While moving to Germany, can relocation services help you succeed and if so, how? Let’s chat about it!
What is relocation after all?
With every talk with potential new clients, companies or their representatives, we still face the double standard when it comes to relocation. Either nobody knows about this service or it is „reserved“ for the very important and hard to get talents. Let us talk about relocation, what it is, and how it will boost your performance as well as your employee’s.
Relocation services handle the process of moving an existing colleague or a newly hired talent from their former position to the new working location – e.g. from Austin, Texas to Munich, Germany or from Tokyo, Japan to Rome, Italy. It can even happen at a far shorter rage e.g. from Stuttgart, Germany to Munich, Germany.
Freshly graduated talent often moves for their first hire by themselves and rarely asks for relocation support. Key talent is often head hunted and usually has (some) family joining, with an average of up to 3 children alongside their partner. After the signing of the new work contract and the fading of the initial enthusiasm, reality reveals the challenges ahead. And that is when a relocation service comes in handy.
Challenge #1 Immigration
Between countries, except for the EU or similar regional agreements, work related moving requires the immigration administration protocol. Depending on the involved countries and personal situation, it can be a lengthy process with up to 6 months of waiting time.
Professionals from this field assist HR and the candidate with on point support and direct communication to the needed authorities. Thus resulting in a shorter process and less worries about potential errors that might restart it. We have experienced HR departments to willingly outsource this, as it would have be more expensive and resource consuming to be done in house.
You can find a more detailed timeline of the immigration process here.
Challenge #2 Moving
Pack your stuff, rent a trailer and let’s go. In a movie moving happens instantly and a lot of people are involved behind the scenes to make this event appear effortlessly – or scratch that – just to make it happen.
In reality, yes, you can manage everything by yourself, the moving out of your current accommodation, the search for a new place, sometimes with travel to the actual new place is needed, the packing, moving and un-packing. This mainly covers your place to live, the house hold goods and maybe your car. Usually, precious vacation time or unpaid leave is requested and granted for this event.
Anybody who has been through this experience has also been through many unwanted emotions, waiting for confirmations, and a lot of rejections.
When key talent knows its market worth or is being head hunted, this is one of the many services they (should) request directly after the work contract is agreed upon. An expert handles the process and coordinates with HR for additional paper work for the local house search.
There is a lot of local knowledge which advances the house search for people who move e.g. to Germany from abroad and who mostly do not speak German. A translator might be a good intermediary solution, yet convincing local property owners requires further skills. This part of talent management is usually outside the expertise of any HR responsible, as it is a very different and time consuming process and results are not always easily achieved.
If you’re still wondering what is the additional value of relocation services while moving to Germany, here‘s a brief on how the rent market currently looks like in Munich.
Challenge #3 settling-in
If the first 2 challenges have been mastered by you or by your HR department, then usually some administrative aspects still need to be covered, while usually it is already time to perform within the new work environment. A relocation services package can ensure that moving to Germany doesn’t become a project none of the parties involved would like to work on.
Registration of the new address, opening a bank account, transcribing the driving license, finding a kindergarten or school place are the next new focus of any newly arrived expat. For those moving with family, sometimes finding a new job for the partner also needs to be considered, and in a timely fashion. This part however, gets little to no coverage in most relocation packages.
And let’s be honest, both HR and newly relocated expat want and need to focus on their area of expertise. It makes a lot of sense as this is the main reason why the talent was hired in the first place, and why HR has finished a long process of sorting excellence from a long list of applicants. Both want to perform in their respected field and focus on their strengths.
When the actual start of the new position is about to happen, all parties involved would just like to arrive, start from the very first day and not worry too much about the details. And this is why contracting a relocation agency is usually a valuable asset for both parties.
Challenge #4 the matter of the bill
As costs for these services are an one-time occurring expense, most departments transfer the responsibility of the bill to their employee. Is this the ideal solution? Well, in our experience no. We have already introduced a different method, that will make things easier for everyone. You are more then welcome to take a look at it, given you are an expat or an HR representative.
When an employer or the HR department goes thrifty on covering the relocation costs, and you know you are better off using a local professional for a service or more, know that most if not all of the expenses are tax deductible.
Whoever has already moved for a new position knows how many things need to be taken care of – sometimes even at the same time, so do yourself and your employee a favour and get the support that is needed.
*Set the mood right by listening to this playlist.