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Global Mobility in 2018

Privacy and risk, diversity and talent development are amongst the key global mobility trends expected in 2018. Below, we explore what businesses across the globe can expect for global mobility in the oncoming new year.

Privacy & risk

Terrorism continues to be a threat to all of us wherever we are in the world, and whilst we have updated our policies and prepared assignees as best we can, overseas assignments are riskier now than they have ever been. As a result, for all the careful preparations to work effectively, global mobility departments must know where assignees are at all times. Whilst introducing tracking protocols to ensure assignees can be located could counterfeit this issue, it is a huge risk for security and compliance with immigration laws.


Despite best efforts, global mobility has lacked in diversity compared to other functions. Surprisingly, only 22% of mobility teams combine their mobility and diversity strategies. Whilst most organisations do not record diversity for statistics for assignees, it’s likely that women and LGBTQ assignees are especially underrepresented. However, in 2018, both public and internal pressure will force organisations across the globe to tackle these challenges and implement vigorous procedures and policies to find that all important balance.

Talent development

Assignments are expensive, and are not always the most effective way to solve a long-term leadership resourcing issue. As a result of the significant rise in globalisation, it is much more efficient to train local talent to provide sustainability in international offices. Despite this push to train local talent, this is considerably affecting the number of traditional long-term assignments we see today. Organisations are still required to retain a pool of international skills to successfully continue to run their global businesses. In order to balance the smaller percentage of “professional expats” we could certainly see more organisations invest in short assignments in 2018, compared to previous years. What we will see, however, is improved diversity and more employees accepting developmental assignments.

Assignee experience

One of the main global mobility trends seen through 2017 was improving assignees experience in a world with limited resources, and the way we approach privacy, diversity and development will help identify how we focus on talent in the upcoming year. As an increasing number of companies are at risk of a talent deficit, organisations that are slow to respond to this deficit will only become more vulnerable as their competitors seek alternative solutions.

Whilst no one is able to guarantee what 2018 has in store for global mobility, what we do know is that managing risk and addressing security issues are going to be first on every global mobility professional’s New Year list.

If you’re considering relocating an employee abroad on an international work assignment, and you want to discuss how we can help you on moving day, get in touch with a member of our expert team today!

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