Picture this: One of your top employees needs to move to a new country. 

In the past, this might have meant goodbye because you didn’t have a global mobility solution. Mobility management often entails navigating the complexity of entity creation, labor law compliance, or policies for remote work. The good news is that today, an Employer of Record (EOR) can streamline the global relocation process and ensure a smooth transition for employees. In simple terms? A global mobility program through an EOR like G-P means you can retain your top employees — without any extra work — no matter where they move.

But what is global mobility exactly? Let’s explore the benefits, examples of employee relocation, and expand on how an EOR can help you retain top employees.

What is global mobility?

Global mobility is the ability to move freely across borders for work. It’s an important strategy for companies that want to expand their footprint globally. In talent acquisition and workforce management, global mobility covers everything from hiring to employee relocation to meet organizational needs. 

Global mobility fosters diversity, innovation, and collaboration in a globalized economy, which gives companies a competitive edge. For a global mobility program to be successful, companies must ensure that employees transferred to different countries are well-equipped to navigate immigration policies, cross-cultural communication, and legal compliance.

Global mobility is a complex process of many moving parts, but it’s important for modern businesses looking to leverage the benefits of diversity and global talent across multiple markets.

What are the benefits of global mobility? 

Managing teams in different cultural contexts fosters leadership agility, preparing employees for future leadership positions within a company. According to a 2023 EY study, 93% of employees say working internationally would be “life changing.” 

Living and working in different countries exposes employees to different cultures, lifestyles, and perspectives, which helps with their personal growth and cultural enrichment. It also helps companies gain insights and access new markets. Ultimately, corporate mobility helps companies achieve faster time-to-market, attract and retain the best talent, and improve their agility when scaling operations.

By relocating employees to the places that are most critical, companies can leverage specific skills and expertise while saving on recruitment and training costs. Likewise, offering employees the flexibility of global relocation can help companies keep their top performers, reduce turnover, and maintain a competitive edge in recruitment. In fact, 88% of HR professionals say that employers view mobility as a strategy to tackle global talent shortages.

By embracing the opportunities that global mobility brings, companies can expand employees’ horizons and foster personal and professional growth — enhancing job satisfaction, upskilling, and productivity. 

When and why might a company relocate an employee?

chart header about reasons why employees might relocate

  • Employee’s preference to relocate to home country
  • Supervision of new branch establishment
  • Competitive advantage through skilled employee relocation
  • Cost efficiency of relocation versus candidate search
  • Professional development opportunities for future leadership roles
chart footer for global mobility blog

Considering the above benefits, let’s explore a few scenarios where a company might need to relocate employees:

  • An employee expresses a desire to relocate to their home country to work remotely from there.
  • A company is establishing a branch in a new country and must arrange a one-year visa for an employee to oversee the process.
  • A company aims to enhance its competitive edge by relocating top employees to bolster business in locations lacking the necessary specialized skills.
  • A company secures a contract for a large project in another country, and relocating an employee whose skills perfectly align with the project’s specific requirements is more cost-effective than conducting a candidate search.
  • An employee is demonstrating promise as a potential future leader within the company. To grow their knowledge and experience, the company wishes to facilitate their professional development through temporary relocation opportunities.

How can an EOR support global mobility?

An EOR service excels at streamlining the global mobility process in each scenario mentioned above. Let’s examine some critical areas of global mobility and how an EOR can make it easier for companies to relocate employees.

  • Work visas: Every country has different immigration policies. When relocating employees, companies frequently navigate through challenging and time-consuming visa application processes. For example, in the UK, there are various types of visas to consider, including a graduate visa, service supplier visa, skilled worker visa, and more. An EOR can be extremely helpful here as they can offer visa support with the applications on behalf of employees. 
  • Onboarding and offboarding: Employment onboarding and offboarding often involve complex tasks for both employers and employees. According to Zippia, on average, 41 administrative tasks are assigned to employees for completion during onboarding. EOR services can simplify and streamline the onboarding process for companies while also ensuring that, when the time comes, offboarding is handled with care and in compliance with local laws. This is particularly beneficial during employee relocation, providing a pain-free start for employees moving to a new country or region.
  • Benefits packages: As an EOR is well-versed in local employment laws, it is perfectly positioned to help companies navigate the complexities of employee mobility management, including local practices around expected benefits. An EOR can ensure that the relocated employee’s new benefits package aligns with the country’s specific requirements. This is an important step as success is more likely when employees feel appreciated and supported to take on their new role.
  • Salaries: Every country enforces different rules regarding salaries. For example, many countries, like Argentina, India, and Croatia, to name a few, have nuances like a 13th-month bonus. In Mexico, companies must share 10% of pre-tax profits equally with employees. Other salary areas to consider when relocating an employee to a new country include exchange rates, salary adjustments for relocation, and cost of living differences. These are all corporate mobility issues that an EOR can efficiently handle.

How does compliance affect global mobility?

One of the riskiest aspects of global mobility involves deploying workers without acquiring adequate knowledge of local laws and tax regulations. These vary by country, and in some instances, by state — and are constantly evolving. For example, Germany has advised companies to expect upwards of 30 changes to their labor laws in 2024. 

Companies that breach compliance obligations can suffer hefty fines, tax liabilities, and legal repercussions. Therefore, ensuring compliance with local regulations is key to safeguarding your company’s interests during employee relocations. Navigating these ever-changing regulations is where an EOR’s global mobility solutions are indispensable.

For instance, mastering global mobility tax involves understanding the multiple tax obligations that arise when companies have employees working from different jurisdictions. These include income tax, social security contributions, and other tax liabilities varying between countries.

On top of that, understanding the tax implications of an employee’s relocation to a different country will involve determining their tax residency status, calculating taxable income, leveraging tax credits and deductions, and fulfilling other tax obligations. Finally, cross-border transactions, such as transfer pricing arrangements, also have tax implications that companies actioning global mobility must consider.

Unlock global mobility for your teams today with G-P.

Global mobility strategies are an excellent way to tap into new markets while simultaneously expanding an employee’s professional development and experiences. Yet, given the many compliance pitfalls that line the path of employee relocation, it’s vital to partner with a global growth expert like G-P. Our team of experts has extensive experience in overcoming the challenges of scaling global teams and can provide companies with the guidance and support needed to succeed internationally.

Our Global Growth Platform™ simplifies every step of global expansion for companies of all sizes. With G-P acting as your Chief Global Officer, you can leave the HR and legal complexities of employee relocation to us, so you can focus on growing your company’s bottom line in new markets.

Contact us or request a proposal to learn more about our platform and how we can help you achieve your global growth goals today.

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