More and more companies are expanding their operations abroad in order to take advantage of emerging consumer markets and foreign resources, which dramatically increases the need for employees to relocate abroad.
By using relocation service providers such as Expat US, the employee’s relocation is handled by professionals and is ensured to go smoothly, which can facilitate the employee’s decision to relocate. Assignees are taken care of from the beginning to the very end of the relocation process and all their needs are met in order for them to transition as smoothly as possible into their new life.
In general, a great deal of junior employees in companies are eager to move abroad for professional reasons, as they see it as a great way to further their careers and have less personal commitments in their home country. However, unfortunately for companies, most of the time more experienced workers would be a better fit in overseas operations and these employees are often less willing to uproot their lives and move abroad.
Human resources department therefore face the challenge of motivating the ideal candidates to accept an international assignment.
According to a survey conducted by IPSOS and BDO, there are 5 incentives that companies can take to incite employees to accept an international assignment are:
- 45% would like to receive relocation & repatriation assistance as well as the guarantee that once the assignment is over they will be able to return to their former position in their home country.
- 43% would like their company to provide a round trip airfare so that they may return home to visit family at least once a year.
- 43% would like for their company to send them (expenses paid) to the selected country before they are asked to make a decision about relocating there.
- 42% would appreciate it if their company paid for language training when necessary.
- 42% stated that assistance with immigration issues for their spouses so that they could obtain employment would be appreciated.
There are some incentives that can be brought up when pitching an international assignment to an employee which can ensure that they will truly consider the proposal.
The following elements can help employees take the leap and accept an international assignment.
Reassure employee about career development opportunities
The number one fear of employees relocating is that it will have a negative effect on their position in the company. For example reassuring employees that they will be able to return to their current position once the international assignment is finished will reduce the risks they feel faced with.
By making international assignments into an important part of an employee’s career development plan can mean that the relocation is viewed as a promotion or the path to a future promotion.
Send employees on shorter term assignments
Typically international assignments run for 34 months, however this is a long time for employees to be away from their home countries. By offering shorter term assignments, which last less than a year, the employee’s reluctance to relocate can be reduced.
Increase commuter policies
Nowadays about 20% of employers use “commuter policies” which is a large increase compared to the 8% of employers using them in 2002. These policies allow international assignees to fly back and forth between their host country and their home country as much as possible, which can be a major motivating factor for employees.
Broaden the definition of “family”
Over the last 12 years the number of expatriate family policies, allowing same sex partners, or non-married partners to qualify, has almost tripled, increasing from 17% to 49% (KPMG survey).
This means that the resource “pool of potential assignees” has expanded.
English speaking countries appeal more to employees than non-English speaking countries
The desire to be assigned to English speaking countries is considerably stronger than for other countries. This can mean having to offer greater incentives and support for individuals going to non-English speaking countries in order to increase the attractiveness.
With years of experience relocating employees, Expat US knows the important factors to take into account and the KSF (Key Success Factor) for expatriates.