Can you operate a best-in-class global mobility program without breaking the bank?
As many businesses look to cut costs, global mobility or flexible work programs are being asked to justify every dollar spent. Being fiscally responsible with budgets doesn’t mean having to compromise. Here are 20 simple ways to make your budget go further and run a top-notch program without breaking the bank.
Overall Global Mobility Program
1. Work with a provider to ensure visa applications are completed in a timely manner and include all correct information
Let’s face it. Doing this yourself can be a headache. You need to set labour time for research, admin, and let’s not forget coordinating visa applications and renewals. That’s why it’s worthwhile evaluating your vendor options to get the best deal for your needs. And when doing so, more often than not, your choice comes down to one of three options:
- Doing it in-house,
- Hiring an immigration lawyer,
- Or leveraging a global mobility software provider.
In fact, to help you along the way, we’ve put together a nifty guide that tackles how to choose the best provider for your needs, which you can read here!
2. Automate things that can be automated
In this digital age that we live in, there are incredible tech solutions for everything. From cost allocations and budgeting, to international payroll and international assignments management - identifying opportunities for automation and digitalization will significantly enhance efficiency.
The quicker you realize what policies and processes can be automated and digitized, the better. For example, utilizing dedicated tracking software for visa renewals guarantees nothing gets missed and no applications are left lingering.
3. Run cost projections
All companies – whether small boutique companies, to large enterprises - set annual operational budgets, but few track granular spending (especially in regards to cash-flow or balance-sheet items) on a month-by-month basis.
In the context of running a global mobility program, having access to real-time predictive data is essential for managing flexible spending needs and avoiding overspending. Therefore, you may want to consider investing in technology that can provide these insights.
4. Review policies
To optimize cost-saving, segmenting policies and creating distinct policies for different needs is an absolute must. For instance, you may want to adjust your short-term mobility policies to long-term policies, particularly when it comes to expenditures.
We recommend prioritizing business-critical policies, such as visa renewal, above all others to achieve maximum savings. This approach can be applied to various aspects of the program, such as managing allowances, and setting limits on regional travel and accommodation costs.
It's a great way to keep expenses under control without sacrificing quality.
5. Review cost-of-living indexes
However you assess the cost-of-living pressures on your program, and no matter the index you base it on, you must include substitutions where possible to understand contextual spending analysis.
Using substitutions, such as alternative hotel options or different modes of transportation, can give a better understanding of the real cost of a business trip to a particular location.
This allows you to allocate the appropriate amount of funds for the employee's accommodation and other expenses, ensuring they have a productive and comfortable trip while also keeping costs under control.
6. Consider adding a payback clause
Talent relocation is expensive, so businesses should not be afraid of maximizing ROI even when hiring doesn’t work out.
In our view, including payback clauses - where an employee agrees to pay back some of the relocation fee if they leave the role within a certain period of time - is a secure way of protecting outgoings and mitigates the effects of a worst-case hiring scenario.
7. Review your settling-in partners
When was the last time you went shopping for an in-country settling-in partner? Consider the cost benefits of a cheaper relocation package alternative, or better yet, see if your current visa provider is able to source these for you.
8. Review how these benefits are offered
This often comes down to a debate over cash vs administered benefits, and how you can make savings. However, we urge you to consider reviewing your complete relocation benefits offered, and where these benefits are offered.
For example, significant savings can be made when you get rid of indefinite housing cover for employees in stable, long-term positions.
9. Invest in culture immersion programs
While this may look like a budget increase, focusing on cultural immersion and high-quality onboarding can improve your bottom line by increasing retention and productivity.
For instance, you could invest in cultural immersion programs, such as language and culture classes or mentorship programs with locals, so that the employee is better equipped to adjust to the new environment and can feel more comfortable and confident in their new role.
10. Consider working with an EOR (employer of record)
When obtaining a visa for a relocating employee takes longer than you hoped, EORs can be agreat way to allow employees to start working from their current location while awaiting theirvisas. Alternatively, EORs can be used while an employee completes a probationary period inorder to only invest in relocating employees who have proven to be a good fit.
11. Alternative waivers
A great way of making immediate savings is by exploring alternative visa waivers, or by utilizing a visa audit to make sure you’ve looked at every available option for business travel.
12. Book flights in advance
By being savvy about timing and taking advantage of discounts, you can not only reduce costs, but also make travel planning more efficient. One tip is to book flights on Tuesdays, which are typically considered to be the cheapest days of the week to book.
And if you book in advance, you may also be eligible for early-bird discounts. Of course, it's important to balance cost savings with the needs of your employees, so be sure to allow for adequate travel preparation time. All in all, booking flights in advance is a simple yet effective way to save money and streamline travel for your program.
13. Evaluate your allowances
Overheads can be whittled down if your allowances are better managed. This is effective across short term hire vs long term hires, but also on a city by city basis. Some cities are more expensive than others, and require a higher allowance, so flexibility is key to make sure every regional spend is fairly administered.
14. Save on hotel costs
It's becoming increasingly common to ask employees if they are comfortable sharing a hotel room, for example, or limiting daily food expenditure to be more sustainable.
Where appropriate, and where transport connections are supported, consider alternative hotel and short-term accommodation options outside of peak areas like city centers.
15. Encourage use of public transportation
Encourage your global teams to use public transport over private cabs, or hiring a car instead of renting a driver. Small shifts in day-to-day spending can make a massive impact.
16. Plan ahead to avoid rush charges
Time is your friend here, and planning visa applications or renewals ahead of a last-minute scramble will save time and money.
17. Evaluate alternative visas where applicable
Evaluate the best visa for your needs - talk to an immigration professional to see if a different, potentially less expensive visa, would work for your needs.
18. Support permanent residence / citizenship
Some employers are beginning to encourage eligible employees to apply for permanent residence and/or citizenship to control costs, better manage tax commitments and improve wage localization.
Expand your candidate pool
19. Do your research and build a focused strategy
Empower your People teams by staying up to date on regionally relevant details - such as where upcoming talent hubs are based, in-country pay rates, workplace expectations, digital connectivity, taxes etc.
20. Diversify your talent pool
From utilizing specialist headhunters in emerging markets to finding new pools of talent in digital communities, there are plenty of ways for eagle-eyed business operators to find talent from unexplored (and therefore cheaper) locations around the world.
The above list, hopefully, is an eye-opener for how any company with a flexible work program can cut costs but still operate effectively.
The key is striking the right balance between fiscal responsibility and program quality. By automating processes, conducting cost projections, and optimizing policies, you can make more informed decisions and allocate resources more effectively.
Want to learn more?
Contact Localyze for a demo or more information, and together we can streamline your operations, optimize your program, and achieve your organizational goals within budgetary constraints.