61 percent of companies don't track the percentage of assignees who resign within two years of concluding their assignment; and 75 percent of companies don't track assignees' careers post-assignment.

Cost Control, Talent Management, and Graying Transferees

Cost control was named as the top global mobility challenge in terms of future impact on their organization by 75 percent of respondents (percent ranked 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale). Overall compliance (at 62 percent and up 12 percentage points over 2012) and immigration (at 57 percent and up 13 percentage points) rounded out the top three.

Battling to contain costs, companies are nonetheless aware of the importance of grooming and retaining top talent, as well as the need to identify and prepare the right people for the job. Therefore, the assignment type that is expected to be the fastest growing over the next two years is "developmental." Nearly eight of 10 respondents (79 percent) consider the main purpose of these assignments to be leadership and management skill development.

In a shift from just four years ago, the majority of transferees are now in the 40+ age group, a trend that Cartus reported in 2012, and supplanting a younger population that was more prominent in 2010.

The survey, the sixth in Cartus' series of policy and practices since 2002, received responses from 172 international mobility managers representing more than 8 million employees; each company has an average volume of 581 moves. It was sponsored by the U.S. National Foreign Trade Council, U.K.-based Re:Locate magazine, and the Singapore Human Resources Institute.

Go to 2014 Trends in Global Relocation: Global Mobility Policy and Practices survey for full information.

About Cartus
Cartus provides trusted guidance to organizations of all types and sizes that require global relocation solutions. Cartus serves half of the Fortune 50. We provide service in more than 165 countries, applying our more than half century of experience to help our clients with their mobility, outsourcing, consulting, and language and intercultural training needs. Cartus is part of Realogy Holdings Corp. (RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. To find out how our greater experience, reach, and hands-on guidance can help your company, visit; read our blog at; or click for more information.

Media Contacts

Alison Sedney


Hugh Siler (for Cartus)
Siler & Company

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