4 smart tips about international secondment

International companies are just discovering some of the possibilities that can be realised through secondment of experienced workers. Consequently, this HR technique is still poorly understood and often misapplied in practice. That’s why we bring you those proven tips that hold true regardless of the industry or geographies.

Because of improved transportation and communication systems, it is now possible for international companies to rotate key staff members in and out of different locations based on current needs. While this human resource management technique can be quite advantageous, it needs to be realised in a diligent and secure manner. To help with this task, we compiled a short list of professional tips that can help companies avoid costly mistakes when sending important workers on international secondment missions:

1. Never force employees to accept secondment

The company could contractually bind employees into accepting secondment at any point, but this practice can have dangerous consequences. The whole point of international relocation is to make better use of available resources, so motivation of the chosen employee is very important. For some workers, a chance to live in a foreign country is a dream opportunity, and people with this attitude should receive priority during the selection process. Younger employees without families are typically more open towards this kind of business arrangement.

2. Match right personalities with right markets

Every job calls for a certain skill set, while personal traits play a big role as well. You don’t want to send an impatient person to a situation that demands diplomatic network building, even if that person appears to be most qualified for the job on paper. Employers are expected to be familiar with strengths and weaknesses of their long-time employees, while interviews and psychological tests can help identify potentially great matches. It’s much better to spend a bit of time searching for the ideal employee than to be forced to send a replacement after just a few months.

3. Provide sufficient relocation allowance

When moving into a market that has a higher living standard than the home base, companies have to reimburse financially their representatives who are sent to live at the new location. Relocation allowance is necessary in order to ensure their earnings allow them to keep the same lifestyle they had before international relocation. Seconded employees also need to earn at the same level as local experts of the same rank, or they could be tempted to defect to a competitor. Because of this, it’s necessary to conduct some research and find out the going rates for similar jobs, as well as prices of basic commodities such as food or transportation.

4. Work with a proven global mobility company

The most convenient way to overcome the challenges described above is to work with a global mobility specialists who can advise about best practices for every particular market. At Brunel we have extensive experience with corporate relocations and international staffing, with direct insight into several high-profile markets. Together with our clients we strive to accelerate the process and spare our clients the trouble of having to collect information from many different sources. With Brunel as your partner you can proactively use international relocation as a viable HR strategy, even in you have little knowledge about the target countries. 

Brunel offers customisable, digital and flexible mobility services to ensure the smoothest transitions possible. From individually budgeted spending to full and extensive global mobility programs, Brunel offers the right solutions and supports you and your people every step of the way.
Are you interested in global mobility? Read our other blogs concerning this topic!