Corporate Relocation In 2022 The Impact Of Supply Chain Issues, War In Ukraine, And More

Corporate Relocation In 2022: The Impact Of Supply Chain Issues, War In Ukraine, And More

A couple of months ago, international trade experts were hopeful that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic’s supply chain issues were behind us and that stability was on the horizon. However, things took a negative turn when the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. Following the invasion, the supply chain havoc started again, this time involving such issues as global security, inflation, sustainability, and more.

The Ukraine crisis has caused widespread disruption to global shipping, caused port congestion, and triggered large-scale humanitarian and migration crises, adding to the risks to the global economy that is already dealing with the pandemic. It has also substantially affected global mobility from a couple of standpoints. Firstly, most countries are now limiting their flights to the region. Secondly, sanctions against Russia have made it increasingly difficult for goods and funds to reach the region, making it difficult for employees to deal with rent and expenses.

Consequently, companies stopped sending their employees to the region, and many companies have even started extracting their employees from Ukraine and Russia. Companies also had to deal with relocating their employees from warring countries, which created additional challenges, from obtaining Temporary Protection status for employees to organizing and ensuring safe passage.

The Three Major Threats Of The Ukraine Conflict

From an economic standpoint, the three biggest issues are cyberattacks, rising fuel costs, and industry concerns from sanctions that can have long-reaching effects.

Russia has quite a reputation for cyber-attacking vital shipping and supply infrastructures at times of crisis. Since the global supply chain is already fragile enough from the COVID-19 pandemic, attacks like these can mean serious devastation. Since the current global supply chain is more fragile than in pre-pandemic times, if any major cybersecurity incident happens today (like the one from 2017), it could have a devastating effect on the global supply chain.

Russia is one of the main exporters of crude oil and the world’s largest exporter of natural gas, and it’s already manipulating the cost of fuel as counter-attacks against the countries putting economic sanctions on them. Right after the invasion, fuel prices in Europe jumped by 62% in one day! This can have serious consequences on water, land, and air travel. In addition to high fueling costs’ impact on travel and shipping, it also impacts global mobility and increases energy and food prices.

Russia is a major supplier of raw materials, particularly metals used in the manufacturing of cars, such as palladium used in catalytic converters and nickel used in lithium-ion batteries. It also houses numerous manufacturing facilities. Since many global companies have manufacturing hubs in the country, they may struggle to continue with their operations under the imposed sanctions. Aside from the auto industry, the pharmaceutical industry may also be heavily impacted.

Companies are Extracting Their Workers

Due to the Russian invasion, many companies are getting their workers out of Ukraine. Some companies are providing options for border crossings and are helping with applications for refugee or asylum status in other countries. But they must pay attention not to breach Ukrainian military conscription orders, which prohibit men aged 18 to 60 years from leaving the country.

Many countries are amending and relaxing visa and other entry requirements for Ukrainian citizens. EU member states are implementing the Temporary Protection Directive, while countries outside the European Union have introduced more flexible immigration conditions and additional help for refugees. 

How Does Global Supply Chain Crisis Impact Mobility?

There’s no aspect of the global economy that is immune to the supply chain crisis, and mobility is no exception. The shipping and logistics industry has experienced massive pressure due to the pandemic. Ports worldwide have faced serious congestion and delays in processing shipments due to labor shortages and the growing consumer demand for items. 

A good example of this is the cargo delays at the Port of Los Angeles, which are expected to disrupt up to $90 billion in trade. This is worsened by the rise in e-commerce, which has seen a massive surge in final-mile shipments that need to be delivered to people’s homes. 

As mentioned, another problem is a growing number of cyberattacks, as supply chain and transportation industries are way behind when it comes to cybersecurity. The lack of proper protection from cyberattacks and advanced hacking methods combine to make a serious threat to supply chain and transportation networks. All of this has prolonged the shipment processes, especially for international transport. 

The troubles with the housing market began in late 2020, as it became incredibly competitive for people to buy a home. The median price of a house is up more than 16% compared to 2020. The homes are also rapidly going off the market as buyers try to beat rising mortgage rates. This is driven by several factors like waves of first-time buyers, families relocating from big cities, small numbers of new construction projects, and an even smaller number of available homes for purchase. According to data from Realtor, the number of homes for sale dropped 53% between 2020 and 2021.

Supply Chain Disruption Of Mobility

Given the growing demand for homes, relocating employees are having no trouble selling their existing properties. However, finding a new home is more difficult than ever. Homes continually go way above the asking price, often followed by waivers to common safeguards like appraisals and inspections. This makes it difficult for relocating employees to find new homes when there’s a timeline to follow. The uncertainty and pressure that accompanies the current housing market can be detrimental to the successful onboarding of employees. That is why businesses should refine and enhance their benefits around temporary housing (such as longer stays and more amenities) and storage (more days of storage and larger spaces) to minimize the pressure of finding a new home by a specific date.

The closing dates are also sooner than in past years, which means people need to move out quickly. Due to many people relocating and other capacity concerns, movers are extending loading and delivery date windows for their customers. However, this trend is at odds with people who are expecting to move or unload on an exact day.

Companies should help manage employees’ expectations around the relocation process by explaining market factors that could delay their move process and what accommodations their company can make to neutralize any problems that may subsequently arise. If a company has a relocation partner, they should communicate with them early and often about their planned employee relocations.

The Future of Talent Recruitment and Corporate Relocation

The massive impact of the pandemic on all aspects of business and life is undeniable. Millions of former employees suddenly became remote workers, forced to deal with challenges and adjustments needed for their companies to continue doing business. For many, remote work became the new normal, to such an extent that companies now must rethink their recruiting, retention, and employee relocation processes in the post-coronavirus era. As the demand for remote work increases, the job market will become flatter as more employees are available to fill positions located elsewhere.

More and more employees are opting to relocate from densely populated and expensive cities to more rural and peaceful locations just because they can work remotely. A lot of companies are doing the same by relocating to more affordable locations within the United States and downsizing office spaces. With the change in work came the change in recruiting and relocating trends.

Recruiting Trends

The most notable change in recruiting is the expansion of the talent pool. Companies can now hire new employees from anywhere in the world. The Motus research supports this, as 40% of Gen Z and Millennial professionals want more flexibility in choosing where they work. Therefore, those companies that can decentralize their offices or adopt remote work policies can benefit from the current talent surplus by drawing from top candidates, regardless of location.

The pandemic has also changed the way businesses connect with new candidates. Job interviews can be done outside (safety-conscious hiring events like drive-up hiring parties) or through virtual career fairs. In some cases, a candidate doesn’t even need to interact with people when being interviewed. Instead, they can record their answers to a uniform set of questions at any time (including off-hours and weekends), which lowers the pressure on hiring managers and HR teams. 

Companies can also use Zoom to connect and interview their candidates, as well as Loom, a video-messaging tool where candidates can send a two-minute video that serves as an elevator pitch of sorts. Virtual hiring is cost-efficient, too, as candidates don’t need to come to the office for an interview, which is an all-day affair for them and the HR department. Companies can now schedule numerous interviews in a day without anyone leaving their house.

Relocation Trends

Even during the pandemic and worldwide travel bans, people were willing to relocate for work. In fact, according to the survey done by Wakefield Research, 80% of workers were willing to relocate during the pandemic, including 31% who would relocate internationally. Therefore, it is safe to expect that employee interest in corporate relocations will continue to grow as more people are ready to explore new opportunities. 

Additionally, 84% of workers have stated they would relocate for work when COVID-19 is no longer prevalent in the world, and 46% would be willing to relocate internationally. This is proof that the global mobility industry shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Workers are determined and willing to relocate to advance their careers, and businesses should be prepared to support these workers. But, to attract and retain skilled talent, companies must create strong talent mobility offerings and programs that create unique experiences for mobile workers. 

A rising mobility trend is de-location. Contrary to relocation, where employees are moving to a location where an office exists, de-location is when employees take their remote work with them to any place of their choice, with their company’s support. More and more companies are now offering de-location packages to their employees and new hires to live and work in any place of their choosing. De-location is a great opportunity for employees to start fresh somewhere new and for the company to attract top talent. To learn more about de-location, we recommend reading this study.

At Corporate Relocation Today, we are always happy to help you with your relocation needs, and we understand the complexities of employee relocation inside and out. Please feel free to contact Shawn Elledge, Executive Director of Corporate Relocation Today for help with your employee relocation efforts at

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