In the world of global mobility, many ask what is the value add provided by local relocation companies today? Some things are obvious. Someone moves a sofa from A to B and others make sure the transferee is legally compliant, but what about the relocation portion of the move? Can’t practical matters in the age of digitization be handled by the people that are moving?
In Sweden I wish there was a transparent and honest housing rental market where the transferees, without a great effort, could find a home of their liking at the perfect time. In other markets, it would be wonderful if the utility companies could cater to different language preferences and were easy to find. What if the Swedish admissions offices, at the International schools, could handle most queries and the school selection was huge?
All this combined would make it possible for the transferee to actually handle some of the practical matters on their own which would not have been possible some years ago. These days many will say “I’m sure there’s an app for that”. For some things, there certainly are options for DIY tasks.
So how can Destination Service Providers add value that goes beyond the digitized and simplified possibilities of handling things inhouse or by the transferees themselves?
Knowing where you can take shortcuts and the things that should be avoided at all costs is something seasoned local destination providers can navigate around.
Also, we often talk with your employees about all the things that you don’t know that you don’t know. A transferee can live a perfectly good life until the unexpected happens and the consequences can be terrible due to a small administrative matter that was not known or overlooked and it all of a sudden becomes a life line.
The French local registration process is difficult. Our French partner Jérémy Berthoux, at Home Conseil, provides additional support and documentation to take the bugs out of that. IT also affect the timelines for settling in and we all know how annoying it can be to live without internet at home.
Michèle Bramstoft at Copenhagen Relocations mentions that a strong Value Add for their clients is the location of their office. They share the building with the International House in Copenhagen so they can get very quick answers and solutions to many administrative matters.
Most relocation companies, in Europe at least, have a considerable number of years in the business at this point. This means they have seen thousands and thousands of transferees over the years, their triumphs, struggles, common challenges and joys. This is why we we sat down and asked ourselves, “How can we give back to our clients all the knowledge and experience we have gained from them?”
We realized that no matter where you come from, no matter how old you are and whether you are moving alone or with a family - the transferee walks into a new workplace with new colleagues and experiences both a company culture as well as a national culture that is foreign to them.
We decided to put together a cultural readiness program that starts before a talent has signed the dotted line all the way to the first period at work in Sweden.
Our complementary program is called Professional Inspiration. It is an online program that we offer to all our clients, both for work visas and destination support and it has three modules.
- Pre Move and pre-decision
- Sweden Specific info, move strategies and change management
- How to live and work successfully in Sweden.
We have spiced up this online program with 36 films interviewing expats that are already here, local HR, and co-workers who will describe how they like to work and what is a no-no. This way the talent can shine brightly on their first day and they don’t necessarily have to “learn by making mistakes”.
Since Swedes are obsessed with efficiency, we also share a productivity program that we have developed over the years called Motivational Mojo. This helps newbies to get a headstart on some of the hacks many Swedes use daily.
Just like RHS, Relocation & Immigration Services our Dutch partner Veronique Haverhals mentions that their company is small enough to have a really high availability to clients.
Many times they have saved family holidays when clients have found themselves without necessary documentation for travel on Christmas eve they have received important data for a continued trip and help through customs.
Emergency calls are answered when the emergency is ongoing which is part of the local destination firm’s boutique value add.
The country of Sweden itself also contributes to the value add for new talent. This, along with excellent and low-cost daycare, makes Sweden a nice location for young families. Should a child break an arm while skiing overlooking the city center, the transferee will not have to take out a mortgage to cover the medical fees.
We are blessed with some things that are just part of Sweden. Women, for instance, enjoy equality both in the workplace and at home while men have the opportunity to have paternity leave which isn’t widely available around the world.
We have many things to be grateful for and along with our own pleasure creating value add products Sweden certainly helps us sell and deliver a top destination.
For further reading, this blog post might be helpful:
For more useful resources you may wish to download our Global Mobility Policy Handbook.