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International Relocation

Articles on international relocation trends, policies and strategies.

Repatriation and Retention Lessons from FEM

Recently I attended the Forum for Expat Management 2015 NYC Roadshow. What an exciting buzz with many people in attendance from both the corporate and supplier side of global mobility! Everywhere I looked people were gathered together either at a roundtable event, a session, a supplier booth, or just in groups chatting about global mobility. One of my favorite panel sessions was “Repatriation, Localization, or Redeployment – Exploring the Best Succession Plans to Retain Top Talent.” The panel, moderated by Brian Friedman, Founder, FEM included Tricia Schneider, Director of Global Mobility, American Express; Melissa Sudano, Director of Global Mobility, CA Technologies; and Patricia Tavares, Global Mobility Regional Head – Americas, HSBC. Their combined expertise left me with several lessons but, today, I wanted to share some thoughts on repatriation and retention specifically.

Does Your International Relocation Policy Address Culture Shock?

One of the greatest challenges that transferees face during an international relocation or assignment is the culture shock. A change in culture has a major impact on nearly every aspect of a person’s life including both professional and personal. It’s important that your international relocation policy provides proper training to help assignees adjust to local customs and ensure success in both the position and the relocation as a whole.

Six Important Practices for Inpat Relocations

In case you missed it, last week the Wall Street Journal ran an article titled, “Companies Tiptoe Back Towards Made in the U.S.A,” that discussed how some companies are reconsidering the U.S. as a manufacturing hub for their products. I must admit, I was smiling to myself as I read the piece. Ever the patriot, I would personally love to see more Made in America labels. Today, finding American-made products can be too great a challenge for a country that was built on a manufacturing platform.

Will Companies Relocate Employees, Facilities Out of China?

As someone who lives and breathes international relocation, I’m always looking out for business trends that may impact global mobility. recently, I read an an article in the New York Times titled “Looking Beyond China, Some Companies Shift Personnel,” that posed the theory that more companies would move facilities out of China for its more favorable neighbors in Southeast Asia (most notably, Singapore). According to the article, GM is leading the pack by moving its international headquarters to Singapore. On the surface, this makes sense. Southeast Asia is emerging from its financial crisis and Singapore is a very attractive destination for executives moving abroad. However, while I agree with much of the article, I do not believe we will see too much movement out of China.

Four Helpful Sites for Expats on International Assignment

Moving abroad for the first time can be overwhelming for expats on international assignments. They have different challenges than domestic transferees: cultural differences, language barriers and regulatory disparities are just a few of the obstacles that employees face while on assignment. HR professionals, relocation managers and relocation companies all do our best to adequately assess candidates prior to the assignment (are they right for the assignment?), and then prepare them for the experience. But, no matter how much we do for our assignees, we cannot walk with them through every moment. We can offer support and guidance, but we cannot join them in their adventure.

Cultural Awareness: The Do’s and Don’ts for Living in China

Have you ever experienced culture shock? It’s as disheartening as it is inevitable. When you don’t understand local customs or how to communicate, it is very easy to feel isolated and intimidated. When you add the uncertainly and stress of relocation to the mix, culture shock can easily be considered the most common reason why international assignment fail. Since culture influences everything that we do, from working with colleagues to making new friends, employers need to ensure that assignees understand local so that they can be successful in their new location.

Expatriate Growth Poised to Take Off in Dubai, UAE

HR executives for multi-national companies with a presence in Dubai may want to brace themselves for a dramatic increase in global assignments to the UAE. I have the privilege of being in Dubai now, shortly after the announcement that the UAE won the bid to host the World Exposition in 2020. This town is buzzing with excitement.

Our Favorite Articles on Helping Expats Celebrate the Holidays

This is my favorite time of year. I actually started the Christmas music weeks ago in an effort to prolong a very short holiday season. Between work and a rigorous school program, however, I haven’t really been able to sink into the festivities. For a die-hard holiday fan, this is a bit of a bummer! But, then I think of all the expats abroad who may not have a chance to celebrate with their loved ones and I realize how lucky I am to be close enough to family to enjoy the day. Or even in a country that supports holiday traditions for a variety of beliefs and customs.

Top 10 Most Expensive Cities for Expats (and What HR Can Do About It)

Are you relocating employees to Moscow, Tokyo or Luanda, Angola? If so, we feel for you…and them. Apparently, these are the top three most expensive cities for expats and, if they are a part of your global mobility program, then they are likely a top three on the headache list for you.

Mercer recently released their 2013 Cost of Living Survey, which analyzes the cost of living across 214 cities across five continents. They survey compares the prices of more than 200 items in these cities, including real estate, goods and services, to the cost of these items in New York City. Why New York? Well, New York City is the most expensive city in the U.S., so it serves as a good barometer for cost of living comparisons around the globe – especially if your expats are moving from the U.S. to an international destination.

Three Repatriation Challenges HR Must Conquer

One of the biggest mistakes a company can make regarding relocation is assuming that an international assignment is complete once the employee returns to the home country. In many ways, it is at this exact moment that HR needs to step in with gusto. A repatriation program is a vital step in the process that should not be taken lightly. In fact, one recent study from the University of Iowa notes that up to 38 percent of repatriated employees quit within a year of returning home. When you consider that companies spend millions of dollars on global assignments, this number is shocking…and depressing.


VP, Client Services

VP of Business Development Northeast Region


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