In our ongoing series, AIRINC Insider, we interview our mobility all-stars to share some of their unique insights after years of workforce globalization experience.
Inez joined AIRINC in 2006 as a surveyor, gathering cost of living data in over 50 countries. Prior to joining the Advisory group, Inez worked in AIRINC’s client engagement team, supporting companies with new or growing mobility programs. In her current role, Inez helps clients evaluate and improve their mobility programs. She specializes in simplifying and organizing mobility policy, developing new policy frameworks, and drafting decision maps that streamline the assignment selection process. Her Advisory experiences have afforded her specialized insight into the mobility practices across multiple industries. Inez received Highly Commended at the 2017 Forum for Expatriate Management EMMAs for her role as a Global Mobility Rising Star of the Year!
1. What is your main contribution to mobility on a daily basis?
On a day to day basis, I help companies build and tailor their mobility programs to achieve a desired outcome. In the last two years, I’ve partnered with more than 20 companies to help them identify opportunities for cost savings, administrative simplification, increased flexibility, and improved communications.
I aim to provide direct and practical solutions so that companies can achieve their goals on time and within budget. This can involve:
- Designing and implementing cost-effective policies that meet business and talent objectives
- Simplifying mobility communications to be clearer and better received
- Evaluating the cost impact of making changes to a mobility program
- Configuring and evaluating localization packages
2. What is the most interesting project that you’ve worked on?
There have been a few interesting ones already this year. I helped a growing technology company create their mobility program from concept to implementation. The client had been awarded their first international business contract and was looking to create a mobility program that would grow with them. I helped them create policies and communicate the new program to leadership. Once the policies were approved, I mapped an ideal process for deploying assignees and walked the client through the preparation of their first assignment letters. The client’s program is off to a great start!
In a project with a large global consultancy firm, I helped simplify a rather complex permanent transfer policy then communicate the changes. To facilitate implementation, I developed training materials leveraged by thousands of the company’s employees worldwide. I worked closely with the client to ensure the language and tone would be clearly understood across their diverse workforce.
I helped a manufacturing company design a host based policy to reduce mobility spending. Using the client’s salary structure data in conjunction with AIRINC’s cost of living and tax data, I identified the location combinations where a host approach would be cost-effective and other combinations where they should retain their home approach. The resulting host approach significantly reduced assignment costs for a sizable percentage of the company’s cross-border population.
Lastly, I helped a client increase flexibility for assignees by introducing a flexible spending feature into their existing assignment policy. I started by analyzing the client’s exception logs to understand what benefits were valuable to assignees. I conducted a cost analysis of the current program spending and helped the client establish a target spending cap. With this information, I designed a flexible policy component that allowed assignees to customize their assignment packages. The resulting approach increased assignee flexibility and reduced the Company’s annual spending. So, the client saved money while also increasing assignee engagement – a win-win outcome!
3. What is the most important thing you've learned about global mobility and business needs since you started at AIRINC?
Having a successful mobility program means knowing your customer, understanding their needs, and having the resources to meet them. It’s a highly specialized profession dependent on a tapestry of expertise, data, and regular calibration to stay current and effective. My advice is to know your audience and your purpose and communicate regularly with stakeholders so you are in a planning position rather than in a reactionary one. This is what makes Mobility a credible partner and ensures that you are generating value to the organization.