Policy and Cost Benchmarking

ORC Worldwide analyzes your expatriate compensation program and shows where you can save money—and provides you with the tools to move ahead.

You need confidence in the data and expertise you use to benchmark your expatriate programs and model cost savings, plus the tools to present your plan and get the buy-in you need to strengthen your programs. ORC Worldwide has the comprehensive data and the specialized knowledge to help you.

Benchmarking Your Program

Benchmark your program using the world’s largest database of multinational expatriate policies and practices in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. Utilizing our 2008 Worldwide Survey of International Assignment Policies and Practices, we perform a comprehensive assessment of your program using one of these approaches:

Policy and Cost Compensation Analysis

You also now have the ability to benchmark your program in terms of both policy and cost with this new and unprecedented service from ORC.

Once you have a competitive analysis of your policy, we can then compare 11 key provisions in four location combinations to benchmark your program costs using the Worldwide Survey of International Policies and Practices and other trusted in-house data sources. You’ll be able to model potential cost savings associated with amendments to various components of your program.

How ORC Helps

Reviewing a Dated Expatriate Policy

A large multinational company engaged ORC Worldwide to review its expatriate policy—one that hadn’t been reviewed for seven years—and determine areas in which the company could reduce costs without sacrificing comprehensiveness or competitiveness.

ORC benchmarked against industry-specific and similarly sized comparators, and performed cost comparisons of goods and services differential options, host housing allowances, and hypothetical tax calculations.

The result? ORC identified above-market policy elements and estimated cost savings that would come from making changes. A cost-savings summary was delivered along with a plan for implementing the changes. Upon approval of the executive committee, the client implemented the full array of suggested changes and has seen a significant reduction in requests for exceptions for new assignments, as well as a 10% decrease in assignment cost for current assignees—all while achieving higher ratings on annual employee satisfaction surveys.

Establishing an International Assignment Program

ORC was approached by a client that needed to move the company’s first expatriate from a U.S.-based headquarters position to one in China for two to three years. The company had been doing business in China for five years and relying on a non-residential approach. Leadership now desired a formalized long-term expatriate policy, both to be more cost-efficient and ensure that an appropriate model for future expatriate assignments was implemented from the beginning.

ORC Worldwide used benchmarks from the company’s general industry and its industry-specific comparators to help shape a comprehensive international assignment policy and program, delivering a policy document that covered all 30 key policy provision elements and a letter of assignment to introduce the employee to the new program.

Since the introduction of the policy, the company's expatriate population has grown to five international assignees, three from headquarters to China and two from China to headquarters. Overall program costs and special requests have become easier to manage now that the policy clearly delineates the benefits and the level at which they are to be provided.

In Changing Times, a Changing Policy

As its talent base grew and came from new locations in India, Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe, a global multinational asked ORC Worldwide to review its expatriate policy in light of their large, rapidly changing expatriate population’s needs. As their employees were becoming more diverse, their traditional compensation approach was not serving their needs or the needs of the company.

ORC looked at competitiveness and fit with the company’s global mobility goals by benchmarking the policy against others with similar global assignee demographics. In addition, ORC conducted an opinion survey of the expatriate population and interviewed key program stakeholders to show how the company’s program was—or was not—working for those who lived it.

After this review, ORC was able to identify compensation design and policy alternatives, as well as the cost of implementing the changes. The results of the opinion survey were summarized and shared with leadership, as were ORC’s recommendations and cost comparisons.

After further review of the impact on program administration and signficant deliberation by the executive committee, the company adopted a more global expatriate policy approach for their non-Westpat assignees. Program costs have increased moderately, but satisfaction levels among the affected population have increased dramatically, and requests to end assignments early have been all but eliminated.

For More Information

We’d be pleased to discuss our international assignment consulting services with you at your convenience. To set up an appointment, please contact your ORC consultant or:

In North America
James O’Neill
Director, Benchmarking Services

In Europe
Siobhan Cummins
Managing Director
+44 (0)20 7591 5600

Policy and Cost Benchmarking Reports