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How to Relocate Staff Overseas Successfully

Home Blog How to Relocate Staff Overseas Successfully

Michael Lewars

Commercial Director

Gain competitive advantage with the right benefits package

Successfully relocating staff overseas with employees who are satisfied with their benefits package are more likely to be loyal to their employers and engaged with their organisations. Six out of ten employees claim that a comprehensive employee benefits package is a key factor when they look and apply for a job.1

William Russell blog - Successfully relocating staff overseas iconThe right employee benefits

85% of employees feel their current benefits package failed to provide the support and flexibility to meet their present and future financial needs.Add to this that 12% of those born between 1981 and 1995 – generation Y or our upcoming middle management – are so dissatisfied with their current benefits package that they’ve considered a move1, it’s important that businesses review the benefits provided to employees to reap the benefits of retaining talent and attracting the right candidates.


Three quarters of expats move for work reasons

A report by Finaccord, predicted 56.6 million expatriates by 2017, a figure that’s expected to grow by 3% a year.2 Of those, almost three quarters have moved for work reasons, either job seeking or taking up foreign assignments at the request of their employers.

Human resources consultancy Mercer says the biggest reason for an assignment failure is the expat struggling to adjust to their new country’s culture and working practices; this is cited by 40% of expats whose assignments had failed.

Not getting it right can be costly, and an early return home means the expat will go through a period of disruption as they re-adjust and return to work, where their recent efforts may be viewed as a failure and may ultimately lead to that employee resigning their position.

Research suggests that the failure rates of expat assignments in developed countries is around 25-40%, and this rises to 70% in under-developed countries. 3

For senior executives whose base salary is above US$250,000, the cost of a failed expatriate assignment can be up to 40 times base salary.3

William Russell blog - Successfully relocating staff overseas get it right iconWhat to consider to get it right

  • Choose your assignee carefully – an adaptable employee will be sensitive to their new surroundings and more likely to fit their lifestyle with a new culture
  • Set clear goals and values – set your assignee up for success with consistent targets
  • Allow time – for your assignee to join local support networks and to cultivate new friendships and hobbies
  • Great communication – ask about your employee’s domestic situation – if their spouse or family is finding it difficult to settle, this will affect how successful the placement will be
  • A great international private healthcare package – because healthcare systems differ so much around the world, families need peace of mind they’ll be well looked after while they’re away, and reassurance that in an emergency, help will be at hand. As a result of increasing health costs globally, governments are less inclined to fund medical care for employees on foreign assignments, so many countries are now beginning to make health care insurance compulsory.4

How can we support your business?

Available to businesses with 3 or more employees, we can support groups of any size, and we will help you tailor the right level of cover to suit the needs of your business and your employees. Irrespective of your group size, with William Russell you will always receive personal service from our dedicated account management team; we don’t have call-centres, so you and your employees will get straight through to a human being who understands your policy. Our range of health and protection plans are designed exclusively for expats and international businesses.

Here, you can find dedicated information for groups of 3-9 employees, 10-39 employees and 40+ employees.

Easy to apply

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We make it easy to apply and we’ll get you covered fast. When you sign up to a William Russell plan, we sign up to a partnership with you. Our experienced group protection team are by your side from application through to policy account management. We handle everything once the policy is in place, so you can focus on your day-to-day business.

Contact us here.


William Russell is a trading name of William Russell Ltd, which is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority, and William Russell Europe SRL, which is registered in Belgium with the Financial Services & Markets Authority. We provide insurance plans on behalf of AWP Health & Life SA, an Allianz group company registered in France, and AWP P&C SA UK, an Allianz group company registered in the UK. We’re here to help our customers, but we don’t offer insurance advice.