A I R S h a r e

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Know Before You Go: International Transfers and the Employee Experience

Jan 18, 2018 @ 01:33 PM / by Morgan Crosby


How will you Deploy Talent Globally in 2019?

Increasingly companies are leveraging international transfers to deploy talent across borders. 

For the employee, it presents an opportunity to live and to work in a new country. Whereas this can be an exciting prospect, it often comes with a change in living standard and it is important for the employee to know how they will be impacted.

Done well, international transfers can be a win-win for the company and the employee. While it is important for the company to know when to use a transfer effectively – typically best used when the employee’s skills are needed indefinitely in a different country – it is equally important for the employee to know if a transfer is a good fit personally.

Our 2019 MOS confirms that 58% of firms are seeking ways to improve employee communications regarding the potential financial impacts of assignments/transfers


The Key to International Transfers: Know Before You Go!

A successful transfer starts when the employee “Knows Before They Go”. Since the employee will receive a local salary and benefits package, pay local income taxes, and live like a local, an employee should undertake their transfer with a good understanding of the personal financial impact.

Since international transfers do not come with the income protection schemes of traditional expatriate packages, the employee is likely to experience a change in their overall standard of living.

To ensure a good transfer experience, leading practice companies present employees with personal salary impact statements that clearly detail differences in the previous and new compensation packages. Without this support the employee may not fully understand the value of their new location compensation.


Cost-of-Living Allowances [COLA]: Communicate, communicate, communicate!Trending now: 

Cost-of-Living Allowances [COLA]: Communicate, communicate, communicate!


Standard of Living Changes will Occur with an International Transfer

An employee might gross more if moved from a low to a high wage location. In some cases, this can boost the employee’s standard of living, but if the destination location is high-cost and has high income taxes, the employee may be worse off financially. Conversely, an employee might move from a high-wage to low-wage country and experience an increased standard of living if the destination is low cost.

An employee who understands the financial impact of a transfer before they accept the offer will help alleviate problems later.

Self-Service Models for International Transfers

As companies evolve their approach to supporting employees we are likely to see an increased pressure to deploy more self-service models for international transfers, especially since this is often a low cost option. As a result, it is anticipated that personal salary impact statements will become more common, replacing the traditional person to person briefings that may be common today. Armed with good information the employee can have a good experience with a transfer. Make sure your employees “Know Before They Go”!

Impact Statement




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Topics: Mobility Policy, Cost of living allowances, Salary Evaluation Tool, Self-Service Models, Employee Experience, Personal Salary Impact Statement

Morgan Crosby

Written by Morgan Crosby

Vice President Americas at AIRINC Morgan Crosby leads the Americas region at AIRINC, with responsibility for the strategic direction, growth, and performance of the Americas business. As a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of global mobility experience, Morgan is known for driving brand growth, developing thought leadership, and delivering excellent client experiences. She advises companies on leading mobility practices, helping them to rethink how they manage global mobility through innovative and creative solutions for even the most challenging mobility programs. Morgan is a frequent speaker and published author on global mobility issues, including innovation, international compensation, and leading practice trends. Morgan holds a master’s degree in International Relations from Boston University, and she is based at AIRINC’s headquarters office in Cambridge, MA.