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Effective Strategies for Expatriate Cost Management

Brian Friedman of Totally Expat published this piece on managing expatriate employee costs. Excerpts are below (click on the link for more details, as there are 21 different items discussed):

We all know that expats are expensive and that a significant proportion of assignments fail – but what can be done to manage costs and to maximise the overall return on investment? And in these straitened economic times, we all know that expatriate costs are increasingly under the microscope……. Prioritise. Too many companies try to cut expatriate costs by reducing headcount in the International HR department or by forcing vendors into unsustainable price reductions. The reality however is that it is not internal headcount or vendor fees that make assignees expensive. In fact research undertaken by the Forum for Expatriate Management suggests that in-house costs typically amount to just 1-2%of total assignment costs and external costs amount to no more than 8-10%. The big costs are Assignment Allowances (35%), Property Costs (35%) and Relocation Costs (15%). So if you are looking to control expatriate costs, concentrate on the big ticket items – don’t rush to slash headcount….

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