Topics For HR to Discuss With Upper Management Before a Relocation

By Nim.mersion, TIRA member, Sweden

If you are new to Global Mobility, here are some things you will want to discuss with your upper management so that their intended global mobility plan runs smoothly.

Compliance: Upper management usually just wants to get things done. You, as an HR Manager, will need to be concerned with compliance. Here are a few questions you need to ask:

  1. What are the immigration laws for the relocation country?
  2. What are the work visa restrictions that need to be considered?
  3. What is the length of stay for your employee?
  4. What is the project timeline for the relocation?
    TIP: Encourage reasonable timelines even when business needs are pressing.

Time for planning an assignment: Upper management is business driven and often has only a vague idea of what it actually entails to deploy talent in a new location. You cannot get foreign talent in place for longer-term assignments in just a few weeks. It doesn’t work anywhere.

Location: Where will your team stay when they are living abroad? If this is just a short-term affair — a couple of weeks for a training session with a team of ready workers — then a hotel will work. However, if your team members are going to be staying for months or years, they need to have housing that is affordable to them. The housing can be tricky and the salary offered needs to take into consideration the housing costs of your host country.

Education: If your team is bringing their families for longer periods of time, then HR needs to know where their transfer’s children can go to school. If there are no English/German/ French speaking educational facilities in your new country, where will the children be schooled? You also want to be sure that the curriculum is in keeping with your transfers beliefs and worldview. If not, the relocation may not be successful.

Cultural Readiness: Are you choosing people who will be able to assimilate to the new country’s cultural climate easily? Are they flexible, social, and open-minded people who are willing to have patience with the process?

Civics: HR needs to know how foreign nationals are treated and what life is going to be like in the host country. Management, HR, and the team going over there should be concerned with how expats will fit into this host society and how can the team be active members in it. Be able to suggest groups that will help your transfers make friends and contribute to their local community.

Day-to-Day Schedule: Something else that no one ever really considers is the day-to-day things. Where will your team members live versus where they work? How will they get around? Will they be able to drive? What are the customs of those activities? Are they within walking distance of the job site? Where do they get groceries? Where do they go for other services? These are all things that need to be known ahead of time so that proper housing and school decisions can be made. All of this may also influence salary considerations.

Leisure: Finally there is the necessity of leisure. Does this new country offer enough leisure activities to keep your future expats happy? Make sure they know what they are getting into for variety and core free time offerings.

Plan B; what happens if your talent pulls out at a late stage in the recruitment process? What do you do if the transfer is delayed due to immigration problems in the host country? What do you do if you are transferring a family offseason from a school term perspective and have to pay for housing both at home and in the host destination? Will that completely ruin the budget for important future projects? What will you do with the inevitable unforeseen costs? You always want to think through your options.

How do you handle exceptions? Anyone that has had a steering document or policy document to work with is well aware of the exception management policy that also needs to be in place. When do you allow someone to bring pets, cars, sailboats or their grandmother and when do you say no? When is a higher housing budget or a special needs school covered and when isn’t it? Who has the final say in regards to exceptions?

If you are planning on sending employees to Sweden, you can learn loads of useful information from our Guide to Bringing Foreign Talent to Sweden.

This article was originally published here.

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More about NIM.MERSION

NIM.MERSION was founded with an entrepreneur’s enthusiasm, the creativity of a problem-solver, and with one goal: to alleviate the logistical and compliance conundrums for companies that maintain international offices and workforces.

The goal of providing a Smooth Arrival, an Easy Living, and a Swift Departure for relocating talent was born.

Our ability to hear our clients and work with their needs in a tailor-made fashion took our bold ambitions to new heights. Today, our vision is to be a corporate immigration and relocation service trailblazer that opens the path for our clients to unchartered territories at home and abroad.
Our four core values permeate everything we do, down to the last email. They are integral to our operations, they define us as an employer and they determine our service delivery trajectory. They are: Quality, Passion, Innovation and Structure.

Website: https://www.nimmersion.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NIMMERSIONAB
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/newcomer%27s-relocation/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/newcomersrelocationsweden

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More about TIRA
TIRA is an aligned network of quality mobility service providers. The network provides access to leading mobility experts from around the world that provide local solutions to global challenges. Network members exchange best practices and share this value with the industry through benchmarking exercises.

Website: www.tiranetwork.org
Twitter: @TIRAORG
LinkedIn: The International Relocation Associates (TIRA)
Facebook: The International Relocation Associates (TIRA)

Expat Insight – Relocation and Pregnancy

by

Finland Relocation Services, TIRA Member, Finland

Varun and Divya Galande moved to Finland in the spring of 2017. Their relocation was unique and intriguing because Divya was pregnant at the time. Despite the additional considerations for the new baby during the move, the family has settled into Finland well and offers a unique perspective to the relocation experience.

“It’s a good life here in general. Initially, I thought that we shouldn’t have moved, but over time, we got used to the climate and the culture. And things are getting better now. It’s quite nice. The support that FRS provided was really helpful. Life here is totally different compared to Dubai: the temperature, the language and everything related to the pregnancy. We didn’t know what to do! FRS was a great help; the moving and everything related was seamless!”

The Galande family has been going through a lot of big changes in a short amount of time but feel that Finland is a very good place to deal with them. “I missed home terribly because nobody I knew was here, and I didn’t know anything about the system for the child health care or city of Helsinki. But the reception was really good. Even if I had a silly question, it was handled well. There was always someone who spoke good English” Divya says.

“I think the work-life balance is supposed to be better here. However, the company is getting a lot of business which is keeping us busy. Of course, it’s good for the company as we’re growing so fast” Varun adds. “Basically, I want to finish my work day quickly and get back to my family. One good thing is that we live very close to my office. And the new subway is quite convenient” he continues.

Language, often considered as a major barrier, hasn’t dampened their spirits either. “Almost everyone here speaks English, so it’s helpful. Unfortunately, nobody in our building speaks English. Nevertheless, they are lovely people; they try to talk to you, but the problem is that I don’t understand Finnish and they don’t understand English! But we still try to communicate with each other, and they are always smiling making the interactions pleasant. Overall the people are very nice. Whatever help we needed we got. Whatever questions we had were addressed. In that way it’s quite nice. I haven’t seen this kind of hospitality in other parts of the world” Varun says.

One of the challenges the Galandes have been facing is social life. With the baby being born and work taking up a lot of their time, they haven’t had the opportunity to make local connections. “The social life has been challenging. We didn’t do much in the beginning because we were preparing for my son to be born, which can be a long process. My mother and father came here when he was born, then my in-laws came as well. So maybe now we can start growing our community back to what we’re used to. Divya wanted to be a part of a community and a nurse helped her by telling about these communities for new mothers”.

Despite this, their positive attitude shines through. “The next phase is to really mingle with the society, but that hasn’t been done yet. We will need to do it soon. We also want to learn the language, so maybe we will start some Finnish classes. I know a little Finnish, but only I can understand myself” Varun laughs.

Cultural differences in childcare are important factors for parents in a new country to understand, and it is therefore good to have a trusted person who can explain some of the peculiarities.

“It’s totally different to raise a child here. In India the child must be kept warm, 30 or so degrees, and here it’s nothing at all like that. They told me ‘It’s fine, you can put him out on the balcony in winter!’ and I was like ‘Are you really sure!?’. Also, in India after the baby has been delivered, a lady comes and gives the baby and the mother massages for a few months; it’s part of a thousand-year-old tradition. Here it’s not at all like that” Divya laughs.

“Maybe that’s why we have a huge population – all the nice related services!” Varun jokes.

“Here we follow the Finnish customs and lifestyle with the baby, because it seems like the right thing to do in Finland. Lots of time outside even when it’s cold and such. If everyone’s babies are fine after going outside, so will ours” Divya says and smiles at the baby, who looks at us with his large eyes, knowing that the adults are talking about him.

Finland has made a big positive impact on the Galandes, enough so that they are planning on staying here for the long term. “The number one thing about Finland is definitely the nature; there’s so much of it regardless of where you live. Second is that it’s so close to other parts of Europe that travelling is easy. The third thing is safety; Finland is really safe. The taxes are different than in Dubai and India, but you also get a lot more for them. Also, the tax expenditures are closer to the people” Varun says. Divya focuses more on the baby. “I would love to raise our child here. I’ve seen many documentaries and witnessed it myself. They take good care of the children and the kids are actually happy. It’s like children are meant to just live and grow up. In many other parts of the world there’s so much pressure on the kids, you have to study and learn this and that.”

This article was originally published here.

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More about Finland Relocation Services

Finland Relocation Services is a thoroughbred professional in international mobility. As the Finnish representative of TIRA (The International Relocation Association) and a full member of EuRA (European Relocation Association) we are continuously cooperating with the other members of our networks.

 It is through these strategic partnerships that large international corporations recognize FRS as the leading relocation services company in Finland and today we are proud to operate as the local representative of the world’s leading international relocation management companies.

Website: https://finlandrelocation.com/en/
LinkedInFinland Relocation Services
YouTube: Finland Relocation Services

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More about TIRA
TIRA is an aligned network of quality mobility service providers. The network provides access to leading mobility experts from around the world that provide local solutions to global challenges. Network members exchange best practices and share this value with the industry through benchmarking exercises.

Website: www.tiranetwork.org
Twitter: @TIRAORG
LinkedIn: The International Relocation Associates (TIRA)
Facebook: The International Relocation Associates (TIRA)

How to avoid the pitfalls of renting under a trial period in France

by Home Conseil Relocation, TIRA member, France

 

Finding an accommodation in France is not easy, especially in Paris and its suburb with an extremely tense real estate.

Employees under a trial period face the issue all the more so if the owner has decided to subscribe to a ”GLI – Garantie de Loyers Impayés” (an insurance on unpaid rent).

In France and especially in Paris, more and more landlords/lessors opt for this insurance. For a monthly fee equal to 3% to 6% of the monthly rent, the GLI protects property owners against the risk of unpaid or overdue rent. Many real estate agencies negotiate group rates and resell this insurance to their own customers, which make them the main decision-maker.

To measure the risk of unpaid/overdue rent, strict criteria are defined and they are not negotiable. Among those, the future tenant should have a net salary of 3 times the amount of the rent (including rental charges) and be under a confirmed permanent contract.

Consequently, any employee under a trial period is not a suitable candidate and files of applicants under a trial period are automatically rejected.

This leads to a high number of inaccessible properties to foreign or newly hired employees and although we screen the properties that will be presented to you, the presence of a GLI is not always advertised or even known by the person putting the property on the market.

When no GLI is subscribed to on a property, the following options can facilitate the situation:

The physical guarantor: To counterbalance the trial period a physical guarantor is the go-to solution. The guarantor must be based in France and have French income corresponding to a minimum of 3 times the rent concerned. Therefore, it is often difficult for a foreign employee to have a physical guarantor.

The bank guarantee: A bank guarantee (equivalent to 3 months up to 1 year worth of rents, depending on the lessors/landlords’ instructions) is another solution. This option is quite expensive because it leads to a high amount of money frozen on a bank account as well as additional banking fees and account maintenance fees to be paid by the tenant.

The Visale guarantee: The Garantie Visale is a free of charge governmental service that offers to be the guarantor when renters have no French physical guarantor. This guarantee is subject to conditional access. Unfortunately, few agencies and landlords agree to use this guarantee so far as it is still quite novel.

The inverted GLI: Very recently, private insurance brokers created the GLI inverse or inverted GLI. The tenant pays between 3 and 6% per month of his rent to a private insurance company, which guarantees the loss of rent for the owner. This option is quite expensive for the tenant and is not well known nor widely accepted by the lessors as it is quite new as well.

This article was originally published here.

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More about Home Conseil Relocation

Based in Lyon, France’s second largest city in terms of economic vibrancy, Home Conseil Relocation serves the relocation needs of businesses throughout France and especially in Paris, with a team of qualified consultants.

Website: www.home-conseil.com
Twitter: Home Conseil

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More about TIRA
TIRA is an aligned network of quality mobility service providers. The network provides access to leading mobility experts from around the world that provide local solutions to global challenges. Network members exchange best practices and share this value with the industry through benchmarking exercises.

Website: www.tiranetwork.org
Twitter: @TIRAORG
LinkedIn: The International Relocation Associates (TIRA)
Facebook: The International Relocation Associates (TIRA)

Digital Transformation in Human Resources

By 

International Consultants Centre, TIRA Member, Australia

Digital technologies are changing the way we live and work. More than ever, organisations are benefiting from technology to streamline processes, reduce risks and improve customer satisfaction.

For HR, this means incorporating greater automation and data into our processes, and ultimately finding new ways to work as we transition towards a digital culture. HR should be leading the digital transformation of organisations, by using technology to not only deliver solutions, but to experiment and innovate. Yet, as we all know from experience, it’s not always so straightforward.

Transforming digitally is not just about purchasing the latest app and expecting it to revolutionise the way you work. It’s about making well-thought and strategic decisions that are part of an on-going and adaptive process, one which is understood and supported by those working on the front line.

Here are a few tips for you to consider as you take on digital transformation:

1. Understand your objective.

Do you have a clear purpose for the tool? Or a specific issue you want to resolve? If you don’t understand the need for the change, you might end up complicating processes rather than simplifying them.

2. Generate organization-wide support.

If you want to shift the culture of the organisation to be more digitally minded, you’ll need everyone on board, especially the C-Suite. By using a core project team to champion the digital transformation, you can generate the stakeholder support essential to turning a new tool into a new way of working.

3. Keep it simple.

Don’t over complicate it. Consult employees and leadership to identify priorities, then pick one and keep it simple. Once you’ve mastered minor transformation, you can move onto something more complex.

4. Communicate.

You’ll need plenty of communication to ensure that the transformation sticks (and isn’t thrown in the trash with the last ‘good idea’ someone had). Between IT, the C-Suite and the end users of your digital tool, you’ll need to communicate timelines, potential disruptions and who to go to when issues arise.

5. Consider it a journey.

Digital transformation is a journey that requires continuous monitoring. Digital challenges change over time and so do the people addressing them, so make sure to provide regular training and support for employees, as well as making constant improvements to technologies where necessary. Don’t forget to evaluate the results to make sure that the product or app is still accomplishing what it set out to achieve.

This article was originally published here.

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More about International Consultants Centre
International Consultants Centre is a privately owned human resources outsourcing company, specialising in end-to-end global mobility solutions. Established in 1988, International Consultants Centre has an experienced team of dedicated, specialist consultants working to provide high quality service solutions to Australian and multinational corporations. International Consultants Centre is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia with consultants based in all Australian capital cities. Our team of experienced specialists provide Destination Services, Intercultural Training and Coaching, Immigration Services and Mobility Consulting Services. International Consultants Centre has a long standing global network of reputable partners and affiliates, we offer a truly global service.

Website: https://internationalconsultantscentre.com/

Facebook: International Consultants Centre
LinkedIn: International Consultants Centre

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More about TIRA
TIRA is an aligned network of quality mobility service providers. The network provides access to leading mobility experts from around the world that provide local solutions to global challenges. Network members exchange best practices and share this value with the industry through benchmarking exercises.

Website: www.tiranetwork.org
Twitter: @TIRAORG
LinkedIn: The International Relocation Associates (TIRA)
Facebook: The International Relocation Associates (TIRA)

The Quirks of Shopping as an Expat

By Leeza Erfesoglou, Marketing Associate

Cultural Awareness International, TIRA Member, USA

Suddenly, on your way home, you remember that you need some cashew milk, eggs, poppy seed bagels, and your favorite locally brewed IPA. You swing by your neighborhood store, grab a basket, head to your designated aisles, and check yourself out in under 10 minutes. Easy, simple, done. Now imagine you recently moved abroad to Germany.

Supermarket Challenges Shopping carts that need a coin deposit to use them.

You head to a shop that’s down the block from your new flat, you try to grab a cart, but you need a coin to “rent the shopping cart,” you try to ask the person at the register, but you do not speak the language. Finally, someone offers to break a bill into some coins, you head off, through a baffle gate, drift your way through the aisles, where things are vaguely familiar yet completely different. The brands you know and love are nowhere to be found. You stare for minutes at each label, perplexed, trying to decipher what’s truly inside.

The metric system is challenging you in ways that would make your high school math teacher feel ashamed, so you reach for your phone but, alas, no reception within the confines of this underground grocery store. You wander over to the dairy section and see the eggs stacked on non-refrigerated shelves. You open the egg carton to find feathers still on them. As you meander to the bread section, the infinite choices overwhelm you. No luck on the poppy seed bagels but there is an unbelievable amount of rye, pumpernickel, whole grain, three seed, sunflower seed, farm bread, sourdough, and five seed bread to name a few.

Eventually, you decide on one. It slides out as an entire loaf, you see a slicing machine to the right but choose not to use it, afraid you might lose a finger in the process. After a staggering 55 minutes, you head to the checkout. As the cashier scans your items, you calculate how many bags you will need at 10 cents a piece. Finally, she stops ringing and utters a price. Frantically you glance at the register and hand your credit card over, after a few embarrassing moments that seem endless, two shoppers back chime in that no credit cards are allowed, only cash or bank cards. Fortunately, you have enough money to pay for your items. You hastily pile the groceries back into the cart and push it over to the bagging table where you commence to bag and pack your fares amongst your fellow shoppers. You walk over to return your cart, take the deposit back, sigh, and hurry back to the comfort of your new home.

Although it is easy to feel dejected over such an occurrence, don’t. Moving abroad is not easy.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, We Are Here to Help

In our blog from last week, we talked about the hurdles many expat parents face when choosing a school for their children. This week, we wanted to look at a more lighthearted issue but equally unnerving feat: grocery shopping abroad. From dietary practices such as veganism or vegetarianism to gluten-free and allergy concerns, kosher, halal, or simply craving a staple treat from home, eating as an expat is both an exploration of cuisine and character. Of course, in our interconnected world, specialty shops and online stores catering to expats have popped up. Even though major urban centers share certain commonalities, this does not negate the initial trepidation one feels when creating a new life abroad.

With CAI tailored Destination Services-Area and Orientation Tours- we provide individuals and families alike an in-depth exploration into their new city and neighborhood to ensure a smooth transition abroad. Our local experts are an excellent source of guidance to ensure this new chapter is a positive one.

This article was originally published here.

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More about Cultural Awareness International, Inc.
Cultural Awareness International, Inc. ( CAI ) has close to three decades of remarkable history working with HR and Business Leaders to create unique, personalized solutions that develop their employee talent to perform skillfully in the global marketplace. A woman and minority, privately owned and operated company, we holistically address organizational needs for global competency development, diversity and inclusion training, intercultural communication and global leadership with flexibility and innovation. Additionally, we provide comprehensive destination services that assist both assignees and their families in relocating to a new home and settling into their new community. Our experience collaborating with global companies across all industries and scope gives us invaluable insight to anticipate and address our clients’ needs. Our solutions target not only the needs of globally mobile individuals and their families but also that of teams and senior leadership. CAI’s expertise, creativity, and agility deliver the best sustainable solutions to hone and enhance the skills of your globally mobile talent.

Website: https://culturalawareness.com
Twitter: @CulturalAdvice
LinkedIn: Cultural Awareness International, Inc.

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More about TIRA
TIRA is an aligned network of quality mobility service providers. The network provides access to leading mobility experts from around the world that provide local solutions to global challenges. Network members exchange best practices and share this value with the industry through benchmarking exercises.

Website: www.tiranetwork.org
Twitter: @TIRAORG
LinkedIn: The International Relocation Associates (TIRA)
Facebook: The International Relocation Associates (TIRA)