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March 2020 5 min read

Organizing a relocation - 3 things to have in mind

Did you ever relocate to a foreign country? If so, you surely experienced the hassle that comes with all the paperwork you have to deal with. If not, trust me, who did this more than five times, it is a nightmare.

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1. Dive into bureaucracy

Did you ever relocate to a foreign country? If so, you surely experienced the hassle that comes with all the paperwork you have to deal with. If not, trust me, who did this more than five times, it is a nightmare. The same goes for the internationals you are hiring. To help them avoid this hassle, you need to know about the applicable legal requirements. This includes overall visa regulations as well as specific requirements regarding education, income and job position. Make sure you understand the steps that must be taken to ensure that any new employee will legally be able to work for your business. 

Depending on the country of origin, internationals face different situations, processes and difficulties when it comes to immigration law. To be prepared for these challenges, companies need to ensure structured processes to support relocation and onboarding as well as sufficient expertise when it comes to the biggest pitfalls during these processes. Otherwise, problems during the visa process can easily lead to long delays in the starting date of a new employee. This does not only affect the recruiter and the international but also the team that is waiting for the international and has to deal with the missing resources.

2. The first weeks are critical

Overcoming the first bureaucratic hurdles prepares the ground for your new employee. Nevertheless, there are many more obstacles to face in the relocation process, some of them not being very obvious. Buying a plane ticket brings your employee here, but to ensure that he doesn’t have to leave after three months there is a list of to do’s to have in mind. They need a health insurance to get the residence permit. They need housing to get registered. They need the registration to get a bank account…The list continues, and especially for people coming from abroad, the process and the various dependencies are not always logical. 

Make sure to offer sufficient support with all organizational matters in the first weeks, because leaving your employee alone can easily lead to frustrations. Recent research shows that one third of employees know if they would stay in their job long term after the first week, this is even more critical for international employees as they have to build up their new life around the job, which brings us to the next topic.

3. Don’t neglect the integration

Once your employee arrived and completed the first steps of settling in you’ve won part of the battle, but there is still a long way to go. Employee retention means to ensure that the employee integrates well, inside and outside of the company. Depending on the cultural background, this can be quite a challenge for international employees and for the company as well. 

For a successful integration outside the company, you should think about the information the international needs for building up a new life, for example hobbies, network, cultural activities, etc. How can you provide support with those topics and how can you put the person in contact with others to facilitate growing a new social network? Think about external support, buddy programs and access to information, depending on your resources there is a lot that can be done with little effort. Those topics are anything but easy, as they are very individual, but they are ultimately the ones critical for retention. 

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