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The Subtle Art of Teaching Relocation.

  • By Expat
  • August 3, 2016


When it comes to a relocation assignment there are so many factors involved that at first it can seem overwhelming for you and your company. You might think that doing the relocation in house is the best option, and that’s fine. It is entirely possible for you and your company to dive straight into the world of relocation and come out the other end unscathed (albeit with a lighter wallet).  Who knows, over a period time and a few more international/national relocations you might just learn some of the tricks needed to cut costs where you can. Relocation companies and firms have an in-depth insight into the world of relocation and like any other business they want to show you and companies like yours that they are the most important asset that you can have when planning a move for an employee. In truth this isn’t always the case, relocation is like most things a learned skill for a company or HR department. Once proper frameworks are in place and there are procedures that can be followed relocation can become much more manageable for companies to do in house when future assignments arise. In some ways it doesn’t make sense to hire a company to do the relocation logistic for you if you and your organisation aren’t learning anything from the experience. What does make sense is to understand the nuances of the relocation and mobility in general so you can reduce the costs that your company incurs.

Catch a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish…

This classic proverb rings true in business. Relocation consultancies are one of the most cost effective ways that a company or an organisation can not only relocate their employees but further down the track avoid fees involved in outsourcing your assignment. So the question becomes: What are the things that you should look for in a relocation consultancy? Well, believe it or not we have the answer. One of the core principles of relocation is creating and implementing the correct policies that will best benefit not only the company but the employee as well. Some of the things to think about and look out for when looking into policy around relocation are:

  1. Visas and Work permits: Sending an employee to a new destination isn’t as simple as putting them on a plane and wishing them the best. No, many occupations need working permits and the appropriate visa type to accompany them on their journey.
  2. Pre-assignment Preparation: This is one of the more important and detailed policies that should be incorporated into a relocation framework for your HR department. Included in the pre-assignment preparation there should be a concentrated effort to provide as much comprehensive knowledge about their destination. This may include orientation, banking information, driving licence, shopping, entertainment, information to local conditions and culture.
  3. Health and Medical insurance: There needs to be not only an adequate understanding of what health insurance is available in whichever country or state the employee is traveling to but also how best to insure your assignee (and potentially their family) as soon as possible in case of emergencies.

When considering a consultancy to teach you the ropes what you need to think about is your budgetary means. Who out there can give the most bang for your buck. This is something that is parroted again and again, who is cheapest? Well that’s not really the question that should be asked. It’s more about who can provide the most cost effective budget for a relocation assignment. If there is one thing that is for certain in relocation it’s that each assignment is different, with different challenges and hurdles. What relocation companies are good at is pre-empting and understanding the fluid nature of assignments. It is because of this that relocation companies have an understanding of the budgetary requirements for a move. A relocation consultancy will be able to set a number of guide lines for relocation assignments that will cater to a variety of variations so you are not caught out by unwanted costs.

Lastly a company seeking to incorporate relocation policy and procedures into their company should consider a consultancy that offers support after the fact. A lot of the time after a consultancy has run its course and the training wheels are off there are still comes issues in the proper implementation of these new policies and proper procedures. A good relocation consultancy will understand that it can take a while to get a hold of the ins and outs of doing relocation assignments in house. For this reason look for a company that will remain as an advisor after the consultancy has been completed.

Of course Expat International not only provides visa and immigration assistance as well as a being company for outsourcing relocation assignments, but we also function as a relocation and mobility consultancy. If you would like to know more about the services we provide please follow the link below to find out our contact details.