That’s before you face those tricky questions from finance.
If you’re just beginning to wonder whether outsourcing is for you, you won’t have reached that step yet. Which is good. Because, before you do you need to know if it’s the right answer.
Five signs to outsource your global mobility programme
In this piece, we look at five signs that point towards outsourcing, and give you some tips to help you get started.
1. You spent how much?
For teams that manage employee relocation alongside a broad mix of other HR responsibilities, your employees likely won’t know or understand all the risks and issues linked to international relocation. The time spent learning about and executing this risk-laden process will come at a cost to the business.
The risks of making those mistakes can amount to more than just cost. At the very least, a foot wrong will take time (and money) to correct mistakes and care for the worries of concerned employees.
One thing you must learn is that the value of different benefits changes from person to person and place to place. Some benefits cost more and have less positive impact on the employee, while less expensive benefits can have a much greater effect on the employee’s wellbeing.
It’s that kind of detail that makes the difference between a successful onboarding or a relocation that’s doomed from the start.
If you find that you don’t have all the answers amid spiralling, intransparent costs, it’s a good first sign that outsourcing might be for you.
2. Risky business
We touched on risk above, but let’s be honest, global mobility is laden with the stuff.
We’ve recently seen what happens when global sea freight and logistics are disrupted. There are costs, of course, but the lives of your international employees are badly affected. At a time when they need as much stability as possible.
Unhappy, unsettled people are a risk to your business. Not getting off to the best start leads to disgruntled employees, upping the risk that the assignment will fail. Which is going to cost you, by the way.
Global immigration rules and regulations change often. Tax and social security differ from place to place, as does legal compliance with pay and benefits.
These risks carry consequences that go way beyond cost. If you’re not up to speed with them, it’s a sign that you should talk to somebody who is.
3. It’s complicated
From global customs rules and evolving immigration requirements to social security legislation, global mobility rules and regulations are complicated enough, even when they aren’t constantly changing.
A poorly trained team can turn a dream move and an exciting, lucrative international project into an expensive nightmare for the employee and the employer.
If you don’t have the knowledge – or the time – to keep up with this complex, shifting industry, perhaps you could do with some expert help.
4. Local knowledge. Global reach?
You’ve done your online search. You sought recommendations from your professional network. And you think you’ve found the right local partners for shipping, home search and immigration.
It’s a complicated task, it takes time, and there are always going to be some big compromises. Then, even once your partners are in place, managing them will feel like a job in itself.
So many different service providers, each with a different way of working and a different platform to work with. Inputting the same information on lots of systems will quickly become a bore for everyone. And let’s face it, there are some partners who seem to resist “systems” altogether.
If you find yourself dreaming of a relocation solution that helps you reach all your global locations, with a single partner you can trust (who only asks for each bit of information once), that’s a good sign you’re ready to outsource.
5. They’re people
As an organisation, you have a duty of care to your international employees. As a person, you’re naturally concerned for the health and wellbeing of each employee and their family.
Relocating is one of the most intrusive HR processes. From pay to family circumstances to hobbies and interests, wants and needs, you share a lot of information throughout a move (it helps if you only have to share everything once).
Getting it right for your employees pays huge dividends. Getting it wrong and delivering a poor employee experience can jeopardise not just the success of the assignment but also the employee’s impression of you as an employer.
Nobody wants that… and it can be avoided.
How to outsource your Global Mobility Programme
Before you ask for buy-in from the leadership team, here’s a few simple points to guide you in the right direction:
- Shop around – do a side-by-side analysis of several options, not just on the strength of their technical offering but also the cultural fit for you and your organisation.
- Take the time to plan and implement properly – time spent up front in getting this right will pay dividends in the long run. A good provider will guide you through this process step by step, asking the right questions at the right time to ensure everyone is set up for success.
- Consider the strength of their global network – many providers will tell you they can do anything, anywhere, anytime – and maybe that’s the case. But do they have the people in the places you need them to be, for when those unexpected problems arise? As they so often do.
- Lastly, and perhaps most importantly – find a company that’s willing to go the extra mile and invest their own time and effort in understanding your organisational priorities and culture. It sounds obvious but it isn’t always the case. The service provider that seeks to put themselves in your shoes will undoubtedly perform better, act as an extension of your own team and contribute to your ultimate success.
If you’re thinking of outsourcing and would value an impartial chat on how to make the most of your global mobility programme, contact AGS Relocation for a chat with no-strings-attached. We’re here to help – wherever you are.