There were several key industry announcements this week in the global mobility and HR tech world. From a new expat cost of living survey, Google VC funding launch, HR tech trends and an op-ed on internet connectivity, we have many exciting updates to share. See below for more information on some of our top picks for this week's industry news roundup.
Mercer announces their 2014 cost of living survey for expatriates--Luanda, Angola; N'Djamena, Chad and Hong Kong made the top of this year’s list. Covering 211 cities across five continents, this comprehensive survey measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each region, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment.
These rankings are also a reflection of world events such as economic or political trends that affect currency fluctuations and goods and services prices. Other top cities include, Zurich, Switzerland; Singapore; Geneva, Switzerland and Tokyo, Japan.
According to Ed Hannibal, Partner and Global Leader for Mercer’s Mobility practice, “While multinationals continue to recognize the importance of having a global workforce and corporate assignments remain prevalent, they must be able to monitor and balance the cost of their expatriate programs. Employers need to evaluate the impact of currency fluctuations, inflation, and political instability when sending employees on overseas assignments while ensuring they retain talented employees by offering competitive compensation packages.”
Google Venture launches $100 million VC fund to support European tech startup expansion, with the operation based out of London. This endeavor promotes opportunities to spur innovative technology and creates a strong bridge between Silicon Valley and Europe, especially London. The announcement also follows after Santander UK announced plans to set up a new $100 million London-based venture capital fund, created to invest in financial tech startups.
In their blog post, Google Venture Managing Partner, Bill Maris stated, “We believe Europe’s startup scene has enormous potential.” Following Europe’s growing tech culture, Maris added, "We’ve seen compelling new companies emerge from places like London, Paris, Berlin, the Nordic region and beyond — SoundCloud, Spotify, Supercell and many others."
A new survey from Information Services Group found that improving the employee user experience is the top benefit that business buyers expect when investing in new HR technology and delivery models. In addition, this survey concluded that companies are eager for new SaaS-based HR tech and plan to implement new HR tech within the next two years, which is a significant increase from last year’s findings.
"As the 'war for talent' heats up, CEOs recognize that their employees -- especially 'Millennials' -- expect their interactions with HR departments to be as easy and engaging as shopping on Amazon," said Debora Card, partner, ISG HR/Benefits Practice. "Finding and retaining the right employees is also a top concern, and managers are looking to HR technology to provide analytics to help them make better employee decisions."
Facebook CEO and founder, Mark Zuckerberg wrote an insightful opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal on the power of internet connectivity and using the internet as a tool for social good. He shares his vision of a globally connect online community that promotes creativity and inventions that will significantly improve our lives.
Zuckerberg wrote, "Today, only a little more than one-third of the world is connected—about 2.7 billion people. It's easy to take the Internet for granted and assume most people will soon have the access and opportunity we have, but that just isn't the case. Connecting everyone is one of the fundamental challenges of our generation."