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Totally Rewarding Chats | Ep. 09: Total Rewards and Global Mobility

Sean Luitjens and Vicki Marsh, SVP of Client Success at Equus, discuss the complexities of managing employee mobility, the impact of technology, and more.

Totally rewarding chats with Sean Luitjens and Vicky Marsh

Mastering the art of global mobility: Technology, legislation, and the employee experience

Explore the complex landscape of global mobility, which involves managing international assignments that cover compensation, benefits, and enhancing the employee experience. In this episode, Sean Luitjens and Vicky Marsh discuss how technological advancements are reshaping this field, albeit challenged by stringent legislation and data privacy concerns that inhibit the full integration of AI and other cutting-edge tools. Discover how the focus on employee experience is driving trends towards more flexibility and personalized benefits, aiming to meet the diverse needs of mobile employees.


Vicky Marsh - Total Rewards and Global Mobility

In this episode:

  • Host, Sean Luitjens, General Manager of Compensation Benchmarks, Visier

  • Guest, Vicky Marsh, Senior Vice President Solutions Consulting, Equus Software


Episode transcript:

Sean Luitjens
All right, I am stoked. We have Vicki Marsh with us today. How are you, Vicki? All right, so I know you are the SVP of client success for Equus. For those who don't know me, I...

Vicky Marsh
I'm very well, thanks, Sean. Yes.

Sean Luitjens
I spent eight years stint, I'll call it, in the global mobility industry, which is so close to Comp and Bend, which is where I met Vicky. And I thought we would take some time today and do something a little different, total rewards, to talk about global mobility, which I'll kind of do a couple of definitions in a second. But before we cover that, can you give me your background, the elevator pitch, and you know, five to 10 stories tall, you know, elevator?

Vicky Marsh
Thank you. Okay, sure, yeah. I guess because it's global mobility, I only need to go back 20 years, which is great. I'm not going to tell you what I did before that, but I've been in mobility for 20 years, fell into mobility as many people do from a stint abroad. I lived in Japan for 10 years and I was doing nothing to do with mobility but was living as an expat, obviously.

And moved back to London and started working for a Japanese electronics company to help them with their mobility program. And that involved a sort of ground-up education in global mobility, very much compensation payroll focused. But I learned the whole gamut sort of, you know, attended all the big four breakfasts and education sessions and sort of self-taught, if you like. From there went to outsourced mobility services for the big four.

After a few years doing that, I went back in-house again and did global mobility change projects, if you like, large scale change management projects. So, insourcing mobility programs, changing vendors, globalizing vendor services for global mobility. But I got very much into the process side of things, designing processes, efficiencies, et cetera, from an in-source perspective.

Sean Luitjens
Thank you.

Vicky Marsh
And then redesigning the program for Unilever, actually. And that's where I came across Assignment Pro, which is the Equus software. Now it's called Equus Platform. And because of the fun I had in those projects implementing the platform, that's when I hopped over the fence after those projects into Equus. And then, of course, I've done every different type of role for Equus as well for the last sort of 10, 11 years. I was originally brought on to build the European office which involved everything including recruitment and office management and changing offices, etc. Did a long period in the sales area. So really I'm a solutions consultant, which means working with clients to understand their pain points, the problems and coming up with solutions in the platform to resolve their problems and meet their business needs.

Sean Luitjens (03:04.078)
I know since I've known you, yeah, jokingly before we got this started today, I asked Vicki what she was doing because I can never keep up. So it's never a dull moment. So before we get started on the kind of serious stuff, what do you do for fun outside of work? This is the check if you're a human box.

Vicky Marsh (03:13.369)
Thanks. Well, actually behind me, I probably have some quite obvious evidence of some of my hobbies, including a lot of cookbooks, so I'm really into cooking, travel, obviously. But at the moment, I'm really into the renovation projects that we're doing at the moment. So this might look like a strange room that I'm in at the moment. It is not underground, much as it looks like it might be.

It used to be what they called probably not a very good term for it these days, but it used to be called the remedial room of a school. And it was a primary school. I'm based in the Netherlands, by the way, north of the Netherlands. It was a primary school building that we got maybe about 10 years ago. And since we moved here, four or five years ago, we've been living and designing what our new world will look like converting the school into a house and there'll be an apartment and on there as well. So a lot of what I'm doing at the moment is interior design and pretending to help my other half with DIY, which I'm really not very good at, but occasionally get involved in. That's it. It's tricky there being a project manager by trade and working with someone who isn't really keen on project managers.

Sean Luitjens (04:36.238)
You always need a manager. You always got to have somebody in management, right? Yeah. Yeah, tough relationship. Although I know from building personally and doing that stuff, like, you know, you make it through that, it's all good. Like that's, you know, no worries. All right. So normally we jump into kind of three -ish questions, but I wanted to start because we've got mostly, I guess, what I call...

Vicky Marsh (04:57.593)
This is true. Well, four years and we're still going strong, so that's good.

Sean Luitjens (05:10.318)
So no normally, we jump into kind of three-ish questions, but I wanted to start because we've got mostly, I guess, what I call general Total Rewards folks, and talk a little bit about global mobility. And so by global mobility, we mean kind of expatriation or how, you know, again, if we moved Vicki to Japan, which by the way, I do know you speak Japanese, which is also kind of a cool, fun fact about you.

You know, if we were moving Vicki over there, so that kind of is global mobility or the mobility of talent, expatriation, you know, working abroad, those terms all kind of cover what generally is called global mobility. And then there's two, three, four types of different ways, big buckets, I guess, of the way people get moved. And I don't know if you want to cover those quick, Vicki, on how, just to give people some context coming from, you know, kind of single country or non -global mobility departments.

Vicky Marsh (05:58.873)
Yeah, sure. I mean, global mobility covers such a broad area these days, and it's getting broader and broader, because it's essentially an all encompassing program or portfolio of managing moving people abroad for temporary or permanent basis. And so the general three areas that you're talking about in terms of how compensation is based.

I mean, when you're moving someone, hopefully the typical drivers for the move are the role that they're carrying out in the location, their background and skills that they're bringing to the role. A large part of it should be about the reasons or business drivers for moving them. And so those sort of three areas, also the place they're moving to, really drive how the package is designed, if you like, the compensation.

So home-based, host-based or other, as I'd say, because there are some creative ways of doing things out there. And historically, those other areas might have been based on a HQ location, a headquarter location, or it could be some kind of global pay scale that's essentially made up area that is sort of used to equalize those people who are all going out on on a temporary assignment to a similar pay scale as it were. So home based, post base and then other the home base being sort of home based tax equalized taking your home compensation and using that as a basis to pay you in the host, making sure that you're neither better nor worse off.

That was the philosophy behind the home based approach, neither better nor worse off for the individual in that host location. host based is typically more about keeping you equitable with the host location. So it could be that you're on a market scale in that host location, or that your current compensation is somehow balanced to a host market scale. And there's a number of ways of doing that as well. And then as I say, the other would be a global pay scale or sometimes a global employment company where everybody who's in the signing gets put into that one company and role treated fairly equally.

Sean Luitjens (08:16.462)
And you also have kind of permanent relocation in there, although I've found that one of my favorite terms, because I guess it's a little dark, but I say you really only move once permanently. So the permanent piece is always interesting to me. I think that's helpful.

Vicky Marsh(08:20.281)
Yes.
Yes, in theory.

Sean Luitjens (08:36.558)
And with those in mind, talk to everyone about the biggest differences you see from kind of normal total rewards, if you want to call it that, your local comp and bet package, to when you're talking about global mobility and the things that have to get built up to build up, to make a package.

Vicky Marsh (08:56.697)
Yeah. So the sort of differences between local and mobile, globally mobile, it's an interesting question because I'd like to say that in theory, there aren't any differences, as in the basis of global mobility compensation should be something local anyway. Typically, global mobility departments don't make up packages and salaries and compensation for moves. They work with whatever the directive is in terms of whether it's home host or, you know, go to an HQ location, for example, or, or whatever the company director is around, how to pay whether to take them into a host for equitable purposes, etc. So mobility compensation, in theory, and I say compensation down to the pure sort of definition of what I think of compensation is sort of base salary and bonus can cash should be the same.

It's a great theory, not necessarily right in practice. So the history of course, going back sort of 30, 40 years when mobility was more of an incentive based operation, you had to move people, you had to throw cash at them, didn't really matter what you were paying, you know, and that sort of carried on for quite, quite a while back when international assignments were really sort of special and

You know, travel was still very much a luxury, you know, travel got cheaper over time and more people experienced it, etc. And, you know, locations became a lot more normalized, as it were, in terms of people experiencing living abroad or being abroad for periods of time. And so the move from just throwing cash at people to this home based approach was sort of that early trend.

I'd still say that the home based approach is still where we see the greatest differences in that you can be in a location but still on a very different package compared to the people who are there because you're still based in your home location. And of course, the whole mobility industry, if you like, is built around moving people from high cost to low cost or low cost to high cost. And if you're going one for one, it's not really as much of a problem. But if you're going extreme from a high cost to low cost or a low cost to high cost, that's where you get to the problems and what is the right balance of pay and compensation and the benefits around it for moving that person. So differences wise, I still see that home based as being the greater differences. But actually the base comp piece is not the bit that's different. It's the benefits around the move.

Sean Luitjens (11:42.03)
So how though, when you talk about that, like, especially in host -based, like you are home -based, if they're doing the same job as somebody in the new location as somebody else, right? There's a shortage of talent. How do companies deal with, or do they deal with it on a comp side from having somebody that's paid different? This is the part that always fascinated me when you basically drop someone in that is making different money, even if there's solid rationale.

Vicky Marsh (12:01.945)
Yeah.

Sean Luitjens (12:10.03)
So one of the things I usually bring up when I've explained mobility to people is, and why you have a different amount, even on host -based is if you decided to move somebody that's in the States to Ocra, Ghana, if you took and just Googled the average cost of a two bedroom apartment,

And then said, that's how much we're going to give you when we think about your, your pay, there's going to be a fundamental problem, you know, several weeks in, as well as when somebody moves somewhere new, do you give them a bonus or allowance for a year? I used to call it a step down, but basically how do you learn to live like a local? So somebody who moves to London, for example, you gross them up to live somewhere that they're going to be very American in this case. And then they get to pick and you force them down.

But at some point in time, you end up where you have a salary that's different. And so you and I are doing the same job. And how does that kind of square up with companies? And are they tackling that mobility because, you know, pay equity, for example, and transparency, you and I are doing the same job, but I'm paid significantly more because I'm foreign. Like, I don't know how's that going to square up?

Vicky Marsh (13:21.145)
Yeah, well, and I think the I probably should have caveated that most of our data from an equis perspective, our markets are very much North America and Europe, we have clients all over the world. But we have significantly more clients in North America and Europe. So I mean, that is the age old question of mobility, how do you manage that? And that's why we've seen such creativity in terms of how to pay people how to calculate what to pay people. But it is also why the host based approach is on the rise massively, as is the relocation, as in, you know, just going into a host location from a one way perspective. And then if and when you move back later, that's okay, but you're sort of cutting ties with that home that is also on the rise. And partly that is because people do talk and you know, you somehow have to get over that, that that difference in and I'd still say it's a total package because

That's why the compensation piece is quite typically squared away from the actual other benefits, the benefits that you get as a mobile employee. So trying to keep the compensation away from the things like the housing, which, you know, if an individual is moving and they've got a house back home that they're still paying for, that is mortgaged or whatever, they've still got that, they can't necessarily pay for housing in both locations. So therefore the company takes care of the housing in the host location.

And that is something that obviously a local employee doesn't get. But at the same time, if you're going to be mobile, you can't be paying too housing costs. So that is a huge benefit as is benefits like schooling or, you know, other high cost benefits. There's lots of additional benefits that go to people who are in the more wealthy industries, for example, that have a bit more money to spend, then there's lots of additional benefits but they're typically we've seen anyway, the trend is to move towards those service related benefits rather than giving people cash.

So yeah, how do you manage that conversation in the host location, you have to sort of be able to tell the story as to where you're coming from and the kind of costs you've got in both locations. And I think mobility has moved away from having that conversation be around the base compensation and trying to keep it as normal as possible. But

Vicky Marsh (15:45.497)
Obviously, there are exceptions. There are organisations that maybe need to incentivize their people to move. Maybe they're moving to harder locations or they have hardship allowances. That then gives the individual an extra incentive to move because they're actually being compensated for the fact that they're going somewhere that isn't that easy to live or they're doing a job that not everybody wants or it's not quite so desirable in the current market where they may not be very green, for example.

So there are definitely ways to get around it. But again, I think they try to, I've seen anyway, certainly very creative ways to try to keep compensation away from the peripheral benefits that let's face it, do give that individual a much better kind of quality of life if you like, but are not necessarily tied to their core compensation, if that makes sense.

Sean Luitjens (16:37.902)
So with all that in mind, how do you see the global mobility department aligning with compensation? I think the biggest mistake or whatever, when I moved from CompinVen into Mobility for a while, like all businesses at 30,000 feet, it looks pretty simple, right? It's like, I just got to move Vicky from one company to the other and figure out the difference. I mean, how hard can it possibly be? And then, yeah, yeah. And then you realize all the elements that go into it. And then the three-letter word tax comes in too, and all that stuff. So it gets complicated really, really fast, which is why I was surprised at how...

Vicky Marsh (17:02.969)
Yes.
Yeah.

Sean Luitjens (17:19.182)
Sometimes unlinked or how disparate they were from comp. And so how do you see over time the relationship between comp and global mobility and where global mobility sits, which I know we've talked about before too, maturing because comp is such a big piece of it that has to get tackled.

Vicky Marsh(17:30.073)
Yeah.
Yeah, I mean, yes, where global mobility sits is also a fun question. I mean, there are so many elements that feed into how the global mobility program for an organization develops. And again, I would say primarily business drivers, but those drivers can be a vast range of different drivers as well. So if it's a fairly new, less mature mobility department, they could be put literally anywhere. They could typically go into say HR ops, or somewhere that is very much more about take the individual, get them to the location as quickly as possible, and hopefully get them productive as quickly as possible, especially if it's a sort of expanding growing organization, going into new markets, etc.

But traditionally, if they've been around a long time and gone through multiple iterations and had a program that was sort of based on a heavy tax input, for example, they could be sitting under corporate tax, they could be sitting under very much more legislative, I've even seen organisations sitting in legal departments because they're about that cross border tax or legal employment law, etc. Emphasis, it depends on the sort of culture of the organisation, as well as the sort of maturity of the programme. Sometimes they bounce around between different departments as well. So, I mean,

As I said, I don't think mobility leads, and I'd love to hear from people if they don't agree, but mobility leads don't necessarily set compensation packages. So they typically used to take what the business told them they wanted to pay the individual. And now they spend a lot of time, mobility programs as I see it anyway, spend a lot of time trying to deal with being fair and applying policy without being, you know, too overly heavy-handed with the policy. And that actually in recent years has led to a lot of flexibility. Flexibility meaning they will go back to the compensation, the department that sets compensation on site, because it might not be called complements might call anything, but they'll go back and get sign off for a new proposal from the business, or potentially they'll go over to legal and get sign off for the move because of compliance reasons.

And again, it depends on those business drivers as to what that process looks like and just how much influence mobility has from those other departments, or they could actually be sitting in compensation. That does happen too. But yes, if they're not driving the actual package itself, it's about trying to influence that philosophy and make sure that whatever the company philosophy is to paying people, whether it's transparency and equity, etc., is applied on a consistent basis.

Sean Luitjens (20:28.302)
How do you see, I mean, it's interesting that comp piece. So I guess one, the comp allocation, right? Specifically when you're on a home -based package, how do you see the comp plan and comp allocation merit increase, whatever term you want to throw at it, getting handled, right? Who manages that? And then where do you see it going on the pay equity side? Because that's the piece I get fascinated by is, if you're on a home -based, what do you consider? Is that going to fall inside the transparency line?

Is that going to be part of if I move a Brit to the Netherlands? You know, are you going to be part of the UK, you know, EU mandate, you know, their mandate, or are you going to be part of the Dutch mandate? How does that, have you seen any movement on that? Because to be honest, I've been more focused on the EU mandate for kind of the pay equity transparency reporting.

Vicky Marsh (21:08.473)
That's a good question.

Yeah, absolutely. That's definitely it's changing shortly, isn't it? And, you know, we see so from an ECOS perspective, we're very much about the process. We're trying to facilitate the process. So what we typically see is home-based. If it's a home-based compensation approach, it's handled by the home and more 99% of the time, the individual goes through that home pay, pay review process.

It happens in the normal tools even in the HRS, etc. And then the new comp that comes out of that. And again, I think it's because so many mobility programs are trying to keep pay equitable. Even if it's pay in the home equitable to others in the home. You know, they used to run the old shadow payroll as well so that you sort of had not shadow payroll, which called it shadow salary, reference salary process so that you can keep your pay and that was to make sure that people were incentivized to return back to the original location.

So they typically go through that process in the home location in the same way as the home location, because we offer tools to sort of be able to do it in a different way if you want to. And typically it's done outside of the mobility process. They get the new numbers and then they put the numbers through the mobility package calculation, whatever that may be. So if it's home-based, it's and you know, what influences there from FX from Cola?

Is there an allowance of some sort that needs to change because that's, you know, being revisited from the market, etc. And then that calculation is used to then instruct the host payroll typically. And obviously host is the opposite way around. So once you're in that host market, pay scale approach, you should be again going through the host review pay review process.

Challenging because it depends on who the line manager is and how much of the line manager is the host location versus the home location. And again, it comes to the reason for why you're there in the first place. And that's why it's so complicated, because you've got two line managers typically trying to feed into the process, who's doing it first and communicating it to whom, who is the other location signing off, etc. Typically in a temporary situation and assignment situation, they are both involved. So it's... complex, let's say.

Sean Luitjens (23:49.71)
I was always surprised at how when they went on assignment, they kind of got almost pulled out of the home HRIS for lack of a better term and assignment. And so having been a couple of years out, I mean, how have you seen, I know technologies, you know, in the total reward space is, you know, jamming along and.

Vicky Marsh(23:59.417)
Yeah.

Sean Luitjens (24:11.118)
I've been on my soapbox basically telling companies to get greedy, right? So as a developer by trade, right? We can kind of do a lot of things to kind of put whatever process you need in place. But now you got to think about the process. How are you seeing the tech on the mobility side over the past couple of years start to escalate? And what is it affecting most in the mobility space?

Vicky Marsh (24:35.193)
Well, interesting because the from a tech, I mean, obviously we're a tech company, we're mobility tech company. So it's our whole world is underpinned by our technology and it's pretty advanced now. We've been going for 25 years. So we, we can pretty much handle anything into it. We've seen, seen it all as well over 25 years. But the interesting thing is it, it's very much linked to the HR, the local HR tech, which over the last sort of eight to 10 years has really all moved into the cloud.

Well, again, I'm kind of biased because I'm talking about Europe and North America. North America tends to lead when it comes to mobility, philosophies and approaches, and then it moves into Europe and then beyond Europe and into Asia, for example. So we're a little bit behind the US, but HRIS went into the cloud sort of over the last eight to 10 years.

And actually now we're starting to see the next round of people actually moving from one cloud, a TRI system to another cloud, a TRI system, which is, and it's the first time we've seen it really in the last couple of years. I think it probably would have come sooner if it hadn't been for COVID and that's what put things on hold for a while. But people are actually iterating their cloud -based ATR software now, which I think is really interesting. And, and we have akin to those organizations, those soft, those different software solutions.

They're still, like you said, my one of my first HR software projects was with PeopleSoft. PeopleSoft, you had to move the person, you had to close them down in the host location and open them up in the, sorry, in the home location and open up in the host location and get somebody behind the scenes to try and type the data in to create a new record with a new number, etc.

And to an extent, you'd be surprised how many people still do that, because potentially they set up the new cloud-based software on the basis of, well, we've always done it that way. So they did it again and didn't necessarily invite mobility to the technology table when designing how to implement the new HR software. Because mobility is a tiny slice of the population. So they don't necessarily see mobility as being too driving when it comes to the HR software.

Hopefully over the last few years, HR has become a bit more to the forefront there and actually can help design the, certainly the next iteration has to be helped a bit more global because HR software is still very local. It's still about getting the person's pay and benefits right in that location and then getting that instruction to that local payroll. It's still very difficult for HR software solutions to deal with multiple locations, split payroll, different effects rates, different ways of calculating different allowances. That is still very challenging for HR software. Good for us because we're still in business, but at the same time, it's very, it's still very localized. But as I say, I think that's like that next round iteration should hopefully help mobility design a little bit better.

Sean Luitjens (27:36.142)
Thank you.

And have you been pulling in more data and analytics for the mobility team? Because I mean, when you start talking it through, it's not just the comp. I mean, I forgot immigration, which is kind of along with tax and the businesses I don't ever want to work in, that space. The complexities there with FX and tax and everything else, have you been building pipes to other?

Vicky Marsh (28:00.473)
Yeah.

Sean Luitjens (28:09.262)
Partners, vendors, data sets to create analytics for them to do their job faster.

Vicky Marsh (28:12.281)
Yeah.

Yeah, yeah. And I think actually, on that point, too, it would be kind of remiss not to mention the whole core flex move, you know, the flexibility, the move towards flexibility and total rewards generally. And I'd say that's double in mobility, which is one of the reasons we've seen so many creative ways to pay and move people with benefits, etc. Because flexibility is a huge driver trend at the moment, you know, to make sure the employees getting in decent experience that's fit to their own situation. And

Sean Luitjens (28:48.174)
For those that are on, so CoreFlex basically, if you're thinking about moving somebody across, there's the core stuff. And so I used to have a very biased view on this, but there's certain things you want to create that are part of the core. And the core is like, it could be the moving, it could be things you don't want them to kind of choose. I'll put it that way to make sure it's immigration. You don't want them to do immigration on their own. You want to make sure that's right so they don't show up and then have to move back.

Vicky Marsh (29:05.345)
Yeah.

Sean Luitjens (29:12.366)
And then there's a pile of flexible items, which is kind of cool when you think about, you know, the way that I live and where I want to live and how I want to spend my money and move and what's important to me when I move somewhere is different than what Vicki might want when she goes somewhere. And so I hate the term cafeteria style, but it was very, it was for, but CoreFlex is kind of that I'm going to go back and pick and choose with the flexible amount of money. You know, how much stuff do I have or not want to bring? Do I want to buy new? You know, do I want to not have a

Vicky Marsh (29:29.369)
Yeah.

Sean Luitjens (29:40.398)
There's just stuff that you start adding up all these things. You think about moving to another country and it's for lack of a better term, a pot of money, even though it gets handled differently in the back, which is why there's tools like a pro out there to basically not give people a pot of money and deal with that piece, but they can pick and choose and do it. So that core flex is actually a really good example of all the tech that has to happen because you don't actually know whatever humans got to choose and what's important to them.

Vicky Marsh (29:41.689)
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, and of course, there's two elements to that too, because there's business core flex and then there's employee core flex. So the business might want to be flexible as to what they want to include in certain parts of the package, but the employee might have different ideas about what they want to do from a flexibility perspective. So yeah.

Sean Luitjens (30:22.126)
Have you seen the employees actually, have you seen the employees perspective or tolerance for not having an employee experience change over the past couple of years?

Vicky Marsh(30:31.513)
Definitely. Yeah, definitely. And the increase in flexibility is somewhat of a response to that. But it's about the employee experience. I would say if you asked any mobility program, and we did at our recent conference, asked everybody what their sort of number one driver was, and it would still be the employee experience. Partly is because mobility, moving someone, it's so difficult to make it easy. You can't you can't make it simple because there are so many different parties involved. I mean, you said, you know, part of that core benefit, you have to have immigration in place, you have to have tax and social security taken care of, the individual is going to have liabilities in both locations, the employee is going to have liabilities in both locations, at least for a period of time. And, you know, that has to be taken care of that sort of.

Sean Luitjens (31:19.598)
Define benefit, define contribution is kind of a mess.

Vicky Marsh(31:23.289)
If you talk about pensions and then yeah, there's complexity there if you try and move people out of their pension setup, especially if they've been in that setup for a really long time, as certain senior people have, etc. Yeah, it's definitely complex there. But yeah, the Corflex piece adds more, I'd say emphasis on technology, but...

In some ways, it's the employee experience is definitely on the rise. It's how to give them the right, the right package, the right sort of level of benefit and the right types of benefits. I call them benefits, but they're typically services to help them and their families move without it being overly burdensome on the company, obviously. But also trying to make that as simple as possible for them.

Transparency perspective, some companies really want to show the individual how much it's costing the company. And some companies want to say, no, they don't need to see that. They just need to have an experience that's right for them and not worry about how much the cost is. So we'll just give them the visibility of the service that they get, and they can choose which service, et cetera.

Sean Luitjens (32:36.654)
Well, humans are humans. It's interesting because, you know, if you're moving somebody with kids to the same location that somebody's coming from that doesn't have kids, you know, you're not usually jokingly, you're not usually moving the people who aren't smart in your company, right? You're usually moving high potential, high impact individuals. It's super expensive. I mean, it used to be a home base, you know, three times, four times as much, you know, even on a host base where you move. And I think people would be surprised at all these costs taxed on

Vicky Marsh (32:52.537)
Right. Yep.

Sean Luitjens (33:06.608)
alone, especially for Americans, who are the worst double tax. But basically, the cost that is involved. So they're high potential intelligent people who.

Vicky Marsh(33:09.581)
yeah.

Sean Luitjens (33:17.134)
Would realize that, hey, I moved over here and I got the same package except I don't get schooling and why does the other person get schooling and that costs money? Can I have access to that? Which is a core flex. It's a super cool space. I mean, to be honest, I took the job, I don't know if he'll listen or not, but I took the job in mobility.

Vicky Marsh (33:26.297)
Yeah.

Sean Luitjens (33:39.214)
To kind of not as a fake, it's kind of like, I'll do it and how hard can it be? And then you realize like, holy shit, this is really complicated. I mean, you really do. It's a really complicated business and you're moving people, it's still in human resources. So the human and human resources, I mean, you're talking about moving people and potentially families over and the success. I mean, it seems obvious, but all the stats or the surveys I've seen, like if they're not happy, it's just bad.

Vicky Marsh(33:45.721)
Yes.

Sean Luitjens (34:07.598)
You know, nothing good comes from an unhappy employee and they're really unhappy in another country. So with all that in mind, and it's so crazy complicated, if you could automagically, which is a highly technical term, of course, automagically solve one issue, what would that be?

Vicky Marsh (34:54.521)
Yeah. Well, I mean, one issue is really hard to narrow down to one issue. I think from my history in mobility, I have to give you at least two. I'd say for the things that I can't control, I would say my automatically problem to solve would be...

getting legislation to keep up with the advancement of the technology. Legislation is frustrating in that we have this, we have wonderful advancements in AI and amazing tools that can pull data from anywhere and consolidate it, et cetera. And a lot of the time we just can't use it because there's so many roadblocks within organizations to actually getting the ticks in the right boxes to be able to use AI.

And it's not just AI. It's GDPR. It's data privacy. There are cool tools to be able to take notes and consolidate information from meetings like this and be able to send you your actions and your points that you maybe even check your facts against the lovely internet and say, is this really true in 100 % of the cases or whatever it might be?

But we're really slow to adopt them because of data privacy issues and legislation. So my automatically tick box would definitely be get legislation to keep up with the advancement of technology, for sure.

Sean Luitjens (36:37.998)
I mean, that's a really interesting one to kind of end on because as we deal with pay equity in other places with legislative issues in each individual country, we can bifurcate those off and deal with them at some level. Like, you know, if a company is in 14 countries, it's 14 problems that we have to look at a high level, but you've got humans crossing over in multiple jurisdictions and, you know, HQ to multiple locations. Now you have to deal with all that legislation crossover and those have to align and we all know there even the EU transparency law is not aligning per country. It's a guideline for each country so that's a really good I had not thought of that.

Vicki (37:08.025)
Yeah. No. Yeah. It's been on my mind for a while for sure, that one. We'd love to just be able to use the great tools that we have, right? But yeah, it's another layer of complexity for sure. And I'd say...

Sean Luitjens (37:32.942)
This is awesome. Like, this is great. So for people out there, Equus, E -E -Q -U -U -S. So is, we will put up Vicky's contact information. Equus has, like I said, been around for a while, so you can find them there out. And if you type Google global mobility, you will be surprised at how much stuff is out there.

in the global mobility industry. It's complex and super interesting. So I thank you so much for coming on and sharing a little bit and giving us insight, giving folks insight into the global mobility space.

Vicky Marsh (37:58.361)
Appreciate it. Yeah, you're welcome. It's been great. Thanks, Sean.

Sean Luitjens (38:09.742)
Thanks.


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