Moving Employees’ Household Goods Internationally Supports Recruitment Efforts

Companies transfer employees overseas for many reasons. One of the key motivations is to put knowledgeable, experienced team members in place to lead new offices. Rapid expansion may also necessitate moving specialized new talent to far-flung corners of the world.

Relocating tenured employees saves the company the time it would take to recruit in a foreign location, and robust relocation initiatives can also serve as an enticement to woo top-tier talent away from competitors.

However, some organizations have rolled back mobility benefits—including the international transport of employees’ household goods (HHG)—in an effort to contain costs. This strategy may seem like a win for the company’s bottom line in the short-term, but the long-term implications could be extremely detrimental for the company and the transferees.

Household Goods are Important

A number of mobility leaders have considered omitting HHG benefits but reconsidered when they realized the toll international assignments take on a relocating employee and their family. Adjusting to a completely foreign life can be traumatic and having personal belongings in a host country helps the family acclimate to their new environment.

One VP of Sales said recently, “When we moved to our new location, our teenagers struggled to adjust. Unfortunately, nothing about our new home or city was viewed as a positive. Our house felt cold and foreign until our furniture and other belongings arrived. Once they were reunited with their prized possessions, the kids began to acclimate to our new life. Having familiar things around us made all of us feel more connected to the new place.”

Alternatives Don’t Measure Up

While there are alternatives to shipping an employee’s household goods overseas, you may want to consider the following before eliminating HHG benefits.

  1. Extended temporary living and furnished accommodations are growing increasingly harder to procure as demand outstrips supply.
  2. Unfurnished accommodations with provided rental allowances are also problematic for several reasons:
    • Rental furniture is scarcely available in current conditions
    • Ordering new furniture is delayed due to the supply chain crisis and is more expensive
    • If the assignee has a pet, this could further limit the availability or eliminate availability substantially
  3. With additional excess baggage, there are still limits to what can be brought over to a new country; and cash allowance for incidentals drives up miscellaneous expense costs for the company, which can be a tax burden if not grossed up.
  4. Permanent Storage warehouses are at capacity, so many only offer limited space. Costs are also higher because demand outweighs supply.

Impacts on Talent Recruitment

Not moving an employee’s HHG could make for dissatisfied employees and failed assignments. It could also limit your recruitment pool by lowering the number of people willing to accept international assignments.

The cost of turnover is high, so any short-term savings from eliminating household goods will be erased by the expense of recruiting and retraining talent in the long run.

Make Informed Decisions

Shipping household goods internationally doesn’t have to be stressful for employers or employees. Suddath has been providing quick, easy and stress-free moving for more than a century. We are supply chain experts and can help clients navigate the current crisis with more than 1,000 vetted, high-quality partners who adhere to the same rigorous quality standards as part of the FIDI and OMNI networks.

With our many years of expertise, Suddath educates and guides clients every step of the way. One thing we’re good at is helping employers manage employee expectations when it comes to transit times.

To help you and your employees make informed decisions, here are some transit time estimates for household goods.

Make it Easier for Everyone

While some transferees on short-term assignments may be willing to leave personal effects behind, it’s unlikely that more seasoned professionals will be willing to accept an assignment abroad without shipping their household goods with them.

By partnering with a well-established HHG mover like Suddath, it’s easier to find cost-effective and efficient ways to move your people. Doing so will go a long way in boosting employee morale and supporting recruitment efforts. Tell us how we can take the stress out of moving your employees’ household goods overseas.