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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.

09
Aug
2017
Work Friendships Help Relocations
Good relationships at work help international assignees to settle faster and stay longer in their new role.
27
Jul
2017
Spotting Reluctant Relocations
For most people, relocating overseas is a little daunting and very exciting. However some people simply don’t relish international assignments. Spotting the signs can prevent…
03
Jul
2017
It’s Official: London is Europe’s most dynamic city
A new report places London at the top of the list of Europe’s most dynamic cities. What is this based upon?
26
Jun
2017
3 Global Mobility Trends
Today’s International Relocation policies need to recognise three trends in order to provide best practice…
09
Jun
2017
5 Features of Your Ideal International Relocation Partner
Organising international relocations doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, choosing the right relocation partner can ensure that assignees’ moves are completed smoothly and with…
28
May
2017
One Big Benefit for Today’s Mobile Talent
Ideally, international relocations offer benefits to both the organisation and employees. But there is one big benefit that increases the chances of a successful relocation…
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…
24
Apr
2017
Packing for Your Global Assignment
Most assignees choose to use our professional packing service. It’s quicker, safer and far smoother. These tips will help your arrival at your new home…
12
Apr
2017
7 Tips for Relocating Overseas
An international assignment is exciting. Here are our top seven tips for ensuring that your relocation overseas is a success...
27
Mar
2017
Digital HR: A Sign of the Times
HR is changing as digital platforms influence many core aspects of the HR function.
Work Friendships Help Relocations

Work Friendships Help Relocations

Good relationships at work help international assignees to settle faster and stay longer in their new role.
Talent management company TLNT suggests that talent activation is built upon four pillars – one of which is “encouraging meaningful employee relationships”.

This is especially true when encouraging global mobility, with work friendships facilitating quicker productivity from international assignees. This is particularly relevant for younger employees. TLNT offers powerful statistics that reinforce the role of work friendships:
• Full-time employees (54% vs. 43% of part-time employees) were more likely to say they stay with their current employers because of their co-workers.
• 60% of employees feel their relationship with their employer positively impacts their focus or productivity at work, and 44% say it positively impacts stress levels.
• 3% of millennials consider “friendly co-workers” an important work atmosphere trait.
• 88% of millennials want to be friends with their co-workers.
• The number one source of hiring for organisations is employee referrals.

How can an organisation’s relocation policy maximise this opportunity?
Two aspects are important:

1. Communication
Encourage opportunities for shared experiences and communication, offering points of connection… and fun! A regular social programme with a mix of activities with help co-workers to bond and help new assignees learn about what their location can offer.

Ensure that managers have structured yet informal meetings with team members to encourage conversation beyond purely work-based topics.

2. Culture
Emphasise the culture of the organisation during team building and feedback sessions. Sharing ideas, providing honest feedback (safely) and celebrating team and individual success help to grow work-based friendships.

“Once an assignee has arrived in their new country and started their new role, support becomes even more crucial,” says Louise Chilcott, Global Move and Relocation Specialist from BTR International. “For the relocation to be a success, individuals need to settle into their new home and work role and quickly as possible. Friendships are hugely influential – especially as co-workers may be the only people that assignees know in their new location. Support as this stage is often overlooked and should feature within every relocation policy.”

TLNT adds: “Creating meaningful relationships can form a support framework, but effectively evaluating employees’ relationships serves as a way to measure their level of activation.” The following metrics are suggested:
• Is an employee a social butterfly or do they stay isolated?
• Is an employee volunteering for teams? How many?
• Is an employee providing feedback to others? Coaching others? Seeking out feedback/guidance?
• Is an employee actively recruiting friends and colleagues to apply for open positions within the organisation?

Learning from the results helps individual engagement and team performance to be analysed. This allows best practices and relocation support options to be identified.

Louise says: “The quicker an assignee bonds with their co-workers, the more successful the relocation and the team become. It’s win-win situation however it relies on a support framework being in place.”

If you would like to know more, or to discuss your organisation’s relocation policy, contact Louise for an informal discussion without obligation. Email her via   .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0)1582 495 495.
Spotting Reluctant Relocations

Spotting Reluctant Relocations

For most people, relocating overseas is a little daunting and very exciting. However some people simply don’t relish international assignments. Spotting the signs can prevent costly U-turns and longer settlement periods…
Recruitment specialist Mike Evers told Inside Counsel magazine: “The reality of moving is different from the thought of moving.” He added: “we have gotten pretty good at figuring out who is willing to pull the trigger on such a major life change. That assessment is just as important as matching credentials and culture fit.”

According to Evers, there are five useful signs to spot when assessing whether an assignee will be genuinely enthusiastic about the prospect of relocating to a new country:

1. Single vs Partners
Single people relocate alone – without the support of a partner in their new location. They will be starting a new personal life on their own. This means they may take longer to settle into their new role and country.

2. Early Family Involvement
The earlier an assignee involves their spouse and family in reviewing information and asking for details, the more successful the relocation is likely to be. Any progress along the acceptance route without the clear involvement of the employee’s spouse signposts problems ahead.

3. Children
Relocations that involve older children are very difficult. Evers states that: “Even more than a reluctant spouse, teenage children have tremendous influence in this process. Almost without exception, our successful relocation experiences have involved candidates with young kids or no kids.”

4. Resume Clues
Looking at potential assignees’ work history, those who have already worked or lived overseas are most likely to settle quickly in an international relocation.

5. Recruiting Externally?
It is often assumed that, when recruiting externally, someone who is currently unemployed will be more open to the idea of moving abroad. Evers explains: “It’s a bad assumption, and this is actually the most common cold feet scenario. Currently employed candidates tend to do a good job of thinking through the location before investing time and effort in an interview process.  Conversely, and understandably, unemployed candidates seize interview opportunities and always show great enthusiasm early.  The relocation reality check tends to hit them later in the process.”

BTR International has been helping assignees to relocate to new countries for over 30 years. “As well as helping with the physical move, we help assignees and their families to fit into their new surroundings and integrate into to the local culture,” says Louise Chilcott, Global Move and Relocation Specialist from BTR International.

She adds: “This aspect can make or break the success of an international relocation. Spotting potential problems and discussing them as soon as possible can stop them from escalating further along the relocation process, causing problems for the individuals and organisation involved.”

To find out more or discuss your relocation requirements without obligation, contact Louise via  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0)1582 495 495.
It’s Official: London is Europe’s most dynamic city

It’s Official: London is Europe’s most dynamic city

A new report places London at the top of the list of Europe’s most dynamic cities. What is this based upon?
Savill’s Investment Management analysed cities across Europe, using six categories:
1. Innovation
2. Inspiration
3. Inclusion
4. Interconnection
5. Investment
6. Infrastructure

Despite the uncertainty created by Brexit and the current political climate, London is predicted to remain a leading city during the long term. This is partly due to the London infrastructure plan 2050.

The London Infrastructure Plan 2050 is the first ever attempt to identify, prioritise and cost London’s future infrastructure to 2050, given London's growth. Costing around £1trn, services such as:
• Transport
• Green infrastructure
• Digital connectivity
• Energy
• Water
• Waste

5 Most Dynamic Cities in Europe:
1. London
2. Paris
3. Cambridge
4. Amsterdam
5. Berlin

Kiran Patel, chief investment officer at Savills Investment Management, said: “Europe’s most dynamic cities are future-proofing themselves by creating environments that encourage the growth of a ‘knowledge economy,’ which will increasingly drive wealth creation.

“The report shows that size isn’t everything: while some ‘supercities’ such as London and Paris are consolidating their already dominant positions, smaller cities such as Cambridge, Edinburgh, Dublin and Stockholm are well positioned to grow in influence over the coming years.” 

“Dynamic cities embrace global mobility,” says Louise Chilcott, Global Move and Relocation specialist from BTR International. “If your organisation would like to move people to or from these locations, we can help ensure that their relocation is as stress-free as possible.”

If you would like to know more, or discuss your organisation’s relocation policy or requirements, contact Louise for an informal discussion without obligation. Email her via  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0)1582 495 495.


Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


5 Features of Your Ideal International Relocation Partner

5 Features of Your Ideal International Relocation Partner

Organising international relocations doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, choosing the right relocation partner can ensure that assignees’ moves are completed smoothly and with minimal stress.
How do you choose your international relocation partner? Here are five essential features to look for:

1. Proven Expertise
The FAIMplus is the ultimate accreditation in the international moving services sector. BTR International is proud to have achieved this prestigious standard and has maintained it for many years. We know first-hand how stringent the application and audit process is. FIDIFAIM’s ‘plus’ accreditation shows that your relocation partner has provided qualified evidence that they are truly excellent at managing and implementing international moves. Credentials are important.

2. Independent Network
A truly independent partner will have its own network of contacts across the world. They’ll choose the organisations that will best suit your requirements. Free of the pressures and chains of using partner organisations, an independent relocation partner will offer you truly impartial advice.

3. Customer Service
We know that clients can choose between a myriad of potential partners. In our recent ‘Compare the Relocation Market’ blog, we stated that most clients look for alternative suppliers as soon as their satisfaction rate falls to 80% or less. “We are extremely proud of the consistently excellent customer service that we offer,” says Louise Chilcott, Global Move and Relocation specialist from BTR International. “We work hard to achieve our score of 98% customer satisfaction across all of our contracts, long term and new.”

4. Comprehensive Liability
Working with expert movers minimised the risks to your assignees’ property. It’s good to know that, should the rare accident happen, your relocation partner’s liability cover is adequate and robust.

5. Rapport
Understand why your relocation partner stands out from the crowd – what makes them different and better than your other options? Above all, can you work together? Will you have a single, consistent contact point and 24/7 assistance?

“Choosing your international relocation partner is a big decision,” says Louise “A credible organisation will be pleased to provide you with the details you need to answer your queries and provide evidence of their work. Transparency and trust are key ingredients within every BTR contract.”

To find out more, contact Louise for an informal discussion without obligation. Email her via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0)1582 495 495.
One Big Benefit for Today’s Mobile Talent

One Big Benefit for Today’s Mobile Talent

Ideally, international relocations offer benefits to both the organisation and employees. But there is one big benefit that increases the chances of a successful relocation abroad for everyone involved…
It isn’t about the money. However this remains the starting point for many recruiters. The HR Director reports that: “Two fifths (42%) of employers who have had difficulty recruiting candidates have increased the salary on offer, according to a survey of employers by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).”

Sometimes, an increased salary isn't enough. 80% of vacancies are re-advertised and 24% of employers lower the requirements of the role. So what is the big benefit that today’s employees are looking for?

The answer has emerged from a two-year study by the University of Birmingham Business School. Results show that: Employees with higher levels of autonomy have better overall wellbeing and higher levels of job satisfaction.

The Influence of Job Role
The university’s ‘Autonomy in Paid Work and Employee Subjective Wellbeing’ research found that job role influences the degree of autonomy – and therefore well-being amongst employees.
• 90% of employees working in management have some or a lot of autonomy
• Half those in lower skilled roles have no control over working hours
• Professional workers experience significant autonomy, however less than those in management roles
• Skilled trades experience various degrees of control; some have little autonomy whilst others can influence and/or control their work allocation and schedule

The research highlighted that in many cases managers remain unwilling to offer employees greater levels of autonomy and the associated benefits, because their primary role remains one of “control and effort extraction”.

The Gender Gap
The research also found that the level of autonomy differs between male and female employees.

Dr Daniel Wheatley of University of Birmingham Business School said to Personnel Today: “The study found compelling evidence to suggest that men and women were affected in different ways by the type of autonomy they experienced.
“For women, flexibility over the timing and location of their work appeared to be more beneficial allowing them to balance other tasks such as family commitments.”

He added that the manner of work and control over work schedule was more relevant to the wellbeing of female employees, whereas men were more affected by job tasks, pace of work and task order.

The Impact Upon International Assignments
Location is not a barrier to autonomy – support and communication play a vital role and today’s technology facilities these factors regardless of location. Dealing with the excitement and uncertainty of settling into a new country as well as a new role makes well-being even more important for new assignees.

“Everyone wants global mobility to be a success,” says Louise Chilcott from BTR International. “By supporting both the organisation and assignees, we ensure that relocations are as stress-free as possible. Helping employees and their families to embrace and enjoy their new location offers a degree of well-being. A work culture which is mindful of what helps individuals to be productive and content within their role is a winning formula for everyone involved.”

To find out more about the support available for your organisation’s talent mobility, contact Louise for an informal discussion. Please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call her on +44 (0) 1582 495495.


Image courtesy of Sheelamohan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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
Packing for Your Global Assignment

Packing for Your Global Assignment

Most assignees choose to use our professional packing service. It’s quicker, safer and far smoother. These tips will help your arrival at your new home abroad to go smoothly...
1. Lighten the Load
Make sure that you are only taking items that you truly need or want. Other items can be stored or even sold.

2. Labels

Your packing partner will label the boxes so that you know which boxes belong to which room. But – make sure that you know where the essentials are – and that these boxes are marked accordingly. For example, which box labeled as ‘bedroom 1’ contains the bedding you’ll need for your first night?

3. List it
An inventory list helps to know exactly what goes where when you arrive at your destination. It prevents the time and stress involved with opening the boxes and then directing your support team. Talk to your move manager about this. They should be happy to help.

4. Liability Cover
A team of trained experts packs your boxes. But - you still need peace of mind that, should the unthinkable happen, any damages are covered by your relocation partner’s liability policy. “It’s very rare, but incidents do happen occasionally,” says Louise Chilcott, Business Development Executive at BTR International. “We have one of the consistently lowest claims rates in the industry – but we always ensure that sufficient cover is in place.”

5. Life’s Essentials
The most important box to have available immediately upon arrival is your box of essentials: kettle, tea bags, toilet rolls – maybe a bottle of wine for your new fridge! Having these items to hand exactly when you need them will help arrival day to go smoothly.

As well as packing, there are other elements to consider when it comes to an international relocation. These include storage, transportation and customs documentation. “We do everything we can to ensure that every move is completed smoothly, with minimal stress,” adds Louise. “Every assignee and manager has a single point of contact; their own dedicated account manager. We coordinate and manage every stage of the move, keeping everyone involved fully informed.”

To find out more, contact Louise via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call her on +44 (0) 1582 495 495.
7 Tips for Relocating Overseas

7 Tips for Relocating Overseas

An international assignment is exciting. Here are our top seven tips for ensuring that your relocation overseas is a success...
1. Visit first – if you can see your new location before you move, it will help you enormously. Make the most of internet research too. The more you learn about the culture and infrastructure before you move, the easier it is to be prepared.

2. Prepare your paperwork – this should be part of your relocation package. Many countries require visas for working there even if they are not needed for holidaying to that location.

3. Healthcare – from jabs to insurance, what is healthcare like in your new location? Will you need injections before you travel? You should receive sound advice from your relocation partner. Knowing where your local, English-speaking medical centre is located offers huge reassurance.

4. Travel with technology – making sure that your tablet, laptop or smartphone has GSM and/or Wi-Fi access in your new location is essential. This means that you can access online information, make Skype calls and find your way around immediately.

5. Join the conversation
– most places have a strong expat community. Find local blogs and forums for useful tips and contacts in your new location. But – don’t let this stop you from mixing with the locals too. You’ll feel ‘at home’ much quicker.

6. Learn the lifestyle – many new countries have different customs, dress codes, cultural attitudes compared with your native ones. Looking into how local society works will save awkward moments once you’ve arrived.

7. Learn the language – feedback from international assignees shows that this is the fastest way to feel a sense of belonging and community in your new location.


“An international assignment is an exciting challenge, “says Louise Chilcott, Business Development Executive at BTR International.

“You need to be fully prepared for your new lifestyle as well as the physical move involved. Professional relocation support allows you to settle in and enjoy your new role and surroundings as quickly as possible.”

If you would like to discuss any of the above points, please contact Louise via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0)1582 495495.
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