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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.

10
May
2017
The Best Kept Secret of Successful Relocations
There are lots of theories about the essential elements of successful international assignments. However some people have a secret ingredient…
27
Mar
2017
Digital HR: A Sign of the Times
HR is changing as digital platforms influence many core aspects of the HR function.
11
Mar
2017
Compare the Relocation Market!
Comparison sites have become the ‘go to’ place when our personal insurance policies are due for renewal.
27
Feb
2017
Today’s Mobile Workforce
In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world how important is mobile working?
10
Feb
2017
Aligning Talent Mobility With Global Management
With increased competition for agile and flexible talent within international organisations, the need to align talent mobility with global management has never been greater.
21
Dec
2016
Relocating? Discover The Most and Least Friendly Places in the World
A report published by the Independent has highlighted the most welcoming – and most unfriendly - places in the world.
21
Nov
2016
We’d like you to meet…
Mark Sawyer is part of our expanding team based at Luton, Bedfordshire. He has a wealth of experience in removals and relocations. Here’s your introduction…
07
Nov
2016
Cities of Opportunity
The 7th edition of pwc’s benchmarks 30 leading cities. What makes these global business, finance and culture capitals successful?
30
Sep
2016
8 Best Places to Work in Britain
New research from Glassdoor shows the best places to work in the UK – with one surprise…
20
Sep
2016
The Shape of International Relocations: 2016
A new Corporate Relocation Survey reveals how international relocations looked in 2016…
The Best Kept Secret of Successful Relocations

The Best Kept Secret of Successful Relocations

There are lots of theories about the essential elements of successful international assignments. However some people have a secret ingredient…
Their secret? Pets!

Taking pets on an international relocation can be extremely helpful, offering support and comfort to assignees and their families.

Research published by the American Psychological Association shows that people are as close to their pets as they are other people. The findings confirmed that many of us feel that our pets are an important aspect of our wellbeing, offering social and emotional support.

Today, it is easier than ever to transport pets to different countries. Recognising the benefits that they offer will help international assignees to feel ‘at home’ in their new locations more quickly – the whole process becomes more effective, more quickly.

“We observed evidence that pet owners fared better, both in terms of well-being outcomes and individual differences, than non-owners on several dimensions,” said lead researcher Allen R. McConnell, PhD, of Miami University in Ohio. “Specifically, pet owners had greater self-esteem, were more physically fit, tended to be less lonely, were more conscientious, were more extraverted, tended to be less fearful and tended to be less preoccupied than non-owners.”

Relocating Pets Overseas


The BTR International team understands that pets are very much part of assignees’ families. Our earlier blog recommends that employees who are keen to take their pet on international assignments should be aware of:
• Requirements of their destinations country
• Their pet’s health
• How to prepare their per for travelling abroad
• Repatriation requirements

For more details, please see our earlier article.

Settling In

Caitlin Moore told MDSI Global Talent Solutions: “From helping to make friends at the dog park to serving as an excuse to go out and explore the city (be it to find a dog friendly beach or the best store to buy cat food), pets can help make a new place feel more like home. And since people often feel happier and more at home in a brand new place with their pets by their side, they’re also likely to be more engaged with work.

“Pets can also help the assignee’s family better adjust to a new location, which is important. Family adjustment challenges can often derail an international assignment, but having a familiar furry face to spend time with when they’re feeling homesick can make a difference.”

Louise Chilcott from BTR International adds: “Assignees and their families experience a huge amount of change when they relocate overseas. A family pet offers comfort and familiarity in their new home, helping everyone to settle in their new location more quickly.”

If you are interested in relocating your pet overseas with you, BTR International has information and advice that can help you. Contact Louise via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call her on +44 (0) 1582 495495.


Image by Mister GC. at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Digital HR: A Sign of the Times

Digital HR: A Sign of the Times

HR is changing as digital platforms influence many core aspects of the HR function.
This week, Facebook announced the launch of its job posting function. This takes it into the traditional LinkedIn arena… and offers a further digital tool to HR. It’s a perfect example of how HR professionals need to be increasingly agile and digitally-aware.

Four HR tasks transformed by digital developments:

1. Talent Acquisition
Deloitte’s Trends report confirms that this is a key area of change during 2017: “Recruiting is becoming a digital experience as candidates come to expect convenience and mobile contact. Savvy recruiters will embrace new talent acquisition technologies to forge psychological and emotional connections with candidates and constantly strengthen the employment brand.”

2. Employee Experience
Retaining staff within today’s world of work experiences rather than career paths is increasingly important. This goes beyond culture and engagement. Digital tools enable HR teams to be increasingly aware of feedback, wellbeing and fitness.

3. Analysis
Data can be used to understand the impact and issues of HR. Pocket HCM explains: “There will be a downpour of analytics tool for the human resources department. This is the reason why future HR generation ought to be competent in analytics. The HR will not only have to deal with an ocean of data, but also with the constantly evolving data. Thus, the secret to getting their heads into analytics and big data lies in getting familiar with emerging analytics terms such as data mining, machine learning, cost modelling, etc.

The HR specialist gives examples of how analytics can help HR, by:

– Predicting which employees are more likely to quit
– Predicting future leaders
– Identifying factors that drive employee engagement
– Predicting when the employees are burnt out
– Identifying upcoming recruitment patterns

4. Training for Automation
Automation affects almost every aspect of an organisation, from customer service to HR. Deloitte states: “Automation, cognitive computing, and crowds are paradigm-shifting forces reshaping the workforce.

“Organisations must experiment and implement cognitive tools, focus on retraining people to use these tools, and rethink the role of people as more and more work becomes automated.

“The new rules focus on experiential learning, process change, data-driven tools, transparency, and accountability.”


“Digital developments have enabled us to liaise with HR teams and assignees more efficiently and effectively,” explains Louise Chilcott, Business Development Executive at BTR International.

“Technology can seem daunting however it helps enormously thanks to the speed and versatility that it offers our global relocation operation.”

She adds: ”Many HR teams are facing a growing need to global mobility. Technology will help to ensure that this is achieved as smoothly and productively as possible.”

If you would like to know more, please contact Louise by emailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call her via +44 (0) 1582 495495.


Image courtesy of rajcreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Compare the Relocation Market!

Compare the Relocation Market!

Comparison sites have become the ‘go to’ place when our personal insurance policies are due for renewal.
In the UK, 60% of people use them when researching or buying a financial product. Car, house… even holiday insurance… most of us shop around before renewing with our existing policy provider – or not.

The top reasons for using these comparisons are:

• Finding the best deal – 85%
• Price comparison – 83%
• Reduce costs or outgoings – 79%
• View which companies offer the policy needed – 69%
• Switch suppliers - 67%

Surely these reasons apply to businesses too? Yet – in our professional lives, securing comparisons is not as instinctive despite the higher value of the contracts involved.

Sticking with an existing provider can be a signal of apathy, of demanding roles or little time rather than an indication of good service and best value.

“Many organisations would rather avoid the time and effort involved with changing supplier whilst the company involved is providing an adequate service. Buy why should companies ‘settle’ for a service rather than be impressed by the work and value provided?” asks Louise Chilcott, Business Development Executive at BTR International.

Complacency can often creep into relationships with long term suppliers. Often, neither party realises that this is happening. Talking to an alternative supplier can introduce a fresh approach and innovative ideas. Sometimes, it can reassure you that you are right to keep working with your existing supplier. Very often, it can signpost the need to change. Simply talking to other providers can highlight opportunities to increase both service and value. If you don’t have conversations, you’ll never know.

Consistency is Key
Research shows that as soon as customer satisfaction falls to 80% or less, clients are willing to consider alternative suppliers.

Across all of BTR International’s contracts, our customer satisfaction score is 98%. “We are proud of our consistent performance,” says Louise. “This means that we never take our existing clients for granted and have a great deal to offer new contacts.”

She explains: “An informal discussion doesn’t need to be time consuming, yet it can generate a wealth of ideas to consider.”

Do you have time for an informal discussion about your international relocation requirements? There’s no obligation involved and it could be very enlightening!

Contact Louise via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call her on +44 (0) 1582 495495. Ensure that your assignees’ international relocations involve minimal stress and maximum cost-effectiveness.


Sources: pwc, mintel, B2B International
Today’s Mobile Workforce

Today’s Mobile Workforce

In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world how important is mobile working?
A report from the Society For Human Resource Management gives valuable information about how our mobile workforce looks.

Every day, 81% of workers are expected to take advantage of remote working options. Perhaps as expected, Millennials (born in 1980s and 1990s) represent the biggest group to take up the opportunity – 60% utilise their companies’ mobile working policy to the fullest extent. The compares to just a third of workers within the Baby Boomer group, (those born between 1946 and 1964).

One reason for this difference may be the potential for misinterpreted communication with colleagues. 25% of mobile workers feel that working remotely can cause this problem.

The location of mobile working also differs between age groups. One fifth of Millennials regularly work from cafes. This compares with just 10% of Baby Boomers who like to work from coffee shops.

With 81% of workers using remote working opportunities, what are the biggest reasons for choosing this option?
1. Sick child – 35%
2. Transportation issues – 34%
3. Avoiding a long commute – 30%
4. Improving productivity – 30%
5. Avoiding distractions – 28%

“Flexible working options are extremely important to a global workforce,” explains Louise Chilcott, of BTR International. “Conference calls that involve employees across varying time zones can influence where people will be when they are required to ‘attend’ the meeting. Flexible working patterns allow for optimum productivity and flexibility.

“This can be especially important when someone arrives at their new location for their international assignment.” She explains: “They need to make arrangements for moving into their new home or ensuring that their family settles in quickly. These aspects may require remote working.

“Efficient forward planning will minimise the upheaval involved with moving to a new country however additional support is always appreciated, especially at the beginning of an assignment.”

If you would like to discuss this further – without obligation – contact Louise via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0) 1582 495495.


Image courtesy of Cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Aligning Talent Mobility With Global Management

Aligning Talent Mobility With Global Management

With increased competition for agile and flexible talent within international organisations, the need to align talent mobility with global management has never been greater.
The Global Mobility trends Survey 2016 from BGRS shows that – despite evidence that talent mobility can attract and retain key talent – many companies have not yet addressed the alignment issue.

In fact, just 10% of multinational organisations are fully invested in bringing global mobility and wider workforce planning goals together. BGRS reports examples of this commitment include:

• Identifying individuals with high potential
• Using relocation as a way of retaining these people and offering professional development
• Ensuring the mobility programmes offer strategic contribution and meet the needs of the workforce

Six Actions for Better Alignment
Six key tips are suggested as a result of understanding the findings of the research. These have emerged from the practices of the ‘top’ 10% of participating companies that have aligned talent mobility with global management.

1. Understand the broader talent agenda
20% of the survey participants reported that their companies do not have sufficient internationally experienced talent to meet business needs. The global talent market is very competitive. Understanding the talent agenda increases focus and efficiency when retaining and recruiting talent.

2. Track mobility costs
There is increasing pressure to reduce mobility costs yet 49% of companies surveyed do not track the costs of an international assignment. Subsequently, it becomes extremely hard to show cost efficiencies.

3. Maintain a candidate pool
By continually gauging employee interest in international assignments a candidate pool can be developed. This helps to quicken and hone the process for global placements. In BGRS’s findings 73% companies do not have a candidate pool and 33% have no process in place to understand employees’ views about relocation. Of the report’s ‘top 10%’ organisations, 81% have a formal way for employees to put themselves forward for international assignments.

4. Support assignees
Almost 20% of global assignees find it hard to settle into their new location. The report underlines that: ”Companies must leverage external resources to accommodate their global talent’s needs.” Needs vary and a range of support should be offered, including lifestyle and living support and well as management of the move itself. This support should be offered to assignees’ families too.

5. Understand necessary leadership attributes
The research shows that: “26% of global assignees taking on a leadership position did not possess the necessary skills to be a leader in the host country.” Talent alignment and global mobility require individuals to be developed before – as well as during – their new role.

6. Engage millennials for international positions
Younger employees are often suited to global assignments and of long-term benefits if engaged and developed by companies. BGRS explains that: “The top leaders reported double the percentage of international assignees between the ages of 20 and 29, underscoring their ability to foresee the long-term effects of engaging and developing this key demographic.”

“Increasingly companies are developing robust, forward thinking international mobility policies,” explains Louise Chilcott of BTR International. “Placing the wrong person in a global assignment can be costly, so aligning talent mobility and global management offers strategic and financial benefits.”

If you would like to discuss this further – without obligation – contact Louise via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0) 1582 495495.
Relocating? Discover The Most and Least Friendly Places in the World

Relocating? Discover The Most and Least Friendly Places in the World

A report published by the Independent has highlighted the most welcoming – and most unfriendly - places in the world.
Those involved with global assignments will recognise that making friends in a new location is a fundamental part of settling and enjoying a new location and culture.

67 countries across the world were ranked by InterNations in its ‘Expat Insider 2016’ survey. More than 14,000 participants gave their thoughts about ‘ease of settling in’. Whilst crucial for assignees, the results are also important for global organisations; productivity and effectiveness are clearly linked to how quickly assignees feel ‘at home’ in their new locations.

The UK may not be as friendly as you think…

• ranking 42nd out of 67 places for ‘ease of settling in’
• appearing 43rd out of 67 countries for ‘finding friends’
• achieving 33rd position overall, out of 191 countries


The friendliest countries in the world to expats are:

• Taiwan
• Uganda
• Cost Rica
• Mexico
• Colombia

The least friendly locations for expats are:

• Kuwait
• Saudi Arabia
• Czech Republic
• Switzerland
• Norway

“Embarking on an international assignment is exciting and usually slightly daunting too,” says Suzanne Sells, Business Development Executive at BTR International. “Part of the support we provide ensures that assignees’ lifestyle and living needs are catered for, as well as the physical move involved.”

She adds: “Our role is to ensure that every relocation is completely smoothly and without stress.” To find out more contact Suzanne via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0)1582 495495.
We’d like you to meet…

We’d like you to meet…

Mark Sawyer is part of our expanding team based at Luton, Bedfordshire. He has a wealth of experience in removals and relocations. Here’s your introduction to Mark…
Mark is part of a team which looks after our major relocation accounts (with Brookfield and Cartus). He’s responsible for ensuring that corporate moves across the globe are completed smoothly. In particular, it’s Mark who talks to assignees to offer reassurance and information.

“Any move is can be stressful however when you, your family and your possessions are relocating to a different country there is a huge amount to consider,” says Mark. “My job is to ensure that the entire move is as stress-free as possible from start to finish.”
He adds: “There are three distinct areas that I’m involved with:

1. Organising the pre-move survey (with BTR International’s survey team)
2. Planning and quoting for the services needed at the move origin, for transportation such as shipping of furniture and other possessions, and at the move destination.
3. Liaising with the client who is moving, explaining every stage of their move and answering any queries."

He adds: “I’m always talking with people to ensure that everything runs smoothly and to check that they feel comfortable with the move process.”

Mark has worked within the industry for six years, gaining experience with general and niche removal companies. What does he particularly enjoy about working at BTR International?

“The BTR way of working is very customer-focussed and we are proud of our attention to detail. We are very thorough with every single move from the basic relocations to the complex ones. Helping assignees through the process and knowing that they appreciate my support is very rewarding.

“Plus, the BTR team has a brilliant way of working. We are fiercely professional about our jobs and we enjoy our work too. That makes the office a fun place to be whilst ensuring that we meet our customers’ wants and needs.
“No two moves are the same, so working at BTR is always interesting.”

Away from work, Mark enjoys travelling – something which working at BTR can often involve – and cricket, both playing and coaching (the latter for the youth section which he co-founded). “I enjoy exploring new areas and have been a keen cricketer since school. Both interests are very time consuming… it’s a case of fitting them in!”

If you would like to know more about how BTR International manages and supports global relocations, call Mark on +44 (0) 1582 495 495 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Cities of Opportunity

Cities of Opportunity

The 7th edition of pwc’s benchmarks 30 leading cities. What makes these global business, finance and culture capitals successful?
Ultimately, a balance between social and economic strengths is required. The results show that quality of life factors have the most impact, placing people before business.

The top cities must have balanced strengths in:
• Education
• Transit
• Health
• Economics
• Governance

Eight cities gained top three placings in at least two of these areas:
• London
• Singapore
• Paris
• Beijing
• Sydney
• Toronto
• Stockholm
• New York

The pwc report suggests that there are three ingredients to healthy city life:

1. Tools for changing world – cities must be physically and digitally connected in today’s knowledge-based world

2. Quality of life – this has a direct impact upon wellbeing and prosperity and starts with the daily conditions of life for the people who live in these cities

3. Economics – ease of doing business, cost indicators and economic clout are measured in the category. The most open and diverse results were achieved within this section.

So… which cities topped the 2016 results?

London, Singapore, Toronto and Paris.

The key to their success? Consistency.

“As we manage and implement global relocations, we often see ‘trends’ regarding which cities assignees are moving to,” says Suzanne Sells, Business Development Executive at BTR International. “Assessing the appeal of a city requires the same approach that we give to our relocations: it’s all about placing people first.”

She adds: ”For any global assignment to be successful, the needs of the individuals involved must be met alongside business requirements. BTR International’s approach ensures that relocations are smooth. Assignees settle into their new locations quickly, boosting productivity.”

If you would like to know more, contact Suzanne for an informal discussion. Email her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call her on +44 (0)1582 495 495.
8 Best Places to Work in Britain

8 Best Places to Work in Britain

New research from Glassdoor shows the best places to work in the UK – with one surprise…
Towns and cities were assessed according to three factors:

• Hiring opportunity
• Cost of living
• Job satisfaction

Locations were allocated a score out of five and the results are in…

Here are the top eight places to work in Britain:

• =8 Manchester (score 3.6, hot jobs: Project Manager, Sales Manager, Business Development Manager)
• =8 Swindon (score 3.6, hot jobs: Sales Rep, Store Manager, Civil Engineer)
• =8 Northampton (score 3.6, hot jobs: Finance Manager, Recruitment Consultant, Bus Driver)
• =8 Bradford (score 3.6, hot jobs: Customer Services Advisor, Operations Manager, Technician)
• =5 Reading (score 3.7, hot jobs: Sales Associate, Sales Representative, Technical Support Engineer
• =5 Coventry (score 3.7, hot jobs: Maintenance Engineer, Sales Manager, Customer Service Advisor)
• =5 Peterborough (score 3.7, hot jobs: Product Manager, Store Manager, Bartender)
• 4 Leeds (score 3.8, hot jobs: Recruitment Consultant, Chef, Project Manager)
• =2 Nottingham (score 4, hot jobs: Sales Manager, Business Analyst, Software Engineer)
• =2 Milton Keynes (score 4, hot jobs: Store Manager, Management Consultant, Business Development Manager
• 1 Cambridge (score 4.1, hot jobs: Software Engineer, Chef, Sales Rep)

The surprise? London is not listed – at all. Why? Property prices and the cost of living. In fact, London was placed 17th in Mercer’s list of the world’s most expensive cities to live in.

“Whether assignees are relocating globally or within the UK, they need to be aware of the cost of living that will be involved in their new location,” explains Kevin Wieczorek, Sales and Marketing Director of BTR International.

He adds: “When we help to relocate employees globally, moving and living support is usually provided. Actually, this can be as important during domestic transfers too.”

If your employees are moving either globally or within the UK, why not have an informal chat with Kevin? Contact him via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call him on +44 (0) 1582 495495. We’ll make your moves as stress-free as possible.



Image by sattva at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The Shape of International Relocations: 2016

The Shape of International Relocations: 2016

A new Corporate Relocation Survey reveals how international relocations looked in 2016…
The findings issued by Atlas, show the current shape of global mobility plus how this compares to last year. 445 decision makers participated, with results based upon the first quarter of 2016.

This information is split into three key areas:

1. Duration
During 2016, the average length of an international assignment varied between:

• Less than one year – 25%
• One – three years – 48%
• Three years or longer – 27%

Shorter durations are becoming more popular, with only half the number of larger firms using this length of assignment compared with small and medium-sized firms.

Conversely, longer periods are far more popular with larger companies. 25% of moves during the survey period were permanent.

2. Destination
Most international relocations were to posts within:

• Canada - 34%
• Asia - 29%
• United States – 26%
• UK - 23%
• Western Europe - 22%
• Eastern Europe – 22%

3. Relocation Policy
It is encouraging to see that relocation support offered by smaller companies has reached its highest level yet, (this survey began in 1998).

In particular, increases have been noted in:

• Making allowances for children to attend certain schools
Cultural and language support
• Storage allowances
• Leave entitlement when relocating abroad

Medium and large sized companies are offering relocation at a similar level to previous years.

“Companies have seen that supporting assignees and their families during international relocations improves productivity and motivation,” explains Kevin Wieczorek, Sales and Marketing Director of BTR International. “In particular, it is great to see that many more smaller companies are developing practical, helpful relocation policies.”

If you would like to discuss your company’s relocation without obligation, contact Kevin. Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call him on +44 (0) 1582 495495.



Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net