HRO Today July/August 2014 - 40

Relocation
cost of each relocation or new geographic assignment,
based largely on historical data to forecast the potential
expenses.
Just as important as cost reduction is the transferee's
experience, which affects overall retention. Specialist
providers pursue a highly personalized approach in their
interactions with employees to enhance the experience.
" Relocation is really the first point at which a new
employee comes in contact with the new employer, " says
West. " The employee's experience is indicative of how
the new employer treats and appreciates its workforce. "
Other providers agree that if a company's relocation
policy is not sufficient or easy to understand, the
initial experience for the employee may come across as
negative. " This may set the tone for how they feel about
the company and ultimately his or her success, " says Ron
Dunlap, Graebel's chief operating officer. " We provide
face-to-face consultations to help employees quickly
assimilate into their new positions. "
Even current employees sent on long-term assignments
learn buckets about the employer's regard for where they
fit in the overall scheme of the organization, and their
prospects for career promotions. " The threat of losing
talented employees because of a botched workforce
mobility assignment looms large for employers, " says
Sorrentino.
The value of the transferee's experience is just as
important-if not more so-than the expensive savings
accrued by outsourcing.
" If someone came to us and said they wanted to save
money on relocation, `can you help us?' I'd say sure, " says
West. " I can show them where they are losing money
now because of gaps in their internal program, and
provide examples of where we can negotiate better deals
on the supply chain side or help with a tax-protected
home sale program. But the more important part of
what we do is ensuring that mobility and relocation are
positive experiences for the transferee. "
Facts and Figures
Another value-added service provided by the specialist
firms is helping employers know beforehand whether or
not the experiences of the transferee or new employee
will be positive. In this regard, the provider should be
aligned closely with talent management objectives.
[40]
HRO TODAY MAGAZINE
| JULY/AUGUST 2014
While specific indust y metrics are
problematic, many providers will
estimate the cost of each relocation
or new geographic assignment,
based largely on historical data to
forecast the potential expenses.
" Bob might be the right person to hire or to send to
Lusaka, Zambia, but does Bob's family want to go
there? " West says. " For a global assignment that can
cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 million over
the span of the assignment, you don't want to take any
chances. ... We do the background work to ensure the fit
is proper and the risks of a bad experience are reduced or
mitigated. "
Global Mobility Solutions, for instance, considers its predecision
services to be vital to the success of employee
mobility. " You're asking someone to uproot and move
to Miami, and now the person has all sorts of questions
in mind-what is the housing market like there, the
people, the schools, the weather and whether or not
there is a local Little League for their daughter who plays
baseball, " says Steven Wester, president of Scottsdale,
Arizona-based Global Mobility. " At the same time, they're
wondering if they can afford to sell their existing homes
in the current market environment. "
To help answer these questions before they rear, the firm
provides the employee with informational material on
the destination. " Now when they fly home from Miami,
they're prepared to have an informed conversation with
the spouse about the job and the city, " Wester says. " The
anxiety levels are reduced. "
There is one way that providers and buyers can quantify
the ROI on relocation services outsourcing-through
individual success stories. Reid, for instance, cites
significant reductions in temporary housing costs for BOK
Financial. The company typically provides transferees
with 90 days of free, temporary housing in the new
location, as the employee hunts for a house. Given

HRO Today July/August 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HRO Today July/August 2014

HRO Today July/August 2014 - 1
HRO Today July/August 2014 - 2
HRO Today July/August 2014 - 3
HRO Today July/August 2014 - 4
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