While international recruiting has been made easier by the emergence of large business and employment-oriented platforms and the logistical aspects of moving are being successfully managed by relocation service providers, employers are still having trouble providing the more personal aspects of relocation support.
Malte Zeeck, Founder and Co-CEO of InterNations, the world’s largest expat network, says a globally local approach is crucial for employers of foreign assignees and international hires — to reduce the risk of assignment failure and improve global talent retention. The InterNations concept of globally local? A global network broken down into 420 local communities to make it possible for people to connect on a local level.
Top Reasons for a Globally Local Approach:
In this progressively globalized business and talent mobility landscape, local factors remain very important. Adopting a globally local approach can help employers trying to strike the right balance between standardizing and localizing relocation support for global employees and their families.
Standardized processes and a one-size-fits-all approach are leaving gaps in relocation support. Peer-to-peer support, on a local level, is a means to address related challenges. Support to integrate and feel at home in the local culture cannot be effectively provided on a global scale, and can only be successfully delivered locally. While local case-by-case management is costly to the time and resources of companies at best, and completely unrealistic at worst, some of these more innovative aspects of relocation assistance can be achieved through social support from other expats and locals within the local community.
Employers need to accept that it is their responsibility to ensure that their global employees are happy, well settled, and integrated abroad, and provide local networking and socializing opportunities to achieve this. Such support will produce happier and better integrated employees, which, in turn, has a direct positive impact on business goals and workplace productivity.
Malte says employers need to remember that they are not just relocating employees, but people — with families, feelings, and emotions — who need a sense of belonging within their local community. "The ongoing challenge for companies will be to find the right balance between streamlining and standardizing processes, while also recognizing local differences, and being flexible and innovative in order to address these."
Read Malte Zeeck's complete In My Opinionand get his insights on the globally local concept and approach.