International relocation is here to stay. Companies opt to relocate employees to gain competitive advantages, like expanding foreign markets, training employees on international trade, and improve relationships with foreign clients, and share technical and managerial expertise. But these benefits can quickly be undone if costly employee relocations fail. Initially, your employees may be excited to take on the adventure of moving overseas for work, but the realities of the situation are often very different from the rose-colored expectations they begin with.
Many companies still are not preparing their transferees to relocate to their new cities, which can result in wasted time and resources for both you and your transferees. That’s why there’s a relocation trend that we at ARIANNE believe should really take off: companies conducting a pre-decision assessment. A Pre-decision assessment involves gathering information about the personal, professional, and financial realities of the move, then conveying these to your prospective transferee before he or she accepts the offer. Doing this will narrow the gap between how much you and your employees think a move will cost, and how much it actually will, which will lead to better decisions.
The idea here is to think of the needs and costs that are specific to each potential transferee’s situation. But to start, there are some general information that all pre-decision assessments should cover:
- A preliminary quote that shows moving expenses, which can help your company and employee determine whether or not the move is feasible financially.
- An evaluation of your transferee’s personality, career aspirations and leadership characteristics. You can ask your employee to answer questions about these topics honestly and thoughtfully. Understanding your prospective transferees disposition and goals is essential to evaluating the likelihood of a successful move.
- A comparison between the cost of living (housing, food, utilities, transportation, etc.) in your employees current city and the new city. This will help your company and your employee decide whether or not it is affordable for him/her to live in the new location.
- City/country profiles that outline the culture, lifestyles and resources of the new location. If your employee has information about the new location, he or she will be able to make a more informed decision about whether or not it’s a good fit.
- Healthcare availability
Aside from these matters of assessment, each potential relocation will include a unique set of needs and challenges. Your pre-decision assessment could include, among other topics:
- If your transferee owns a home, research the valuation of the home, and get an expert’s assessment about whether or not the house will be easy to sell, or lose significant value upon sale.
- If your transferee is interested in owning a home in the new location, assess the likelihood that he or she will qualify for a mortgage there.
- Family issues:
- If a spouse or partner will be moving, too, what kind of opportunities will be available to him or her? How likely is it that this person’s career will be het by the move? What is the job market like, and are there special licensing requirements?
- If there are children involved in the move, assess the schools and daycare situation of the new location. Look into the quality of education at the new location, and education options.
- Special needs of your transferee of family members. What kind of support is available for those with children with special needs, elder care needs?
Think of conducting a pre-decision assessment as a kind of insurance that will help you and your employee make the bet decisions before you invest valuable time, money, and energy in a relocation. Don’t hesitate to get support from an expert relocation company, that can help gather all this information easily and efficiently, and provide you with valuable resources and tools.
Remember, ARIANNE offers city specific online Relocation Guides, packed with vital information on housing, schooling, health care and much more, to help transferees and their families make a smooth, successful transition to their new home. If you need more personalized assistance, you can also consider making an appointment for a personal Tele Consultation with one of our Relocation Specialists.