Charting new waters
Maneesh Sharma, CEO of Raffles International Relocation, says as exciting as a new change may be, it is also often accompanied by anxiety. This comes not only from the point of view of an employee moving abroad, but also with regard to the people involved in the relocation process, especially HR.
“The anxiety can very easily be transformed into the excitement of relocating with proper planning, due diligence and most importantly, by using a reliable relocation company,” Sharma says.
In fact, Sharma says there are a plethora of issues for HR to take into account when relocating employees for overseas assignments.
One example, he says, is the visa and statuary requirements for each destination country.
“They vary from market to market,” he explains.
HR must also keep in mind the ease of doing business versus the cost of doing business, and it is crucial to manage and maintain the balance between the two.
Other aspects Sharma identifies include the safety and insurance of employees and their respective families, medical and schooling requirements, and infrastructure, labour laws and meritocracy-related considerations. In addition, HR should aim to have employees settled in quickly so they can become productive as soon as possible.
“Most of these can be managed effectively by partnering with a relocation company that has a presence via a strong network in the country where the employee is relocating to,” he elaborates.
“Keeping all the above in mind, there is little doubt that emerging markets provide a strong opportunity to relocate senior management or top talent. Companies can significantly benefit from relocating their employees to other countries to create new business resources and benefit from the direct investment being allocated to these markets and drive regional growth.”
Understanding emerging markets
According to the Talent Mobility 2020, The next generation of international assignments report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, “the growing importance of emerging markets will create a significant shift in mobility patterns, as skilled employees from emerging markets increasingly operate across their home continents and beyond, creating greater diversity in the global talent pool.”
But what exactly are emerging markets?
“Emerging markets are primarily the set of countries that have some characteristics of developed markets such as the US, but do not fully meet the standards to be a developed market,” says Sharma.
“According to many reports, India and China are among the fastest-growing markets within this cluster. The other fast-growing markets are Brazil, Russia, South Korea, Mexico, Indonesia, and Turkey.”
From Sharma’s perspective, the majority of mobility issues pertaining to employees relocating to emerging markets revolve around three main issues: immigration, settling-in, and then moving to a business-as-usual environment.
“These vary dramatically from one emerging market to the other and are the end-result of the labour laws, political and economic stability, diversity, meritocracy, educational system and set up costs in each market,” he explains.
Sharma says Raffles Relocation offers a single window, and is a one-stop service provider for global mobility and relocation services, including in the emerging markets.
“Our services include: relocation (both sea freight and air freight), destination services, orientation services, settling-in services and immigration and visa assistance for the employees relocating to these countries,” he adds.
Challenges encountered in managing mobility programmes
Are you tracking your international assignments?
In EY’s 2015 Global Mobility Effectiveness Survey, respondents were asked a range of questions regarding the tracking of international assignments.
What is being tracked?
Source: EY’s 2015 Global Mobility Effectiveness Survey
According to the KPMG Global Assignment Policies and Practices Survey 2015:
Which statement best describes your organisation’s approach to assessing a potential assignee’s suitability for international assignment?
Which of the following best describes your organisation’s approach to establishing goals for international assignments?