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Global Mobility of Candidates in the Insurance Market

13 January 2016


The war on global talent is a much debated topic across industries. Its relevance to the insurance industry is under the spotlight as insurers are increasingly turning to international markets for growth. Insurers are continuing to internationalise through entry into new markets; the expansion of their existing footprints and a spike in M&A activity meaning that businesses need to consider how they compete for talent on a global scale. 

HR functions are placing great emphasis on the role of global mobility but not all companies have the scale and luxury to provide dedicated resources to this area. With or without this luxury, it’s imperative that to maximise business success and to be confident in having the best teams in place, equal attention must be applied to both the recruitment and retention of employees. With the insurance market constantly evolving, businesses must continually evaluate their talent management strategies to consider whether they are effectively mobilising their employees to promote future business success. 

Consider Employee Retention: 

Relocating a valued employee can offer numerous benefits, including: 

  • Utilising their existing internal knowledge, reputation and relationships
  • They will need less training than a new hire
  • They should be able to effectively translate the business’s values and culture to new locations
  • Cost savings from a reduced spend on talent acquisition
  • Increased employee satisfaction

However, the downsides must be considered. It’s been widely reported that approximately a quarter of the global workforce want to relocate to develop their career. This creates questions around whether employees are relocated for the sake of retention or to genuinely promote business success. How does a business measure the return on investment? From a cost perspective, savings may be achieved through the initial talent acquisition spend but costs are still incurred through a probable pay increase, often at a minimum of 10%, along with relocation packages for the employees (and potentially their families) which are usually negotiated heavily. This is before we have considered locally salary benchmarking and potential to overpay along with the need to backfill the newly deployed employee. 

Employee retention is, of course, only an option if the right internal candidate can be identified and they are willing to move to the country or city in question. In addition to successfully implementing global mobility programmes, businesses must also promote a culture of openness to truly understand the ambitions of their employees. 

Employee Retention vs. Recruitment

Clearly, there are a number of factors to consider; each move must be evaluated independently and the benefits should be compared to the option of recruiting new talent. This may mean understanding the options to hire locally; looking at benchmarking in specific countries or cities, paying attention to local compliance regulations and employment law and the mapping of competitors. It could additionally mean, especially for leadership roles, mapping the availability of global talent and considering those who would relocate to specific locations. To be done properly, both require an in-depth knowledge of the international talent pool for insurance professionals. 

Our international footprint at Oliver James Associates spans the UK, Continental Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America and our global insurance recruitment division offers valuable advice and expertise on hiring internationally, including: 

  • Global talent maps of specialist insurance professionals
  • The availability of candidates with specific skills or experience in given locations
  • How to attract talent locally or on an international basis
  • Local salary bench-marking
  • Competitive relocation packages 

Our consultants also have the local knowledge to provide advice to candidates who are wishing to relocate abroad, especially as many of our consultants have first-hand experience of relocating to our international offices along with experience of securing opportunities for candidates to relocate previously. 

 If you’re interested in global opportunities, contact our specialist consultants now  +44 (0) 207-649-9464 for an open and confidential conversation or email  

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