Alternative International Assignments Survey

Participate in Mercer's 2020 Alternative International Assignments Survey

In the last decade, the diversification of international moves and the segmentation of assignment types have accelerated. The 2020 edition of the Alternative International Assignments Survey (AIA) continues our research into the use of international assignments other than long-term expatriate assignments: short-term assignmentspermanent moves / one-way transfers, and commuter assignments. The survey explores trends, management, and policies and practices that companies have put in place to move talent effectively and efficiently. Since we introduced the AIA in 2013, these "alternatives" to traditional long-term assignments have matured in their roles for meeting global staffing needs and become more prevalent in many organizations.

The launch of the 2020 AIA survey is taking place during a challenging time. Most companies are still evaluating what the future will look like, but remain very much focused on managing their mobility programs in the most sustainable and effective manner. The survey is an opportunity to take the pulse and gain insight on the latest trends in the assignment types listed below.

Chart shows highlights from Mercer survey on short-term assignments

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Short-term assignments

  • Trends and demographics
  • Short-term assignment policies and practices
  • Compensation approach for short-term assignments
  • Cost of living / daily living costs
  • Tax Housing and utilities
  • Mobility and hardship premiums
  • Education and childcare
  • Transportation
  • Travel and home leave
  • Additional support
  • Benefits
icon of a project clipboard

Permanent moves / one-way transfers

  • Trends and management
  • Compensation approach for permanent moves / one-way transfers
  • “Plus” allowances / benefits in kind and relocation support
  • Benefits
icon of a suitcase

Commuter assignments

  • Trends and management
  • Compensation approach for commuters
  • Living costs
  • Tax
  • Housing and utilities
  • Mobility premium / assignment incentive and hardship premium
  • Education and childcare
  • Transportation
  • Travel policy
  • Benefits
  • Additional assistance

Survey participation

The AIA consists of separate questionnaires for each of the three assignment types surveyed in the 2020 edition. A full report with summary will be published for each assignment type. Participants who complete one or more of the questionnaires by 30 October receive a free executive summary and can get a 66% discount on the full report for each assignment questionnaire they complete.

Start survey

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