Hiring a new national employee can be considered a relatively normal process. A company in Helsinki, for instance, may attract staff from Turku, Oulu or any other region in Finland. Many corporations based in Düsseldorf, say, normally feel able to persuade personnel to relocate from Munich, Hamburg or elsewhere too.
Applicants have grown up possessing countrywide habits, behaviours and expectations. Hiring an expat is everything but routine for most companies. Topics arise which make the process more challenging as well as causing a drain on valuable HR resources.
That employees attracted from abroad have little to no knowledge of how society functions. Human resources are some of the busiest areas in the company. Levels of workload from legislative adjustments, payroll activities, planning, negotiations and budgets can be moving targets for the whole HR department.
The level of engagement beyond the search for international talent involved in a relocation is normally way beyond the norm for nationals. Global competition often results in packages beyond salaries. It is an expat marketplace. Too many vacancies with too few applicants. Real, everyday issues need to be solved.
- In which neighbourhood should I live?
- How well des public transport function?
- The best way to find my new home?
- What school system is good for my child?
- How comprehensive is the health care system?
- What career options does my partner have?
As experience shows, some companies engage a dedicated relocation agent. Others fall into the trap of paying the expat a substantial sum. Once that money is theirs, some are reluctant to spend such large amounts, so they decide to muddle through themselves.
Beyond the big picture already painted, seemingly simple, yet tangible requirements need to be solved. Yes, these acts would be perfectly simple at home but not in a new and unknown environment.
- How do I open a bank account from abroad?
- Where do I acquire my utilities?
- How does recycling function?
- What is the name of a local pharmacy?
- Which insurance policies are considered necessary?
- Where can an English speaking dentist be found?
- Is there and English language church?
- Are there English language sports groups?
- Do libraries stock English books?
- How do I approach the topic of tips?
The list is truly endless. Insecurities and doubts occur not only following relocation. At times international residents are at a loss for answer even years later. Thus, when insights and facts become relevant, the path to empowerment is through knowledge.
Financial & Efficiency Concerns
Many employers of expats have similar experiences. Not only is the productivity of employees affected if life does not run smoothly. A high rate of early departures is inefficient and financially concerning. Sketchy research reveals similar truths.
Family members’ inability to adjust to a foreign assignment has been identified as one of the most critical causes of expatriate failure . – Haslberger A., Brewster C. 2008. The expatriate family: an international perspective. J. Manag. Psychol. 23 324–346.
It is well known in expat circles that many assignments fail because spouses or the kids are unhappy. According to AXA’s own “World of Work” report 54% of HR directors at multi-national companies say that staff terminating international assignments early did so due to family concerns. – Lucille Abendanon on AXA Global Healthcare.
Amazing Capitals location guides present a powerful portfolio of articles and posts designed and written specifically to inform, support and empower expats in their new location. All aspects concerning The Location and Things To Do are covered on the online resources as are the multifaceted themes of Expat Life. Clean, clear presentations guide give answers, guide to other sources or recommend other solutions.
The provision of such information is not normally the task of HR. Otherwise, a small percentage of staff would require an impacting number of hours spent on research and care for them. Companies and cities have already outsourced in several locations. This is an ideal option you too can choose.
By Vincent Green, Sep 28 2021
A most important initial question expats ask concerns the location's environment. This is well before committing to relocate. Absent on most location websites, it is a key theme revealed in the "Urban Feel" article. A wide range of topics such as street art and architecture in "City Topics" fill the void of most city websites.
Expat location guides in each city post the mayor's welcome to expats. Effects are threefold. International residents are acknowledged for their decision to relocate. It sends a motivational message to municipal employees to serve them well. A powerful signal is also spread among companies and locals. Such as in beautiful Valencia, Spain.
Original language films disappear quickly from screens in non-English speaking countries. International residents are often movies lovers so cinemas and listings are very popular. One example of a variety of relevant sources for expat entertainment featured on every location guide.