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Assignment segmentation

Why does it matter?

The expatriate mobility landscape is fast evolving and companies find it increasingly difficult to have only one policy covering all international assignments. Employers are increasingly segmenting their expatriation policy, not just by assignment duration (long-term versus short-term) but also by expatriate assignment purpose (strategic assignment versus developmental moves or moves requested by the employees themselves.)

Policy segmentation is a way to:

  • Address the limitations of the one-size-fits-all types of policies
  • Reconcile the cost control versus international expansion dilemma in a context of budget constraint by shifting budget from less essential moves to assignment that are critical to the business
  • Present business cases / options to management to understand the cost and business implications of sending expatriates
  • Manage effectively exceptions into well-defined framework and process as opposed to one-to-one ad-hoc deals
  • Reconcile talent management and reward / expatriate management

How Mercer Can Help

Based on the output from mobility stakeholders’ interviews, benchmarking analysis and assignee surveys, and taking into consideration the company’s business priorities, Mercer will provide recommendations regarding the segmentation of assignment policies, to achieve better alignment between the mobility programs and the business/talent needs of the organization.

Mercer will analyze the company’s mobility segmentation needs along three dimensions to determine the optimal number of policies required, bearing in mind the administrative implications:

  • By assignment duration and pattern
  • By purpose or strategic impact
  • Geographic segmentation

Mercer will prepare and present a document with the analysis and recommendations as well as help design decision trees to navigate the different assignment options.


Policy segmentation benchmarking

Using the unparalleled data from the latest research, Mercer will provide you with off-the-shelf or custom benchmarking surveys and assess your mobility program using an array of precise policy benchmarking tools. We'll work with you to identify best practices for each type of assignment.

Worldwide Survey of International Assignment Policies and Practices

This is a comprehensive survey covering all aspects of international assignment management and has the largest participant base in the market with over 830 global companies participating. Learn more.

Alternative International Assignment Policies and Practices (AIA) Survey

This survey is a deep-dive into policies and practices, and examines trends for the following types of international assignments: local plus, developmental/training, short-term, commuter, intra-regional, and global nomad. Learn more.

Rotator Assignments Survey and Services

Rotators are critical to the success of many companies to support challenging projects in a vast range of locations worldwide, particularly in the energy, mining, engineering and construction industries. Mercer's extensive competitive data and expertise in global mobility can help support our clients' international rotator programs. Learn more.

Local Plus and Location-specific Surveys

An in-depth look at policies and practices in several locations where local plus packages are prevalent, the Local Plus Surveys expand on our recent research into alternative assignment types. Learn more.

Flexibility in Mobility Policy As mobility programs grow and new situations arise, companies may need to be flexible on their approach to compensation, even within a policy that includes assignment segmentation. Our whitepaper outlines the considerations, benefits, and drawbacks involved.

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BEING STRATEGIC Linking mobility strategy and talent management is essential when trying to segment mobility policies.

Find Out More

Mobility Guides Mercer has assembled a collection of guides and whitepapers to help you understand key aspects of managing an international assignment program effectively, including guides to starting a program, expatriate compensation, policy development, technology, and more.

Explore Guides

News and Articles Our Knowledge Center features timely articles on mobility issues and trends, interviews with experts in the field, and news about conditions around the world affecting employees on international assignments.

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Expatriate Compensation

Determining the proper compensation approach can be challenging. Written by Mercer experts, our guide to compensation approaches will provide a detailed analysis of the three main compensation methods to help you choose the right solution based on your specific needs

Learn More

Policy Flexibility

As mobility programs grow and new situations arise, companies may need to be flexible on their approach to compensation. Our whitepaper outlines the considerations, benefits, and drawbacks involved.

Download Whitepaper