There are many reasons why you might choose to move an employee from one location to another.
Perhaps you need their unique skill set and knowledge to help start up a subsidiary in a new country? Or maybe there’s a higher position available in another office? Equally, you may have found the perfect candidate for the role, but there’s just one thing standing between them and the start date: their current location.
If you want to succeed on your global expansion journey, you need the right talent in the right locations. Skilful recruitment can make a massive difference here, but sometimes it may be necessary to relocate both new and current employees.
Then there are times when an employee might ask to be relocated to move along with their partner or accommodate a desire to live in a new location.
No matter the reason for the move, employee relocation is the process of creating a smooth transition into the new location.
The pros and cons
Sometimes referred to as ‘global mobility’, having an effective employee relocation plan or programme in place allows organisations to source (and retain!) some of the best candidates around the world and increase the talent pool available to them.
When done well, a successful employee relocation can provide great incentives to the worker and improve their performance and productivity. However, relocating can be highly stressful for employees and a daunting task for you as the employer. And if you don’t manage the process carefully, it could seriously impact your bottom line and ability to retain that employee.
Relocation is fraught with risk, and organisations often mistake an employee’s willingness to relocate for a high level of commitment to the company. But this isn’t always the case. Adaptable workers who find themselves in a new location may suddenly have a wealth of other opportunities that could potentially lure them away from your business. And if the move has gone badly, you can bet they’ll jump on the first exciting opportunity they get.
Relocating employees can also be incredibly costly and come with a number of compliance hurdles, such as local employment standards and regulations. So, it’s essential to think about the implications for your business and how to make the move as seamless as possible.
Costs are, naturally, a major implication of relocating employees. But these costs are about more than just paying for a roof over someone’s head. Multiple other considerations also need to be taken into account when moving an employee, such as paying for a moving truck, plane tickets, hotels and other travel-related expenses.
However, there’s also more to relocation than hard costs and financial assistance. Many corporate relocation policies will include helping employees acquire the proper work permits/visas, securing short or long-term housing solutions, organising removal companies (particularly if the worker is relocating overseas) and finding suitable schools.
Additional support will also be needed once the employee has physically moved to their new location to help them acclimatise. From learning a new language and navigating a new city (or country!) to adapting to the cultural nuances and making friends, there are quite a few challenges for your employees to tackle while also settling into new work responsibilities.
The fewer obstacles the employee has to face during the relocation process, the quicker they can begin contributing to and excelling at their role in the new location. So, it’s essential to ensure you allocate enough resources to fully support your employees during this transition period.
It’s also important to note that employees who move for personal reasons may place a higher value on emotional support throughout the move. In contrast, workers that are moving because you require them to do so will want financial assistance and expect the relocation to be paid for entirely.
Thanks to globalisation, you need to have a relocation process that adheres to best practices and legal requirements if you want to attract the best talent these days.
Retaining key personnel and maintaining a positive and productive workforce throughout the process should always be the number one priority. But on top of this and the cost and logistical implications, you’re also guaranteed to encounter a few compliance risks along the way.
Relocating employees can be highly complicated without the help of an expert, and there’s an entire industry dedicated to relocating staff from one market to another. Working with a Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) can help you to mitigate the associated risks, secure cost savings and ensure a seamless transition — for you and the employee.
Looking for a partner to assist with your global mobility and expansion goals? Contact the team at PEO Worldwide today to learn more about our international employment services.