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Welcome to our Blog

Our blog lets us share with you current news and views from the world of HR and Global Mobility which we hope you will find interesting, informative and even entertaining. Along with our own thoughts and opinions we will bring you external articles and updates on items we think may matter to you.

We hope you enjoy reading our blog.

21
Aug
2014
HR: The Global Influence
The Human Resources landscape is changing. It’s faster and more mobile than ever before. It’s truly global. Once a trend, this is now a simple…
08
Aug
2014
Digital HR
There’s no doubt… the digital age is here. Increasingly, communication is online. This includes recruitment. Our digital world created change; this included the Human Resources…
27
Jul
2014
BTR Wins Gold Award!
BTR International recently attended the 2014 Brookfield Forum – and was announced as a Gold winner!
07
Jul
2014
London Tops Cities of Opportunity Poll
The sixth annual pwc survey results have been announced. London has topped the survey for the most attractive global city. Like many of our clients,…
07
Apr
2014
Supporting Global Talent: Time To Change?
With fast moving economies and global business opportunities, companies to work fast and smart to stay ahead. One strategy which will help any business to…

HR: The Global Influence

The Human Resources landscape is changing. It’s faster and more mobile than ever before. It’s truly global. Once a trend, this is now a simple fact.
How does global mobility influence the role of HR?

Essentially the key roles of HR remain the same: recruitment, administration and development of employees. Increasingly, these activities are conducted on a global stage. This changes the demands placed upon HR teams, especially in international organisations.

1. Planning

As talent is more mobile, recruitment and subsequent placement is sourced internationally. It therefore needs greater detail and more thorough planning. This is especially true as cultural differences influence plans.
Global operations mean that decision-making can be wider spread. More detailed planning and coordination is required to keep HR processes running smoothly.

2. Integration
Being aware of – and adapting to - cultural differences will ensure that assignees settle into their new roles and countries as quickly as possible. HR teams now need to arrange for cultural awareness support on a regular basis. This affects the families of assignees too, of course. Are HR teams prepared for this level of support?

3. Coordination
Widespread teams, cultural sensitivities and digital communication all impact upon the role of HR. Good coordination is therefore vital and will only increase in importance as global mobility expands. Negotiation and communication will increase as coordination increases.

“Global mobility has certainly changes what is required of an HR team“, says Kevin Wieczorek of BTR International. “Some HR teams getting involved with global recruitment and relocations by default rather than by design.”

“Our team is here to support as needed, from advising about a relocation policy to liaising with assignees about their relocation”, adds Kevin. "Our support is as flexible as needed; no two moves or businesses are the same.”

If you would like to explore how your business embraces global mobility, contact Kevin at BTR International via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or on +44 (0) 1582 495495.

Digital HR

There’s no doubt… the digital age is here. Increasingly, communication is online. This includes recruitment. Our digital world created change; this included the Human Resources function.
Communication is fast; social media has a huge influence:

• 71% online adults use Facebook
• LinkedIn generates 64% website referrals from social media
• Twitter increased its UK users from 10 million in 2012 to 15 million in 2013

The influence of social media during the recruitment process simply cannot be ignored. There is a wealth of information – and feedback – online for candidates and employees to see.

The foundations needed for digital communication and processes to work for recruitment are the same as for any other business function: relevant skills set, appropriate content and a clear management policy. HR Director reports that 36% ex-employees retain access to their employers systems and data post-employment. 10% actually use it. There’s a definite link between digital control and HR… it needs to become clearer.

Generation Y (born between 1980 and 2000) represents the future for many organisations. HR departments need to recognise that these people are digitally-minded. They are used to a fast-changing world and grew up with online communication.

90% do not expect to stay with an employer for more than five years. 40% are already planning their next move as they start a new role! (London Business School) This generation is used to being busy, to being heard. Generation Y wants to be appreciated. Business managers and HR teams need to recognise this in order to retain talent.

“Global assignments often create a fresh challenge and help employees feel valued” says Kevin Wieczorek of BTR International. “Our role is to make sure that each move is a stress free as possible, allowing people to become settled and productive in their new role as soon as possible.”

If you would like to review your relocation policy and see how it embraces today’s digital era, contact Kevin at BTR International via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or on +44 (0) 1582 495495.

BTR Wins Gold Award!

BTR International recently attended the 2014 Brookfield Forum – and was announced as a Gold winner!
The Gold award was earned by our outstanding performance in the International HHG Supplier category. Even better, we scored an amazing 95.7% (out of 100).

“This is an amazing achievement” said BTR International’s Sales & Marketing Director Kevin Wieczorek. “It reflects the high standard and commitment of our entire team. We are delighted that our hard work has been recognised in such a prestigious way.”

The theme for this year’s forum was: ‘Performance Thru Execution’. Over 500 people attended the event in Florida on 25th July. All aspects of international relocation and estate agency were represented, reflecting the entire relocation industry.

Attendees were encourages network and collaborate to discuss solutions for improving the mobility service delivery process.

Traci Morris, CEO of Brookfield GRS explained: "The Brookfield Forum is an opportunity to share our best-in-class practices with our entire supply chain network as well as discuss the fast changing needs of the marketplace.”

During the 2014 Brookfield Forum, Brookfield GRS announced the winners of its prestigious relocation awards. That’s we heard the good news!

If you would like know more about our award-winning services, please call Kevin on +44 (0) 1582 495495 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

London Tops Cities of Opportunity Poll

The sixth annual pwc survey results have been announced. London has topped the survey for the most attractive global city. Like many of our clients, we work globally. Our business takes place across many cities and continents. So what is it that stands out for London?
Both large and small cities were analysed by pwc. The research concentrated upon three key areas:

• Tools for a changing world (education, technology, global access)
• Quality of life (health, happiness, sustainability)
• Economics (paying the bills)

2014 is the first year that London has topped the survey results, rising from third last year to take the crown from New York.

In fact, London was in the top five (out of 30) for several categories:

• City gateway (1st)
• Demographics and livability
• Ease of doing business
• Economic clout (1st)
• Intellectual capital and innovation
• Technology readiness (1st)

This was the only city to finish first in three categories. London was declared the best City of Opportunity 2014, a clear winner ahead of New York (2nd) and then Singapore (3rd).

As part of our core portfolio of moving services, BTR International provides full worldwide door-to-door move management services – including to and from London!

To find out more, contact Kevin Wieczorek on +44 (0) 1582 495495 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Do relocations need office space?

Technology has opened up global market potential for many businesses. Increased transactions and communication take place online. So is there still the need for people to be based in global locations?
Decreasing the number of physical locations would certainly save costs, but what impact would it have upon productivity, creativity, team work?

In an age when 68% employees communicate with their colleagues via Facebook, how important is having a physical base to work from?

The British Council for Offices’ (BCO) report, ‘The challenges for the office sector over the next decade and beyond’ found that as humans, we need an office for discussions and debates… for social interaction.

HR Director highlights that several technology-based companies have driven the demand for office space in London. This is despite their commercial success in offering products that seemingly diminish the need for physical space. Last year’s London TMT Digest showed that LinkedIn, Google, Skype and Facebook collectively took up 22% of office space in central London.

Employees’ needs are more diverse than ever before, accentuated further when an overseas relocation is involved. At BTR International, we work hard to ensure that assignees’ integration into a new environment is as smooth as possible. The BCO report ‘What Workers Want’ shows that adequate lighting, space and temperature control are the most important features of the office for employees. At BTR, we understand that the reality of relocation involves so much more than the right physical working environment.

BTR’s Business Development Executive Suzanne Sells works closely with assignees and their families to ensure that their relocations are a stress free as possible. “We look at the bigger picture,” explains Suzanne. “We look at lifestyle and cultural integration, not just job role. The whole family is involved. This realistic, holistic approach is vital for any relocation to be a success.”

To talk about what’s involved with global relocations, call Suzanne on +44 (0) 1582 495 495 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


(Image by kind permission of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Global Recruitment: Be Prepared

23% employees are actively looking for a new role. They envisage staying with a company for a maximum of five years. Combine these statistics with increased talent mobility… global recruitment certainly has it challenges.
Thanks to technology, skills are more important than location. However most roles – and people – require a degree of social interaction with colleagues.

Companies will invest much time and skill in finding the right candidates for any role, then progressing through to selection and appointment. It’s important to everyone – and to the organisation – that the successful person can settle into their new role and become productive as quickly as possible.

Appointments requiring global relocation introduce additional challenges, unique to the people, location and culture involved. However – only 53% global companies have a cultural integration process.

“Planning a process for supporting people into new roles is crucial – especially when a physical move abroad is involved” says Kevin Wieczorek of BTR International. “We always start the process with consultation and will offer advice based upon our experience and expertise – of managing global relocations as well as working and/or living abroad ourselves.”

With increasingly expectant and mobile employees, organisations deploying a cultural integration process stand the best chance of retaining people within key global roles.

If you would like to find out more about creating or refining an integration process within your recruitment policy, please contact Kevin via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call him on +44 (0) 1582 495 495.


(References: Inc. Mercer, CIPD)

Recruiting for Global Assignments

A recent survey of employers has highlighted several skills that give candidates a winning edge when applying for global positions.
Results show that companies feel that those who are most likely to succeed in roles based in a foreign country would have:

• Interpersonal and networking skills (60%)
• Foreign language fluency (55%)
• Sales ability (41%)
• And…. be a single female

Of course, there is understandable legislation which prevents age, marital status and gender from appearing in vacancy details. However the survey from health insurance company, Expacare, shows that the above criteria are sought after for global assignments. In addition, 53% companies prefer candidates to be aged in their late twenties or early thirties.

Despite ongoing equality issues regarding pay and senior representation, 63% women feel that working abroad enhances their career prospects. Certainly, the number of female expats is rising, growing by an average of 3% annually.

Male or female, anyone relocating to a new country in any job role will need support in order to succeed. From the move itself to orientation and cultural awareness, the lower the stress levels, the quicker an individual and their family will settle into their new lives.

“A successful relocation often depends upon attention to detail. It’s easy to overlook services such as arranging driver’s licence, vehicle access or internet connection” explains Kevin Wieczorek of BTR International. “These aspects make a huge difference in how quickly an assignee settles into their new lifestyle – and job role.”

BTR International offers a range of corporate relocation solutions across the world. Regardless of who your successful candidate is, we’ll ensure that their relocation is as stress free as possible.

For more details, please email Kevin at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44(0) 1582 495495.

Reconciling Relocation Differences

In a perfect world, the ideal location for operational expansion would be the same as the dream location for employees taking on assignments abroad. The reality? They vary…sometimes greatly.
The key to a successful relocation – irrespective of planning, preparation and support - is reconciling these differences.

In recent years, companies have favoured the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) economies for business opportunities. The ideal locations for assignees? Australia, Spain or United States.
As reported by Aviva, 58% companies surveyed are considering sending employees abroad.

Luckily, just under half the employees surveyed had already considered a move overseas. So, with everyone seemingly wanting the same result, how do we get over the differences in location aspiration?

“In many cases, it is the ‘fear of the unknown’ which puts people off of the emerging markets as a place to work and live” says Suzanne Sells from BTR International. ”Carefully planned, bespoke support helps enormously.”

Whilst we naturally think of the assignee’s support package within relocation scenarios, those managing the relocation within the organisation also need assistance. Aviva’s survey reports that 68% employers find the relocation process challenging with 47% experiencing failed international assignments.

“With years of global relocation experience on our side, we really can help to make international moves as stress free as possible” adds Suzanne. “From supporting employers with designing and implementing a relocation policy to assisting assignees and their families in their move abroad, we really do make a difference.”

If you are managing your assignees’ moves abroad, call BTR for a free informal discussion. Email Suzanne at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call her on +(0)1582 495495.

Together, we’ll go further.

Interpreting International Relocations

When an assignee moves to a new role in a different country, language can be the biggest obstacle; affecting lifestyle and productivity alike. Ultimately, it can be the key to a successful relocation for both the people and the business involved.
Most people moving to - rather than visiting - a different country will endeavour to learn the language. It’s much more than interpretation. It’s the biggest step towards a sense of belonging rather than feeling ‘foreign’.

Employers providing language tuition as part of a relocation package for assignees will also feel the benefits. Kevin Wieczorek from BTR International explains: “Assignees are usually keen to get to grips with their new role and obviously want to settle into their new home quickly. In our experience, language tuition can speed up this process considerably.”

Of course, language is just one element of lifestyle support which helps assignees integrate into a new culture. Orientation support will offer local knowledge about schools, transport and housing for example, including a tour of the area.

“Assignees don’t always know what to expect about the area and lifestyle involved with their new location. This can create a degree of anxiety about a move” says Kevin. “Orientation support is reassuring to assignees and their families. We find that the most helpful and productive relocation support packages offer:

Language tuition
Cross cultural training
Orientation support

This combination allows assignees and their families to settle more quickly, plus the assignee become productive in his/her new role faster. Clearly there are business and personal benefits involved.”

If you are involved in global assignments and/or talent relocation and would like to know more, please contact Kevin via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call him on +44 (0) 1582 495495. Ensure that your company’s relocations are as stress free as possible.

Supporting Global Talent: Time To Change?

With fast moving economies and global business opportunities, companies to work fast and smart to stay ahead. One strategy which will help any business to stay efficient is to manage – and nurture – the talent it has grown and acquired.
A recent HR Director blog discussed how the days of ‘sustainable competitive advantage’ have disappeared. If this is to be believed, employees and the talent they can deploy on behalf of their employer are essential in helping any business to stand out from the crowd.

Despite the vital role that talent plays within organisational success, 59% of business and HR leaders believe that senior managers don't spend enough high quality time on talent management.
McKinsey’s report explains that whilst concentrating on organisational and financial issues associated with change management, senior executives overlook ‘softer’ leadership skills. These skills include the motivation and support of teams. In a global context, teams often cross countries – even continents. Today, talent management needs to embrace talent mobility, which requires efficient and personalised support.

AT BTR International, we understand that no two relocations are the same. “A ‘one size fits all’ approach to relocation may have some short-term cost saving benefits” says Suzanne Sells who manages many of the bespoke requirements of assignee’s relocations. “Unfortunately, in the long-term, a generic model becomes frustrating and costly as assignees take a long time to become productive within their new roles and lifestyles.”

To find out how we can deliver bespoke support and a stress-free relocation services for your organisation, call us on +44 (0)1582 495 495 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) .