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How To Attract International Talent With Relocation Packages


Hanna Asmussen is the CEO & Co-Founder of Localyze, a global mobility platform for companies and employees.

The past few years have introduced a range of challenges to recruitment: combine a pandemic with a tech skills shortage, Brexit, and excessive burnout leading to the Great Resignation, and we’re all left with many talent gaps to fill. Many companies have turned to the global talent pool to fill those gaps. There’s no shortage there; in fact, 3 in 5 workers are willing to relocate for work, even during the pandemic. It’s clear: the global mobility industry shows no signs of slowing down.

There are many ways to attract international talent, and I’ve found that one of the most effective is to offer a comprehensive relocation package. In the war for talent, they’re crucial. If you’re new to recruiting globally and wondering where to start with designing relocation packages, keep these four things in mind:

1. What is a relocation package?

Moving house is consistently ranked as one of the most stressful life events and remains up there with starting a new job. If your organization offers a relocation package, you’re mitigating two major hassles and setting a firm foundation to retain your most talented candidates.

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An employee relocation package is a benefit that companies use to help their employees move from one location to another, whether domestically or internationally. When relocating a domestic employee, perks would usually include help with moving expenses and flights and providing temporary housing where necessary. For international relocations, the list of support needs is typically much longer and includes visa and paperwork assistance, support for families, language classes and help with cultural integration. Doing whatever you can to allow a smooth transition is paramount. This is especially true for ex-pats, who are at greater risk of mental illness due to culture shock.

Without the external stressors and burdens associated with relocation, your new employee is free to settle into their new job and perform to the best of their ability.

2. Which relocation packages are best for employees?

There are many ways an organization can structure relocation packages for employees, and each company will do it differently. The main difference is how the benefits are received, whether through lump sum plans, whereby an employee receives a cash payout to use at their discretion, reimbursements, or through more comprehensive schemes where you control how that money is spent. When recruiting globally, the latter is preferred. To provide the best possible relocation experience for talent, I recommend the following two models:

• Core-Flex Model: Employees are given core benefits in their relocation packages with a group of optional benefits. This ensures the relocation package is customized to the candidate’s needs and helps them feel valued and invested in the process.

• Tiered: This is similar to a core-flex model in that not all benefits apply to everyone, but there is more structure, which helps control relocation costs. Typically, high- and low-tiered packages are built around the employee’s position, from entry level up to C-suite.

3. What questions should you ask designing a relocation package?

To provide the best possible relocation experience that is evidently well-thought-out and consistent, you should ask yourself a range of questions. Some of them include:

How often do you plan to relocate employees internationally? The answer to this question will determine what type of model you will use. For example, if you’re infrequently hiring internationally, then the core-flex model is best as you can customize the benefits according to your employee. However, if your company is scaling and hiring across all levels of seniority, a more standardized approach such as the tiered model is likely a better choice.

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What benefits should be included? At the very least, companies should offer assistance with visas and sponsorship (if needed) and immigration paperwork and appointments. To make your offer even more attractive, consider: financial support (moving costs, transportation); housing support; support for families; and language classes and cultural integration. The more comprehensive the package, the more attractive it will be to the best global talent.

What’s the competition offering? Do some market research and find out what the industry standard is. This will ensure your offer remains competitive.

How will the benefits be administered? While many companies choose to assist with relocation in-house through their HR departments, when relocating internationally, it’s probably best to work with an experienced relocation partner who possesses a deep knowledge of the culture and requirements of the destination country. Not only does this relieve your company of an enormous burden, but it also provides a smooth candidate experience.

4. How can you ensure the long-term success of relocation as a benefit?

Designing and implementing a relocation package isn’t a one-and-done affair. An employee feels the effects of relocation long after settling into their new job. That’s why it’s imperative that you ask for feedback from every candidate you help relocate. Find out what went well, which elements were most helpful and where there’s room for improvement.

To ensure that offering relocation packages is undoubtedly a benefit, measure their performance. Ask questions about how your time-to-hire and invitation acceptance rates have improved, cost efficiency, employee turnover, the impact of relocation on key initiatives, and if possible, A/B test different packages to see if some are more successful than others.

Understand the bottom line.

While designing and implementing recruitment packages can seem like a significant ordeal on the surface, they’re a worthwhile investment when it comes to staying competitive in a global recruitment market.

Once you’ve understood the needs of your international candidates, designed your package and partnered with the right organizations, you’re ready to help international employees experience a smooth landing. By prioritizing the creation of a comprehensive relocation package, you can attract and recruit the most talented candidates, establish goodwill and show the level of care and consideration your company has for its employees. And in return, you have a loyal and engaged employee dedicated to the long-term success of your company.

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