Pre-pandemic, labor costs were always a primary consideration for our clients, but availability of quality talent typically outweighed the cost factors. Since the onset of the pandemic, we’re seeing a rebalancing of these priorities, where companies are increasingly cost-conscious, thus putting more of an equal priority on both factors. This has led many clients to look at more emerging U.S. markets and international locations (particularly Canada) to find greater cost savings.
As cost savings become more important to many of our clients, they’re looking beyond just labor cost savings to better understand the tax impacts and incentives opportunities in new geographies. We’re being asked to understand the impacts that HQ relocations may have on tax burdens in a way that wasn’t happening just one year ago.
Finally, particularly for our clients in the tech industry, “quality of life” and “quality of place” are rising up in the hierarchy of factors we’re evaluating as part of a location strategy. While they’re not as highly weighted as talent availability and cost, they are seen as an indicator of whether the new location will be a match with the company’s existing corporate culture and values. It’s also seen as an opportunity to understand the attractiveness of the potential new location for the voluntary relocation of existing employees who will be a critical driver of the initial success of a new office location.