Mercer is seen by many as the premier human resources consultancy, and is therefore one of the first ports of call for those looking for expertise related to the financial implications of global mobility programs. Their data and expertise span all aspects of regional and international relocations, and they provide a comprehensive data-based solution to calculate assignee salaries and allowances. With such a comprehensive solution, many small and medium-sized organisations may find that Mercer’s offering is too complex and costly for their needs, making some of the important data they require out of reach.
Mercer’s methodology leverages a global network of researchers which study each city included their cost of living reports to ensure quality data. Additionally, only specific vendors are surveyed to ensure that only ‘international quality’ goods and services are included. As a result, some companies may find that Mercer’s allowance calculations are higher than other data providers, and may not reflect the ‘real’ local prices.
It is also important to note that Mercer employs the multinational approach to cost of living and salary calculations, which assumes that all expatriates will spend the same amount of money in the host location, regardless of their home country or lifestyle. Some organisations, especially ones looking to provide more cost-effective relocations, may find that this method of calculation results in higher cost of living values, which do not scale well for lower-level employees.
Mercer is one of the most established providers of relocation-focused data and compensation calculations, but they’re not the only players in the space. Other businesses offer the same or similar services, and may actually be a better fit for your organisation. This week, Global Mobility Insider looks through three of the best alternatives to Mercer.
AIRINC’s compensation calculations cover over 400 locations across the globe, meaning that their solution will work for most businesses conducting international relocations. In addition to their large database of tax rates, AIRINC’s market basket for global cost of living includes more than 300 items, making it the most comprehensive currently available in the industry.
Data on income tax, social security rates, and cost of living indexes are usually provided within a table format, giving estimated values for different living and earning situations. The downside to this delivery format is that the tables will have to updated on a regular basis to ensure that the data you use for your calculations is accurate; this can potentially end up being a costly repeated expense.
ReloTalent currently covers 356 cities in 42 countries as part of their suite of cost of living and compensation calculators. What makes their data more powerful than some of their competitors is that they leverage their existing network of service providers to qualify and contribute to their data where possible, meaning that you always have access to the best data for your organisation.
A big plus when it comes to ReloTalent is that their compensation calculators are provided as part of their complete global mobility management software platform. With the price of unlimited calculations bundled in with the rest of their tools for vendor and assignment management, ReloTalent has a strong proposition, especially for those looking for a more cost-effective solution.
ECA International’s compensation calculation tools are provided within their data subscription service, which allows subscribers to explore different data options and find the information and tools that work for them. Their salary calculation tool currently overs 482 locations across the globe, meaning that you will most likely be able to find coverage where you need it.
As part of the service, ECA International also allow you to access and download more detailed information about the origin of the data used in their tools, including prices, exchange rates, cost changes and weighting to better help you understand their calculations. They also offer a downloadable summary of how the indexes have changed over the course of your whole subscription.
Why ECA International?