AIRINC’s 2021 Mobility Outlook Survey: What are the lessons for service providers?

    Jun 01, 2021 @ 11:34 AM / by Carl McClean

    2021 MOS2

    Recently, I was privileged to speak at The European Relocation Association (EuRA)’s annual summit. This network supports service providers as they help their clients with globally mobile employees.

    I shared the key takeaways from our 2021 Mobility Outlook Survey and future trends such as remote working. While there have been previous blog posts highlighting the key points, my focus for this group was how to interpret the results for service providers in the Global Mobility industry.

    The survey is valuable in reflecting not only our client’s concerns and priorities, but those of their internal clients— the other business units, HR, as well as the expats themselves. 2020 was an extraordinary year; crisis management and compliance moved to the top of the list of priorities, and many mobility teams raised their profile within their organisations, illustrating the value they bring beyond the day-to-day movement of staff.

    Now that we can start to return to normal, mobility teams are seeking ways to maintain the partnerships they established over the past year with stakeholders to continue to have meaningful input in both talent management and corporate strategy.


    A large part of building upon these partnerships is providing clients with the data they need to make decisions. Clients often don’t have information about costs, assignee satisfaction, deployment success, etc., and they don’t have the time to collect it. It is a huge value when Destination Service Providers (DSPs) or Relocation Management Companies (RMCs) can provide this data to their clients.

    Employee Experience

    The survey highlighted a renewed focus on the employee experience. If an employee has fewer points of contact, their deployment will be simpler and easier to manage. Also, while the employee experience has improved, companies are looking for ways to decrease the number of purchase order numbers to process. This means there could be pressure for vendors to offer more services under one umbrella or to be a part of a network, which can help them achieve this objective. In addition, we found many clients are looking at ways they can restructure their mobility program. Now is a perfect time to look at partnerships with other vendors who offer services that compliment your own.


    The need to improve our technology remains at the forefront: providing meaningful data to clients, differentiating services from competitors, working within the technology frameworks of a mobility network, “talking” to Assignee Management Systems, and finding ways to work smarter and at lower cost. It will be crucial how vendors differentiate themselves from others in the marketplace.

    AIRINC is constantly reviewing out product and platforms. One such review led to recent enhancements to our website, to existing client tools, and to the release of new client offerings over the past year. These updates reflect not just mobility as it was before COVID-19, but also the recovery of the industry. Remote working, ‘working from anywhere’, and virtual assignments are moving from buzz words to being a new reality of work and mobility.

    Download the 2021 Mobility Outlook Survey or contact us if you’d like to discuss how we can help.

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    About AIRINC

    Listen | Partner | Deliver.  For over 60 years, AIRINC has helped clients with the right data, cutting-edge technology, and thought-leading advice needed to effectively deploy talent worldwide. Our industry expertise, solutions, and service enable us to effectively partner with clients to navigate the complexity of today’s global mobility programs. As the market continues to evolve, AIRINC seeks innovative ways to help clients address new workforce globalization challenges, including mobility program assessment metrics and cross-border talent mobility strategy. Our approach is designed with your success in mind. With an understanding of your goals and objectives, we ensure you achieve them. Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, USA, AIRINC has full-service offices in Brussels, London, and Hong Kong. Learn more by clicking here.


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    Topics: Benchmarking, Mobility Policy, Webinars, Remote worker, Balance Sheet Manager, Mobility trends, Training and E-Learning, Educational, Commuters, remote work, global mobility trend, trends in global mobility

    Carl McClean

    Written by Carl McClean

    Carl joined AIRINC’s London office in 2016. He has over a decade’s Big 4 experience assisting and advising on Global Mobility programmes, having worked in London, Houston, and Belfast. Carl led on small to medium organisations with fewer than 100 globally-mobile employees who tend to have bespoke data and advisory needs. He is now managing the relationships with partner companies across the region. A U.K. national, Carl began his career teaching English in Ibaraki, Japan, and has a M.A. in Philosophy from Queen’s University, Belfast.