8 factors to consider when looking for a Partner to support you with the complexities of your International Assignments programme

When looking for a partner to support you with the management of your International Assignment Programme there are three main things to consider before making a decision:

  • Competence: Can we build, but more importantly maintain, the depth of competence required to handle expatriate administration in-house? Would this be cost effective for our expatriate population?
  • Quality: Can we improve the quality of expatriate processes? Could the service to the expatriate and line manager be improved?
  • Cost: Can the total cost of the expatriate programme be better managed to reduce cost? (Not only the administrative costs, but the total cost of assignment.)

In recent years outsourcing has become an attractive proposition for many organisations, with many outsourcing non-core activities, such as payroll and pensions administration. However, having recognised the benefits, many now outsource on a much more comprehensive basis – effectively sub-contracting all day-to-day HR activity and, in some cases, even strategic elements of the function.

So is expatriate administration a suitable function to outsource? It is, at least for some organisations. The administration of expatriates is much more time-consuming than administration on behalf of local employees. It demands a great deal of specialised knowledge, much of which is subject to regular change. And the urgencies associated with setting up a new assignment, or managing change, are such that handling them as part of a generalist HR role can be difficult to say the least.

Experienced practitioners will know that managing the expectations of assignees – and their families – is a key issue. When outsourcing leads to faster and more efficient administration, the management of expectations is made considerably easier.


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We have produced a whitepaper on the 8 factors to consider when looking for a Partner to support you with the complexities of your International Assignments programme. The whitepaper covers:

  1. Why setting clear organisational goals is critical to the research and planning of outsourcing.
  2. The consideration of which elements of the process to outsource when developing your strategy.
  3. How to add value in the tendering process
  4. What to consider during the selection process that will make identifying the right global mobility partner a lot easier
  5. Focusing on the importance of the suppliers technical competence when assessing proposals.
  6. The important factors for making the relationship with the chosen supplier work smoothly
  7. How to make the transistion process as clear and easy as possible for both sides.
  8. What to do to make to the implementation process work, which leads to a real ‘partnership’.

These factors can lead to direct benefits such as faster, more consistent and more effective administration, improved cost management of assignments, and the avoidance of otherwise costly compliance problems.

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