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2019 Global Assignment Policies and Practices Survey

2019 Global Assignment Policies and Practices Survey

Insights on how global organizations administer their HR programs.


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As a leading industry-recognized survey, the GAPP Survey continues to provide valuable trends and insights annually on how global organizations administer their international human resource (HR) programs. It allows global mobility professionals to benchmark their organization in relation to other participants on numerous aspects of a global mobility program including: assignee selection and assessment, assignment preparation and planning, automation and robotics, talent and performance management, assignment compensation and allowances, administration and outsourcing, immigration compliance, the use of data and analytics, assignment management technology as well as tax reimbursement approaches.

If your organization is pursuing growth in new markets, having the right people on the ground is essential. While attracting new talent in chosen markets is vital, leveraging your organization’s internal pool of experienced talent can be one of the best ways to achieve growth through temporary international work assignments and transfers of employees between global subsidiaries and affiliates.

Below you’ll find key findings from the 2019 KPMG GAPP Report and click here to read the full 2019 report.

Key findings:

  • Automation & robotics: As a result of digitization and an increase in the use of automation, robotics and artificial intelligence, companies are searching for enhanced program solutions with: assignment planning and initiations, cost projections for prospective packages, and automating payroll and compensation collection as being top priorities.
  • Data & analytics: There is increased focus on predictive workforce analytics to support program success and measure assignee experience, employee experience and satisfaction. This includes assignment costs and volume (67 percent), employee satisfaction (39 percent) and vendor performance (24 percent).
  • Talent management: Companies are taking a more purposeful approach to mobilizing talent globally with developing stronger integration between talent management and global mobility throughout the employment lifecycle. For those that have aligned their global mobility program to their organization’s talent management framework, nearly 47 percent note that global assignments are a formal part of their organization’s talent development, succession and retention initiatives.
  • Policy: Sixty percent of 2019 GAPP survey participants cite the use of international assignments as being a top program goal for supporting overall global business and talent development objectives. Improving alignment between business objectives, mobility policy types and assignee assessment and selection continues to be vital in supporting the talent agenda.
  • Flexibility in approach: Many organizations are offering greater flexibility in their assignment policy approaches — setting policy frameworks with core and optional provisions and expanding the range of choices for either the business or the assignee. For example, through menu-driven or points systems or through lump-sum payments to allow choice for assignees in developing packages best suited to their personal needs with a key focus on enhancing the employee experience.
  • Future mobility: Over the next 5 years, survey participants expect to rely on shorter duration assignments such as extended business trips (56 percent), short-term assignments (75 percent) and developmental/training assignments (46 percent). These increasing trends are opposed to an expected reduction (51 percent) in the use of traditional, full balance sheet, tax equalized long-term assignments.

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