Congratulations! After many months of sending out your CV, you finally landed a new job. It turns out your new position is in another country and it is time to get everything in order.
In most cases, new international hires are given a relocations budget to assist in their adjustment, which can really come in handy. There are many items to consider, however, and we will go into more detail to help you stay within your budget and put your mind at ease for your new life and work adventure.
If you’re on the other side of the conference table and working in your company’s HR department, it can also be quite challenging to manage the hiring process for international candidates.
What type of relocations packages should you offer? How much money should your company offer and will you vary it based on the position level? Keep reading, as the following is also good for you to keep in mind.
Timing of the move
One of the first and most critical issues to consider is how much time you have to relocate. Do you need to fly in next week to participate in a key meeting? Or do you have a few weeks to properly plan for your relocation?
These days, the world is moving fast, and companies are demanding more from their employees. If you do not have adequate time to prepare, consider the following:
What items do you absolutely have to bring?
Do you have a family member or close friend who can help you?
Does your relocations package included a furnished flat?
Remember that, while taking most of your belongings with you is important, there will be other items to consider as well. For example, how big will your new flat be? If it is not fully furnished, it will likely at least feature a washer and/or dryer and a couch or other basic furniture.
Once you know exactly which items will be waiting for you upon your arrival, you can make an intelligent decision and instead bring more precious items like that original Dali painting.
Shipping belongings by sea or air
Once you have determined how long you have to move, the next step is to plan how your shipping container(s) will arrive. Here are some tips to factor in when making your decision:
Shipping by weight vs volume
Shipping by air is measured by weight instead of volume; if you have many heavy or antique items, you will want to get a solid quote for the cost to make sure you do not exceed your relocations budget.
Sharing a container to lower moving costs
When shipping by sea, you have the option of renting an entire shipping container, or sharing a container (known as “groupage”). If your relocations budget is limited and you do not have too many belongings, sharing a container will lower your moving costs significantly.
Taking your time
If you need your items as soon as possible, there may no way to avoid shipping via air. Since shipping by sea often takes longer than two weeks to arrive, make sure you plan accordingly. Alternatively, if you’re not in a hurry or a friend or family member is helping you, shipping by sea could be ideal.
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Relocations package and the fine print
We recommend taking time to carefully review your new employer’s relocation package policy. Make sure you know precisely what’s considered an approved expense and what’s excluded. While you may think that specialty packing and moving of your grand piano should be covered, this may not be the case.
There may be certain items your new company will not cover – even if it falls within the relocations budget. It’s always best to review the approved expenditures policy and negotiate any extra services in order to avoid getting saddled with unexpected expenses.
According to a recent Atlas Van Lines survey, more than 50% of companies reimburse the following:
Packing all items (82%)
Shipping a car (80%)
Moving exercise equipment (52%)
Moving a second car (52%)
Unloading and unpacking all items (49%)
Specifically for HR professionals
If you’re an HR professional and are determining what type of relocations package to offer, the above guide will be quite helpful for you to review. In particular, you will also want to consider the following:
Allowing for adequate time for arrival of new hires if possible.
Offering 20 foot and/or 40 foot shipping container options.
Accounting for shipping luxury cars or other expensive and fragile items.
Additional benefits and extra allotments for executive or managerial positions.
Offering removals insurance for shipments; is it covered under your company’s policy?
We trust this guide will help you plan for your or your new employee’s new life, and help you better adjust to your new surroundings.
If you wish to learn more about cost of living in your new city, we recently published a comprehensive guide to offer suggestions. Best of fortune and success with your new job/new hire!