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Employees relocating to new roles are requiring more flexibility during their transition, including tailored support services, according to Cartus’ 2017 Domestic U.S. Relocation Policy and Practices Survey. The survey, which questioned 141 mobility managers representing over 10 million employees, uncovered a “juggling act” for relocation managers, which have to not only direct costs and recruitment, but also see to it that employees have a positive experience beyond pay.

Seventy-eight percent of those surveyed report flexibility is important due to “changing employee needs or expectations.” (Flexible policies include the potential for growth in temporary roles.) Sixty-five percent of those surveyed report cost is “a significant challenge”—a share that has grown 13 percentage points in less than 10 years—and 52 percent report “talent shortages” are rising.

“The traditional pattern used to be that companies would move employees on sequential, multi-year moves from one place to another, with everyone expecting basically the same sort of support,” says Mark Sonders, senior vice president at Cartus. “While those permanent moves are still prominent in companies’ approaches to relocation, an increasingly complex set of demands is driving companies to come up with more flexible approaches.

“Short-term and temporary assignments have always been a part of the U.S. relocation experience,” Sonders says. “Their use now is a reflection of companies’ needs to build more flexibility into how they handle employee relocation, while balancing demands for cost control, talent development, and the employee experience. Changing demographics—including the advent of millennials and employees who are working well into their later years—and continuing cost control pressures, means companies need new approaches and new technologies to deliver customized support for employees moving for their jobs.”

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