August 18, 2016

The Rise of the Short-Term Domestic Assignment

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The Rise of the Short-Term Domestic Assignment

A growing number of companies are choosing to send employees on short-term relocation assignments as opposed to long-term or permanent ones. According to Cartus’ Global Mobility Policy & Practices survey, 46% of respondents said short-term assignments were expected to increase, with another 43% saying they would remain the same. And the top reasons companies say they send employees on short-term assignments are for project-based assignments, and for the transfer of technical skills.

Benefits and Challenges of Short-Term Assignments

Of course, as the frequency of short-term assignments increases, relocation professionals are charged with managing the many administrative issues that are unique to this type of move–from costs and tax regulations to policy development and maintenance. The top challenges named for short-term assignments in Cartus’ Policy & Practices survey were tax compliance (named by 53% of respondents) and immigration compliance (50% of respondents).

You may wonder:

  • Why are domestic short-term and temporary assignments becoming more popular, and when did this trend begin?
  • What are some of the benefits, and challenges, that domestic short-term assignments present to the employee and the employer?
  • Should employers have a separate, formal policy specific to managing these relocations?

Recently, I, along with Cindy Madden, director of consulting solutions at Cartus, spoke with Roy Maurer, journalist and online news manager/editor of SHRM Online, to answer these very questions in an article, Short-Term Domestic Relocations Are on the Rise. Our hope was to provide practical insight into this growing trend.

Additional Resources

For related information on international short-term assignments, read our blog post, How to Effectively Manage Short-Term Assignments, which highlights an article in HRM Asia quoting Cartus’ Kenneth Kwek, managing director for our Asia Pacific region. The post also links to a document in which Cartus Consulting Solutions answers questions received from our clients about short-term assignments and their role in today’s mobility programs.

If you have any questions on short-term assignments, or would like more information, please email us at We’d be happy to help!

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Posted By

Jennifer White

About Jennifer

Jen is manager of Consulting Solutions and has more than 25 years’ experience in the global mobility industry, predominantly in global operations, account management, program implementation, and policy design.

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