News Release

For Immediate Release - March 13, 2014 

Worldwide ERC News Release
Kristin White
Director of Communications and Marketing 
+1 703 842 3417
Christine M. Wilson, SGMS-T
Vice President, Research & Education
+1 703 842 3449

Worldwide ERC® Releases Its First China Survey; Explores Talent Mobility Into and Within the Region 

Worldwide ERC® has released its first Talent Mobility in China survey, reporting on employee assignment activity into and within Mainland China.  Findings indicate a steady volume poised for growth, as government urbanization policies take hold, GDP remains strong and companies continue to place or move talent to fulfill knowledge transfer or executive development needs (cited as top reasons for moves by 70 and 63 percent of respondents, respectively). In addition to transfer activity, the report, sponsored by Plus Relocation Services, Inc., examined assignee demographics, costs, various forms of mobility policy support and challenges within the region.

Just over three-fourths of respondents (77 percent) reported moving between one and 25 employees into China in 2012, and nearly the same number (72 percent) intended to match that volume by the end of 2013.  While moves involving large groups of assignees into China were less common, 6 percent of respondents moved between 101 and 500 assignees in 2012, and an additional 9 percent sent between 26 and 50 employees. As for activity within China, nearly two-thirds of respondents (65 percent) moved employees domestically over the last two years, and the majority believe the need for such moves is increasing (42 percent), or will remain steady (52 percent).  First-tier cities are the most popular destinations for assignments into the country, with the top three reported as Shanghai (82 percent), Beijing (52 percent), and Fuzhou (22 percent).   

The survey also revealed:

  • The typical assignee is a mid-level manager or executive male, aged between 33 and 48, and the typical family profile is a married couple with children.  Ten percent of assignees were single employees without children.
  • Sixty percent of companies reported that the cost of an average traditional, long-term (defined as one year or more) assignment into Mainland China is between two to three times an employee’s annual base salary, while another 13 percent reported figures closer to four times an employee’s base salary.
  • Forty-nine percent of respondents perform candidate assessment prior to selecting potential assignees, while only one in five companies “always or frequently” perform family assessments.
  • The provision of language and/or cultural training is the most common form of assignee (68 percent) and family (58 percent) support.
  • While only approximately half (53 percent) of respondents indicated experiencing challenges relocating employees domestically within Mainland China, the most commonly cited difficulty among them was moving employees from a Tier 1 to a lower-tier location, coming in at 79 percent.
  • In a trend that stands in contrast with major developed economic regions, outsourcing the management of domestic relocation programs within China is uncommon, with only 8 percent reporting a completely outsourced program, and 71 percent reporting programs that are wholly managed internally.

Worldwide ERC® President and CEO Peggy Smith, SCRP, SGMS-T, noted, “While China’s rapid pace of economic growth is beginning to show signs of slowing, our survey results confirm that the need for recruiting specific skills and placing key talent in the region remains strong, and is expected to grow.  As companies look to their mobility policies to serve as key differentiators in the competition for talent – both globally and within their own borders – the need for current information on flexible programs, costs and assignee and family support is critical.  We’re pleased to provide that data for our members in Worldwide ERC®’s first Mainland China survey.”

The Talent Mobility in China survey was conducted in October 2013, and represents findings from 185 organizations in 17 countries.

Available on a complimentary basis to corporate HR and government agency members of Worldwide ERC®, the survey can also be purchased by other member category representatives for $95, and non-members for $250. Order the report at  


About Worldwide ERC®
Worldwide ERC® has served for 50 years as the membership association and foremost center for corporate and government mobility; educating and connecting mobility professionals worldwide. The recognized industry authority on talent mobility and assignments in the U.S. and major global traffic areas, Worldwide ERC® is headquartered in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, with representation in Belgium and China. Contact Worldwide ERC® at +1 703 842 3400, or visit

About Plus Relocation Services, Inc.
Plus Relocation Services is a recognized global leader in the design and implementation of employee relocation and assignment management programs. PLUS is known for innovative approaches to global mobility and talent management, providing clients truly customized solutions and a high-touch service delivery approach. Headquartered in Minneapolis since 1968, PLUS has offices in the United States, London, and Hong Kong. For additional information about PLUS and services offered, please visit