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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
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.
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.
25
Jan
2017
Easy Relocations
Any move can be stressful, especially when you are relocating to a new country. Working with the right partners can minimise this stress.
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

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.
Easy Relocations

Easy Relocations

Any move can be stressful, especially when you are relocating to a new country. Working with the right partners can minimise this stress.
‘The devil is in the detail’ – it’s a popular saying and it’s absolutely right. From research to choosing your new home, to physically arriving in your new location… working with accredited, experienced people will dramatically reduce the stress involved with your move.

A successful relocation – global or domestic – will involve professional support for:

1. Research
Moving to a new country is exciting yet can be a little daunting too. It’s important to research your new location. Be aware of housing options – where and what type – as well as schools (if necessary), transport links and local amenities.

We’re all individuals – and will have our own priorities and requirements for where we live. Find out if your relocation package includes orientation services and help with settling in. This support can make your transition into a new community much smoother and happier.

2. Finding Your New Home
Many international assignees start their relocation in temporary accommodation whilst they settle into their new country, defining what they are looking for from their new home. This step helps to make your initial move easier, however you may need to move again within your new location.

3. Your Physical Move
Moving abroad, you need a removals partner who will support you with a true ‘door to door’ service. Choose an accredited company that has experience of global relocations. They’ll have the contacts and knowledge to ensure that your physical move – from your personal belongings to valuable items and your family pets – will be completed reliably and with minimum anxiety.

“We make sure that moving is as stress-free as possible,” says Louise Chilcott, Business Development Executive at BTR International. “We provide a move plan which meets the needs of the organisation and the assignee. Plus – you will have as dedicated account manager for easy, direct communication throughout your move.”

In summary
These three points can make all the difference to the ease of any move but especially an international relocation.

Talk to BTR about the countries involved with your organisation’s international assignments. We’ve been successfully moving corporate assignees and their families worldwide since 1983. We have a proven track record for providing excellent services and have a network of reliable contacts across the globe.

Contact Louise via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call +44 (0) 1582 495495.