What is a real VIP relocation program?


Let’s face it – you would not expect to walk into Hermes and purchase a bag for €200. Why Not? Because it is a high-end brand specializing in quality, exquisitely crafted luxury products. If this is the case, then it stands to reason, that if you are looking to relocate one of your most valuable VIP employees, this cannot or should not be done on a regular or low-cost program. A true VIP program has to be priced higher because you need to make sure to take the following into account:

1. Junior Vs. Senior Consultant – A valued VIP employee needs to be followed by the most experienced Relocation Consultant that the Destination Service Provider (DSP) has, as this person will have the experience, qualifications and knowhow in dealing with such high-touch assignees. Normally these Consultants are some of the highest paid within a DSP and are assigned the most important VIP assignees. Therefore, if you are looking to relocate a VIP assignee on a low-cost program, they may end up in the hands of a Junior Consultant due to cost constraints and this can only be a recipe for problems and issues caused by the Consultant’s lack of experience in dealing with such individuals.

2. Access Outside of Office Hours – In markets that have strict labor laws and/or high cost employment contracts, access to a Consultant outside of office hourly can cost the DSP dearly – therefore this type of VIP 24/7 service comes at a premium, but it is worth it considering the peace of mind it brings the VIP assignee.

3. Taking The Time That It Needs – VIP assignees should not be rushed or held to a specific time structured program. Such assignees need to be given as many hours as they require – or that their spouse/partner requires, to settle successfully into the new destination. Such additional hours or open-ended assistance has a cost to the DSP and cannot be provided within a regular program; therefore, a real VIP program needs to be created without looking at the price tag. When we have provided such VIP programs, without cost being a major factor, the assignments have been more successful. This particularly with the family members, as they really got the support they needed – which made all the difference in regards to them settling into the new destination through their enthusiasm and eagerness that the extra support brought.

4. Immigration and Compliancy – Just like the relocation program, this is not a service that you should skimp on. Compliancy in the new destination is vital and needs to be carried out by the most experienced and qualified DSP in the market. Again, due to the quality of their staff members, very often this will not be the cheapest. I have heard many horror stories regarding immigration and compliancy due to the fact that the services where put into hands of dilettantes because of “competitive pricing”.

When relocating some of your most valuable VIP assignees, it will certainly behoove you to assess the relocation program they will receive, and if it will be enough for their needs and requirements as well as their expectations. In today’s work market, it is extremely challenging to find great talent, and once found, they need to be invested in from all points of view – this includes how much assistance they get when they relocate and if it really reflects their importance and position within the company. As they say – the devil is in the detail, so make sure that your VIP assignees are relocated by the best, taking into account that genuine high-end, high-touch service comes at a price.

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