Relocation make or break for employees quitting: study

New research by Topia suggests employees value relocation opportunities enough to leave their jobs if they aren’t offered. It also finds better communication around internal mobility could strengthen talent pipelines.

Two people shaking hands to seal the deal
A new study of 1,000 employees and 200 senior HR and talent mobility executives carried out by Wakefield Research for global mobility management company Topia found 22% of US and 33% of UK professionals have quit a job because they weren’t allowed to transfer to another branch or location. Reflecting the growing appetite for international opportunities, over seven in ten of those surveyed would relocate even if it didn’t mean a raise or promotion.

Global mobility’s role in filling talent gaps

With the high cost of recruitment and the US and UK experiencing historically high employment, findings from the Mobility in Focus: Identifying the Talent-Mobility Disconnect report offer insight into the link between internal mobility, employee aspirations and how current practices could be honed to better meet expectations.Nearly all HR executives surveyed by Topia agree that global growth and agility is linked to effective global mobility practices – 99% in the US and 98% in the UK.Broadly similar proportions also see how a well-executed mobility strategy is critical for increasing diversity and attracting the best talent (94% in the US and 87% in the UK).

Communicating internal roles

However, while mobility opportunities abound, with practically every HR and mobility executive saying their company offers mobility options to employees, just 41% and 40% of US and UK employees respectively know relocation opportunities exist in their company.Further suggesting the need for stronger internal communication and publicity around internal mobility opportunities, around four in ten employees say they do not know how to access these roles when they do hear about them. 

Mobility’s widening appeal

Interestingly, Topia’s study also found that Baby Boomers are most keen to hear about inside opportunities and prospective relocations. Perhaps due to life stage and changes to retirement expectations, it suggests this demographic is around twice as likely as Millennials to cite these as a draw for staying with the company.Nevertheless, of those selected for transfers, “Millennials are most accustomed to the mobility track,” says the report. Respondents reaching early adulthood at the start of the 21stcentury are the group most likely to have been relocated by their employer for work, either for the short or long-term.For related news and features, visit our HR and talent management pages. 
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