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Factors Affecting Relocation – External & Internal

Relocation for Growth, Expansion, Talent Needs

The top three factors affecting relocation last year were: lack of local talent (44%); expansion efforts (43%); and company growth (41%).  Company growth remains similar to previous recessionary levels, despite maintaining a substantial increase over 2009 (41% vs. 24%).  Lack of local talent remains the top external factor. However, 43% of firms indicate an impact on relocation volumes when all types of expansion are considered (facility, new territories, or international), nearly equal to the impacts of talent needs and company growth.  Thirty-four percent (34%) of firms reported economic conditions as a factor last year; this remains far lower than recessionary percentages, but higher than many non-recessionary years.  Overall, the impact of the real estate market on volumes continues to be near historical lows (17%).

The industry appears to be in a state of good health. A majority of firms report improved financial performances over the past seven years. Real estate issues and budget constraints are at normative levels. Relocation volumes and budgets continue to rise. However, with the continued citing of economic conditions and the muted impact of company growth, companies may simply be keeping a sharper eye on margins. Years after the recovery began, creative solutions developed during the Great Recession have become permanent in mobility policy.

  • The impact of factors continues to vary by company size. For large firms, the biggest impact resulted from corporate structure changes (53% – acquisitions/mergers or corporate reorganization/restructuring) followed by expansion efforts (44%), company growth (41%), and lack of local talent (40%). Mid-size firms were similarly affected by expansion efforts (43%), equal to their need for talent (43%), while company growth was a close third (37%). Small firms’ biggest issue was talent (47%), with company growth (43%) and expansion efforts (41%) nearly tied for second.
  • The impact of available talent remains markedly above the level recorded in 2009 (31%) and far above much lower levels seen before 1996. Regardless of company size, talent shortfalls remain a key driver of relocation volumes overall.
  • Across company size, the impact of real estate remains at or near its lowest point since measurement began in 2007.
  • Firms operating nationally or internationally (30% and 34%) were more likely to report that competition (domestic or international) affected relocations last year compared to regional firms (14%). Company growth was more strongly felt among national (40%) and international firms (45%) compared to regional firms (23%).
  • Nearly half of for-profit service, manufacturing/processing, wholesale/retail, financial, and non-profit firms indicated talent needs as a main factor in their relocations last year. A third of these firms cited economic conditions as well. Roughly half of all firm types, except non-profits, saw expansion efforts as a key factor, with wholesale/retail firms citing the largest impact (58%). Roughly half of firms, except for manufacturing/processing and non-profits, cited company growth as well. A third or more of manufacturing/processing, for-profit service, and financial firms indicated changes in corporate structure affected volumes. Around a third of firms across type, with the exception of financial firms, cited growth in competition as a key issue as well.
Question 13-1
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Question 13-2
External factors having the most impact on the number of employee relocations in 2016
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Question 14-1
Internal conditions having the most impact on the number of employee relocations in 2016
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Question 14-2
Internal conditions having the most impact on the number of employee relocations in 2016
Chart Q14-2
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