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first_imgIn general, says Finney, companies offer inpats local termsand conditions for equivalent employees, together with free housing and otherbenefits. However, the European trend is towards providing fully localcontracts, which would end such advantages. This approach may reduceremuneration differences, but Finney notes: “It is difficult to envisagethis working on a worldwide basis, given the greater economic, legislative andcultural differences that exist.” It could also make international moves aless attractive proposition and certainly any company taking this stepunilaterally could face skill loss if talent continues to follow financialreward. Need some advice on relocating employees from one part ofthe world to another? The following sources may be useful: There are few areas of employment where the need for skillshas not led to inpatriation. Australian teachers populate the UK’s classrooms,Spanish nurses stalk the corridors of the NHS, IT and financial companies dobattle on a global basis for the best in technical skills. To some extent,inpatriation is simply expatriation from the opposite end – managing employeesas they enter your country rather than managing their journey overseas. Interestingly, part of the cultural training for inpatsprovided by Novara actually covers instances where employees may feel thesekinds of pressure created by working alongside locals. “All candidates areprepared and realise that someone they meet might not like them,” explainsLund. “Employees need to be given the confidence that their work is valuedand welcome so part of our training focuses on the psychological impact such amove can have.” – Directmoving.com www.directmoving.com – Be informed about visa and working permit legislation.This is not only important in making sure the individual can work as yourequire, but also for assessing the danger of poaching from otherorganisations. In some countries, firms tempt inpats away from their originalemployers, thereby avoiding the time and expense of recruiting and applying forthe necessary legal forms. Short-term inpatriation can reduce the extent of supportrequired, but it does not do away with it. Both Brennan and Hawley are keen toemphasise the importance of providing support for the worker’s spouse andfamily, and securing accommodation. “Putting an employee in a servicedapartment or giving them access to a relocation agent to help them through theearly days means the employee can concentrate on their work,” notesBrennan. Inpatriation raises some particular challenges for HRmanagers. “It is vital to develop an integrated HR plan, which recognisesthe needs of the inpat while protecting the integrity of the local employeereward system,” says Andrew Finney, MD of relocation consultancy HCRCountrywide Mobility, based in Basingstoke, UK. Lynda Brennan notes that in the financial world, an employeebrought in from the US can be on twice the salary of his or her counterpart inLondon. Helping them work together requires effective communication so localworkers understand precisely what value the inpat is bringing to the company. But according to Kevan Hawley, CEO of Expatriate Preparation(World) and member of Overseas Moving Network International (OMNI), based inJohannesburg, this view can lead to an underestimation of the support requiredby inpats: “The problem we have with some companies is that they have theview that living in our country is easy, so why go to any extra trouble? Thisis a huge error and one of the reasons for the high statistics in failedinternational contracts.” Previous Article Next Article “There can be jealousy between the inpat and the localworker,” adds Lund, “but that depends on what they’re working on. Ifthey’re working on software development, for example, there aren’t that manylocal people with the skills to work in that area so the problem isn’t sogreat.” Welcome to our worldOn 1 Feb 2001 in Personnel Today Comprehensive support systems for inpatriates are just asimportant as those for expatriates, says Simon Kent, and firms that fail torecognise this pay the price – Overseas Moving Network International   www.omnimoving.com – Cendant International Assignment Services  www.cendantias.com Hints & tips Lynda Brennan, senior consultant with Employment ConditionsAbroad (ECA), agrees: “Many companies will establish sophisticated supportprogrammes for people moving from the UK to Japan,” she says, “butthey don’t offer that support for workers the other way round. That experienceis just as alien.” Further information… Manpreet Sidhu, resource manager for Europe at India-basedIT company Silverline Technologies, explains that an employee moving fromBombay to New York should view the experience as simply “transferringbetween offices”. Behind this simple statement lies a raft of supportmeasures: “We provide free accommodation for at least seven days, with thesecond 14 at half price,” explains Sidhu. “If people cannot getrented property in their own name with regard to bank references, Silverlinecan take the property in its name. Employees do not need to take accommodationuntil they are used to being in the new country,” he adds. You can find more relocation-related articles on thefollowing Web site: www.personneltoday.com/features – Do not underestimate the level of support required for oneindividual employee. Inpatriation may entail a shorter assignment thanexpatriation, but each individual must be given the support he or she requires. – Ensure the inpat has an effective and immediate role whenthey arrive in their new location. Having a new inpat in the office who is notperceived to be working productively may cause friction. Novara’s strategy for inpat management starts before theindividual even arrives in the country. A specialist team interviews candidatesin situ within their own home country. Once hired, the company applies for thenecessary visas and permits and the employee receives a full cultural supportprogramme. This not only covers issues such as potential culture shock for theemployee, but also offers advice on communications with clients and how tomanage everyday domestic activities. Remuneration for the inpats is high andemployees enjoy full medical insurance, retirement plan contributions, threeweeks’ paid vacation and return flights home. Employees can even determinetheir hourly earning rate through a specially designed salary calculator,offering them the chance to determine how they are remunerated. Novara Computer Services is a New York-based provider ofcomprehensive IT software development, training and ASP/ISP services. With 135employees currently working for the company and another 165 inpats filed for,it is building one of the largest staffs of highly skilled IT professionals inthe US and, according to executive vice-president Sumira Lund, already 99% ofthe workforce have come from outside the US. – Metrius Europe, the networked economy business consultancyfrom KPMG, carries out pre-employment tests to assess a candidate’sappropriateness for inpatriation programmes. This includes studying thecandidate’s interests and social pastimes to see how this corresponds toopportunities available at their destination. According to John Arcario, senior vice-president and generalmanager of global relocation consultancy Cendant International AssignmentServices, based in Florida, relocations are becoming increasingly short term.Companies tempt employees away from their homes for between six and 12 monthswith sign-on bonuses and project completion rewards. “These employeesundergo intensive immersion programmes to understand the culture they areentering,” he notes. “And this is important, because if you have aworker who is there for six months you can’t have them spending the first monthgetting to know the place.” Michael Thuleweit, managing director of Datamatics GmbH, anIT personnel resourcing company based in Darmstadt, gives one example of anill-thought-out inpat project. An Indian worker came to Germany on the promiseof a job working on Java applications. After his arrival, however, the employerdecided that the opportunity no longer existed. The worker had to return homesince his visa allowed him to work only in those specific circumstances.”Our advice is stay in your own country for as long as you can,” saysThuleweit, “but if you do need to make a move then do everything to makethe employee feel as good as possible – because they’re going to feel bad aboutleaving home.” However, Christophe Andreae, country manager in Switzerlandfor IT resourcing specialists ComputerPeople, believes workers take inpatassignments as a lifestyle choice rather than for purely financial reasons. Acomputer specialist in Zurich, for example, enjoys lower living expenses thanin London and can easily reach many European attractions. Arcario perceives companies being increasingly strategicabout who they move, in terms of skills and cultural identity, and how thoseemployees are managed during their relocation. For example, a company bringingin a team of 50 workers from one country for a project may allow them to workin a separate unit from the rest of the company, avoiding cultural problemsaltogether. The primary reason for inpatriation here is project completionrather than creating global employees. – ECA International  www.ecainternational.com – Relocation Resources Inc www.rriworld.com – Move Intl  www.moveintl.com “You tend not to see jealousy between contract andpermanent workers because you can’t compare the two,” he adds. “Theconsultant gets a different daily rate to the contractor, but that’s acceptablebecause the permanent staff have other things to compensate them – such as moreopportunities within the firm and more management experience.” JohnArcario notes that the remuneration package offered to inpats – geared toproject completion – also emphasises the temporary nature of the employee’s positionand the reason for their presence. Case study: Novara Computer Services Another employer may choose to create a team throughrelocating individuals within Europe rather than bringing in experiencedworkers from the US, where the cultural difference could present a barrier totheir effectiveness. In each case, the support package offered to the inpatsmust meet their needs as well as the demands the company is making of them. Lund explains that one reason for this extensive package isto retain the employees they have invested time and money in bringing over tothe US. “Many of the top Fortune 500 companies do not bother getting visasfor their workers because it costs a lot of money,” she explains. Suchpoaching can occur when Novara’s own customer decides they want to make amember of the contract staff a permanent employee. “Our customers oftenapproach employees and offer them a transfer because it is cheaper and easierfor them to do that than find their own people. Comments are closed. 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