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Sept 29, 2023
Unlock the Full Potential of Global Mobility: Benefits of Partnering with Service Providers
Global mobility service providers are increasingly important in mobilising and supporting a global workforce. Businesses with multinational operations must move or recruit people quickly across borders, leveraging the right talent in the right place at the right time. However, relocating and hiring employees in new locations can take a lot of work.
Outsourced global mobility services smooth the transition for cross-border employees, helping businesses navigate employment law, immigration compliance, payroll, taxes, employee benefits and more.
Businesses that support their employees and human resources (HR) departments with global mobility services make cross-border transitions quicker, easier, and more likely to succeed – making working with global mobility service providers an easy choice.
In this blog, we explore the key benefits of working with global mobility services providers and why it makes sense to partner with experts when mobilising your global workforce.
Why Businesses Should Consider External Partnerships for Their Global Mobility Strategies
Creating an environment where HR can easily hire from or deploy anywhere gives companies access to more talent, increased competitiveness, and a more agile, ready-for-anything company culture.
But HR mustn’t become bogged down by fiddly, international compliance tasks. Global mobility service providers can free HR personnel from administrative burdens so they can spend more time energising and listening to their global workforce. They can also save the organisation money.
Complexity of Global Mobility
International assignments and relocations are complex because each move is unique and may involve adapting to diverse rules on immigration, tax, or business entity set-up.
The nature of the assignment can be one factor. A business may need to hire in a specific territory or relocate an employee for the short or long term. Employees engaging differently with the workplace following the ‘Great Resignation’ may also request a temporary or permanent relocation because it suits their lifestyle. In theory, a globally mobilised workforce is a win-win for everyone.
Another factor is the specific location and period of ‘in-country’ working, which can impact compliance with local rules. Moving employees into new places like pieces on a chessboard can quickly become complex due to local rules on immigration, tax, and business entities. Service providers can alleviate these issues, freeing HR to concentrate on creating a company culture that supports global mobility.
The Rising Need for Specialised Help
While HR plays a pivotal role in overcoming international relocation and recruitment obstacles, it shouldn’t be down to the HR department alone to guarantee success. Similarly, busy HR departments can’t be expected to stay up-to-date with changing regulations in up to 170 countries.
Collaborative global mobility strategies, informed by HR and talent acquisition objectives and supported by expert providers, create robust, agile frameworks from which global enterprises are more likely to grow.
However, not every organisation has a global mobility strategy in place, even though it is widely acknowledged that talent acquisition is one of the main benefits of global mobility. In a recent EY survey, most (88%) HR professionals said their businesses consider global mobility to address global talent shortages. Still, less than half (47%) of companies have a consistent mobility policy.
Companies that recognise the need for specialised help and partner with a mobility services provider are better positioned to act fast in increasing employee demand for flexible and agile working. The time to introduce specialist strategic support is now.
Key Benefits of Partnering with Global Mobility Service Providers
When discussing relocation benefits, employee advantages often come to mind first. The glamour of international travel, the thrill of experiencing a new city, total immersion in a new culture for a limited period; the list goes on. However, the benefits are numerous for employers and employees when partnering with a global mobility service provider.
The cost of international relocation is not insignificant, and charges can quickly mount when navigating unfamiliar territory. Global mobility service providers optimise and reduce costs, using their expert knowledge of local markets to:
Eliminate Unnecessary Steps
By streamlining the relocation process, advising on appropriate compliance tasks and reducing the need to brief multiple specialist vendors.
Mitigate the risk of Avoidable Penalties
By ensuring compliance with local laws and regulations.
Support Employee Integration
Giving 24/7 access to global mobility advisers reduces the likelihood of unforeseen costs.
2. Operational Efficiency
Speed to market can be a key competitive advantage in new territories. A good global mobility strategy service provider will help you to deploy or employ people faster in a specific location. They’ll also do this without distracting you from your main day-to-day tasks.
Challenges may also crop up for newly relocated employees. Having an outsourced team to provide resources and answer queries can alleviate the burden on HR. Employee well-being is also crucial in a relocation; helping employees adapt to their surroundings makes them more likely to thrive and less likely to return home before the assignment ends, removing the need to find new people to fulfil the work.
3. Expert Guidance and Compliance
Supporting an employee’s move to a different country takes more than being there for outreach. The strategic role of global mobility providers incorporates expert guidance and compliance advice for employers and employees, too. An international move can be stressful and exciting for an employee, but it will run smoothly if led by experts in the destination country’s compliance and legal frameworks. Expert guidance and compliance advice covers:
Businesses and individuals need to be aware of any differences in international law that could impact their employment contracts. Global mobility service providers experienced in navigating and communicating the intricacies of legal frameworks in multiple countries help businesses to operate legally.
Depending on their deployment, some employees move frequently and want to do this easily. Understanding local immigration laws and regional visa and work permit regulations ensures compliance.
Unforeseen taxation issues can leave employees and their businesses financially disadvantaged. Compliance with tax laws in the employee’s home and foreign country of work prevents avoidable penalties and potential reputational damage.
Employees expect to be paid accurately and on time without disrupting their usual pay schedule. Compliant payroll methods are essential, accounting for the employee’s home country and work destination.
Employers want to reassure employees they will not suffer from losing benefits or spending power if they move abroad. Experts can advise on local intricacies regarding employee benefits and insurance.
Building processes that cover guidance and compliance makes it simpler to consider proactively managing talent acquisition through global mobility initiatives. Why wait for talent to come when you can build your acquisition goals into your strategy?
Questions to Ask Before Partnering
What can a global mobility partner bring to the table that your HR team can’t cover themselves? The answer, of course, should be ‘plenty’. At a minimum, you should expect relief from the administrative complexities of seeking, developing, relocating, and retaining talent in the global workplace.
What Services Do They Offer?
In an interview with Relocate Global, Cameron Senior, Head of Distribution, HSBC Expat, said, “One of the greatest obstacles for international assignees can be uncertainty”. Employees must adapt to an international secondment, but the more agile an employer can be to change, the better. There will be obstacles, and they need to be met head-on. To ensure a global mobility provider is up to the task, companies should ask:
- Will your platform keep me compliant in all areas?
- Will you manage every step of my global expansion journey?
- Will I be able to trade and employ in my chosen jurisdiction easily?
- Can I access up-to-date support, resources, and data on my destination country?
- Do you cover guidance on everything (from tax rules to opening a bank account)?
- Will you continue to support employees for the lifetime of the relocation?
- How many countries do you cover?
- Do you have specialists in each country?
- How many years of experience do you have?
- How many individuals have you helped to relocate, and for which companies?
How Experienced Are They?
Before teaming up with a global mobility provider, it’s essential to check out their track record and expertise. Suppliers with decades of experience covering hundreds of countries are more likely to bring the value required to make an international relocation or employment programme successful. Covering tax laws, visas, immigration issues and compliance, an experienced provider will be meticulous in their approach to mobilisation.
Real-world Examples: Successful Partnerships in Action
When SNC–Lavalin – Saudi, a renowned engineering and construction firm, aimed to establish a subsidiary in the UK to expand its international operations and capitalise on the European market’s potential, Centuro Global was on hand to help. Navigating regulatory differences can be tricky, and SNC-Lanvin personnel needed to ensure they understood the requirements of the European market, including registration, tax laws, labour laws and data protection standards.
Centuro Global and the SNC-Lanvin executive team collaborated on expansion objectives. Centuro Global conducted extensive market research, identifying key sectors and potential clients in the UK construction industry.
Thanks to Centuro Global’s strategic insights, SNC-Lanvin’s UK subsidiary setup was accomplished ahead of schedule and saved on initial project expenses. The company secured significant contracts and solidified its position as a global player in the engineering and construction sector.
Conclusion: Transform Your Global Mobility Strategy
An advanced global mobility strategy will lead to greater access to talent, increased competitiveness, and faster and improved employee experience. However, the success of projects lies in a company’s ability to help international assignees onboard and adapt by removing uncertainty and making the transition stress-free. A business that provides appropriate levels of support, from arranging visas to assisting with cultural integration, is more likely to develop talent that thrives on the international stage.
An expert global mobility service provider helps unlock global mobility’s full potential by supporting everything from ‘employer of record’ to payroll outsourcing and checking the viability of international assignments in up to 170 countries. Partnering with a provider frees up busy HR and talent teams to support employees with career development and networking opportunities that lead to better job satisfaction, increased earnings, and, ultimately, increased retention rates.
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