Mitigating the risk of relocation failure

A look at best practices to ensure costly foreign assignments don’t go awry
By Neil O’Farrell
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/09/2012

The ability to move employees across borders efficiently and economically is critical for any international firm. Industrial competitiveness, after all, stems in large part from operational flexibility.

By following best practices through the five stages of the assignment process — candidate selection, preparation for the relocation and the assignment, on-assignment, repatriation and post-repatriation — employers can mitigate the risk a relocation will fail.

And there are more than a few ways a relocation can go wrong, including: low acceptance rates of international assignments; an early return of the employee to the home country; work-related and family-related problems while on assignment; low levels of satisfaction upon return; and the resignation of the employee within two years of return from assignment, according to Worldwide ERC’s 2006 Global Benchmarking Survey.