Human Resources



mobility partner-123RF

How to choose the most relevant mobility vendor for your needs

Human Resources Online is heading to Bangkok with the Accelerate HR conference on November 26-27.
HR leaders from Agoda, DKSH, Fonterra, FWD, Kasikornbank, Minor Food, Nissan Motor and more have already confirmed to speak.
Bring your team for additional group discounts.


Speaking to mobility experts from SIRVA, we reveal the dos and don’ts when partnering up with a relocation provider.

Today, changes in workforce demographics as well as shifts in geopolitical landscapes have created concerning skill gaps and talent shortages for organisations all over APAC.

To solve these challenges, data presented in SIRVA’s whitepaper, titled “Partner Up: Build a More Effective and Efficient Mobility Program With Your Internal Teams and External Partners”, revealed companies are engaging various short- and long-term strategies with a common underlying theme of globalisation and talent mobility.

In fact, 76% of CEOs have indicated they are willing to mobilise talent as needed. At the same time, Millennials have expressed a desire to work abroad during their careers.

This evolution makes it imperative for mobility functions to keep pace with the goals and needs of the business to scale and elevate mobility programmes.

Speaking to Human Resources, Echo Lei, global account management director, SIRVA, observed: “In recent years, instead of long term assignments, more companies are keeping the term within three years, with a tighter extension criteria.”

In addition, Lei noticed that in terms of relocation packages, companies are moving away from the traditional bundle packages to an a-la-carte or cash out offerings; introducing the concept of core benefits and flexible benefits which are subject to manager approvals, budget, grading, and move types.

While some organisations prefer to manage their mobility in-house, others choose to outsource to reap the benefits of having an external partner. Benefits include cost savings on program administration and services, greater scalability, domain expertise, and technology – a pivotal success factor according to Lei.

SIRVA’s whitepaper found key circumstances which prompt organisations to partner up include market entry or expansion, resource limitations, as well as cost minimisation and transparency.

Alignment and agility are key

The whitepaper advised HR leaders to evaluate mobility partners based on alignment of required and available support and benefits, as well as the overall cultural fit, while cautioning that companies looking to engage partners for external mobility support should note not all partners have the same reach, capabilities, or expertise.

Coming to choosing between similar mobility vendors, Girlie Velasquez, global account management director, SIRVA, told Human Resources: “Agility wrapped with sustainable delivery is one of the differentiators that HR should be considering in identifying partners in global mobility. Companies are becoming sophisticated in designing their policies, benefits and expectations on how to deliver; so the one-size-fits-all approach is no longer applicable.”

In terms of the portable data and checklist an organisation should look out for when transitioning between solution providers, Velasquez noted the different data and checklist are driven by workstreams to be migrated from one provider to another.

“Under each workstreams will be the list of requirements that the client needs to provide to the vendors and/or that the current vendor to provide to the new vendor. A strong mobility vendor will have a reliable team of implementation gurus who oversee the end-to-end set-up and migration of mobility workstreams,” she added.

Taking SIRVA for example, Velasquez revealed the project plan and action list under implementation programmes can equate to about 200 line items which are closely monitored by the implementation lead. These checklists can be customised depending on the size of the migration, scope of work, and transition approach.

Some key workstreams established in an implementation include workstream lead, communication plan, pricing, finance, technology and systems, supply chain, moving services, transition files, and training.

To ensure a successful partnership, communication is key, Lei opined while revealing three mistakes organisations should avoid.

Lack of alignment with business
A lack of alignment between mobility functions and the business, and consequently with relocation partners will result in incomplete planning and insufficient budgeting. This will trigger frustrations from relocating employee or excessive exceptions.

Inappropriate lead time
Failure to inject appropriate lead time and a proper implementation will result in an inability to achieve business commitment.

Too much or too little involvement
Both micromanaging or disconnecting completely from the relocation program will result in an unsatisfactory result. The best approach is to communicate with your partner, understand your programme and work with them to position the best solution forward.

Photo / 123RF

HR Masterclass Series: High-level HR strategy training workshops
with topics ranging from Analytics, to HR Business Partnering, Coaching, Leadership, Agile Talent and more.
Review the 2019 masterclasses here »

Read More News