How Destination Services Can Help Your International Relocations

As the global business community gets its pre-pandemic groove back, international relocations are on the rise. These help businesses grow in global markets, while allowing employees to advance their careers and expand their horizons. But before any of these good things can happen, employees must acclimate to their new environment. That’s where destination services come in.


Destination services are specialized relocation benefits offered in conjunction with complex moves—moves that typically entail a cultural shift. While sometimes included in white-glove domestic relocation packages, they’re most often included in international relocation packages. And for very good reason.

While all corporate moves are challenging, international relocations are tougher by far. Destination services not only help employees and their families master the logistical complexities of relocating, but adjust to their new world more quickly and fully—the key to setting newly-minted expats up for success.

For this reason, if your company offers overseas assignments—or is planning to in the not-to-distant future—adding destination services to your relocation program is one of the smartest moves you can make right now.


Why Destination Services Are More Critical than Ever

In the past, an employee’s decision to accept a job offer was often informed by two primary considerations: financial compensation and the impact on one’s career.

While these elements still matter, so do these pandemic-inspired factors: finding purposeful work, striking a healthier work/life balance and prioritizing the well-being of one’s self and family.

By offering strong destination services benefits, employers demonstrate that they care about these, too—and make it easier for relocating employees to achieve them.

Beyond providing employees with the highest levels of relocation support, destination services help ensure that employees and their families can weather the emotionally-draining adjustment cycle that’s part of acclimation and more fully enjoy their global adventure.


Breaking Down Destination Services Benefits

Destination services benefits are typically provided by the employer’s relocation management company—either directly or indirectly, via a third-party expert. While packages vary by provider, common components include:

Assistance with the Immigration Process

While each country’s immigration requirements are unique, they’re all tricky to navigate. Destinations services providers use immigration specialists to guide employees through the application process, diffusing stress while ensuring immigration requirements are met.

Cultural and Language Training

You can’t get very far in a foreign country if you don’t speak the language. Destination services programs nearly always include language training, not just for employees but their families.

Similarly, most destination services programs include cultural training, to help prevent social blunders and facilitate good communication. After all, what’s considered good manners in one country may be the worst kind of insult somewhere else.

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On-the-Ground Orientation

Getting your bearings in a new city—let alone a new country—can be overwhelming. Destination services packages include personalized tours, conducted by knowledgeable locals, who coach employees and families on where things are and how to get around.

Help with Housing

While some employers arrange housing for international employees, others rely on destination services specialists to interface between employees and realtors in order to arrange comfortable housing.  

Settling-In Services

Destination services specialists also assist with myriad tasks like getting kids registered at school, opening new bank accounts and connecting with new healthcare providers. Once these are accomplished, employees and families can truly start settling in.

Spousal/Partner Assistance

International relocations are expensive investments for employers. Often, when they’re cut short, it’s because the employee’s spouse or partner is unhappy. One way to prevent this is by dedicating targeted resources to the spouse/partner’s acclimation, whether by helping them find work or engage with the community.

Repatriation Services

After a long, overseas assignment, returning home can be surprisingly challenging. Repatriation services helps departing employees move home and reacclimate in reverse, completing the international relocation cycle.


Is Your Relocation Program Is Up to Par?

If international relocations are part of your company’s growth strategy, a great relocation package—one that includes destination services—should be part of that strategy, too.

After all, employee priorities have shifted. Expectations are higher. For all these reasons, now is a great time to revisit your relocation program and ensure it’s as competitive as possible by current standards.

For a fresh take, ask us what a new, cutting-edge relocation program could look like—we’d love to help you think this through.

Human Resources Today