A brief guide to employee relocation

For better or worse, the global economy is here to stay and companies must think beyond national borders when assigning their best employees to available positions. Some managers are wary of employee relocation due to perceived complications, even if most of the risk associated with international assignment can be mitigated with smart planning and professional execution.

High-level expertise is difficult to acquire and needs to be used effectively and rationally. For companies with cross-border presence, this sometimes necessitates international assignment of top experts to address pressing needs in foreign representative offices. This practice can be very useful, but there are multiple challenges associated with employee relocation, especially when sending workers into a different culture far away from home. It’s about time that companies adopt a more flexible mindset and start approaching their HR activities with a more global outlook.

This short guide can provide some pointers and perhaps motivate business people to think about international relocation as a part of the modern business arsenal of smart weapons:

Adopting employee mobility as a core policy

There are several good reasons to embrace employee mobility as a fundamental staffing principle and manage the workforce independently of geographies. First of all, this allows companies to centralize the process and always have the right person on the right job, which can make a huge difference on high-value projects. Sending long-time employees to recently established branch offices is a great way to set up a knowledge transfer infrastructure and export corporate values across borders. Finally, a stint in a foreign country could be an attractive option for younger employees and up-and-coming managers looking for a chance to shine. This can deepen their bond with the company and motivate them to stay under the same umbrella while exploring the international scene.

Controlling the cost of international assignment

If the process is handled the right way, international assignment might ultimately end up saving money for the company. Recruitment in a foreign market can get tricky and often leads to high turnover, so it’s much safer to rely on familiar people, at least for key positions. To maximise the financial impact of the decision to send employees to a foreign-based office, it’s important to exercise tight control of the associated expenses (i.e. travel, accommodations, equipment…), which can be a challenge when entering an unfamiliar market. This is why many corporations rely on specialised global mobility companies to guide them through this phase and help them keep a straight accounting bill.

Employee relocation is easy when you work with Brunel

If you are inexperienced with employee relocation we would advise to work with a relocation specialist. Brunel works with businesses from around the world for more than 40 years, and there is nothing that could surprise us when it comes to international deployment of workers. We have people on the ground in almost all developed markets, facilitating us access to local information and the latest trends. Our tips can help you avoid the pitfalls of a foreign market and allow you to operate on the same level as local competitors, while we can make the transition to a new city far less intimidating for any worker who is changing locations.  At Brunel we offer customisable, digital and flexible mobility services to ensure the smoothest transition possible. From individually budgeted spending to full and extensive global mobility programs, Brunel offers the right solutions and supports you and your people every step of the way.


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