I reviewed an interesting White Paper report earlier this week which talked about the author’s perceived “paradigm shifts” and “future trends” in Global Relocation.

Let’s consider them in turn.  These are my personal opinions and then I’d be interested in yours which please send to me in confidence.  I’ll give you the opportunity to do that after my brief opinions.  I always find your feedback enormously valuable – so thank you in advance.

Controlling Costs By Aligning Assistance With Needs:

 At Saunders 1865 we’ve been advocating this approach for more than 25 years.  It never made sense to me to offer assistance that was not needed.

I remember one extreme case of getting this wrong, where a senior executive actually purchased a vacation home in Europe because his Employer’s relocation policy provided home sale assistance for both his primary home AND his secondary home.  So we were required by the client to provide home sale assistance for both homes in Continental Europe when he was relocated to North America!

Clearly a sensible approach involves, as a first step, establishing the relocation needs of the family and then make a decision on the assistance to be offered based on what the Employer is prepared to pay.

More Lump Sum Payments:

I’ve never been a fan of these!  The author described them aptly in this way: “Give them some money and hope they do the right thing with it!”

Would you take that approach when you want an employee to take an important training programme?

Investing in good relocation support is a sound investment for the Employer – and that’s especially so in the case of a high level international relocation where there’s an overarching business need for the Assignee to hit the ground running.

Control Costs By Squeezing Providers:

Taken to its ultimate conclusion, this is a monumentally bad idea!  A famous business leader (so famous I can’t remember their name!) said many years ago, “the worst thing you can do is not pay someone enough!”.

But this is the way the relocation industry is going largely fuelled by the monster relocation management companies who farm jobs out to small providers around the globe.  By chipping away at their providers fees, they maximize their own margins – and they claim that this tough treatment of their subcontractors reduces the ultimate cost to the Employer!

I am yet to see any evidential support for this claim in practice, but there may be some truth in it.  The problem is, as suppliers are required to cut costs to the bone, so service to Assignees must suffer.

At the end of the day, I think the author of the report envisioned all Assignees being given an IPhone Manage Your Own Relocation type app to enable the whole process with minimal human intervention.

But all my experience tells me that it’s the highly personal, tailored aspects of relocation assistance that make Assignees feel most valued by their Employers – especially senior Assignees.

Relocation Becoming More Of A Part-time Function for HR:

Yes, we’ve been seeing this trend too, with HR relying more on us to track every component of their global relocations so they can focus on functions that are more important to their lines of business.

This runs entirely counter to the squeezing providers issue.  This means you need higher quality services because you’re relying more & more heavily on the provider – and I’m referring to the LOCAL service provider not the global relocation hub which appear to be evolving into call centres.

VIP Relocation Services Are The Exception:

Agreed and we are seeing more & more enlightened Employers reaching out to find a higher quality service to support their most senior global relocations and top tier new hires.

The author of the report argues that these cases require “experienced relocation consultants” who deliver “tailored assistance”.

But I would argue that ALL cases deserve such support.  For the lower level relocations certainly the EXTENT of support services will be less, but I still think they should expect to be looked after by experienced relocation professionals who can provide high quality support. 

I’d love to get your opinions on these points. Please use the box below to share your input and then press the SEND DIRECT TO TONY button and your private message will be delivered to me in confidence.

If you’d prefer to speak to me, please just say so in the same box so we can set up a conference call.

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Contact us for a free initial consultation about your specific situation.
    UK +44 20 7590 2700
    Saunders 1865