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Mobility Rising: A Glimpse Into Explaining Global Mobility 06.5.2020 | Lydia de Montfort

Each month, in our Mobility Rising series, we are showcasing our future talent leaders across the globe, as they share their passion for mobility, how they thrive in their careers, and how they drive our industry forward!

A few years ago, I heard a colleague say that after 20 years of working in global mobility, she still didn’t know quite how to describe her job to people who’d never heard of our industry.

She said she just used to tell anyone who asked, that she helped her clients move their people to where they need to be.

And whilst that’s definitely true…anyone in the industry knows, it’s certainly not that simple!

After all, very few people will have heard of our industry unless they’ve had direct experience of relocating with the support of a relocation management company. Even if they have heard of it, they’re unlikely to fully realise what a relocation consultant’s role entails day-to-day.

So, how would I summarise it?

Day-to-day, global mobility requires working with multiple employees (and their families) to help them relocate internationally as successfully as possible. There are many aspects of an international relocation and most of them intersect with or impact each other.

As a Relocation Consultant in Weichert’s EMEA office located in the UK, I have an overview of all these elements and am responsible for coordinating the services of our partners to ensure the relocating employee’s move to their destination is as smooth as possible, enabling them to start working in the host location with as few distractions as possible.

Relocating internationally can present many challenges, especially for someone who has never done it before. The Relocation Consultant needs to set the assignee’s expectations from the start, for instance how long things like shipping and immigration processes might take – the reality of which sometimes surprises people!

We need to listen to relocating employees and tailor services to their personal needs wherever possible, which means delivering frequent and effective communication and Legendary Service not just to our assignees but also to our providers is vital.

And there can be many providers – shipping; immigration; destination services; language training; cross-cultural training; temporary accommodation…to name a few. Being well-organised in our industry is definitely a highly valued skill!

Where we can really add value, in my opinion, is by anticipating issues and proactively working with our specialist partners to find solutions before any potential problem can really arise – and hopefully before the relocating employee is even aware of any issue.

And in case something doesn’t go as smoothly as planned, our job is to empathetically help find a solution that is acceptable to the assignee and their employer.

So, as you see, there’s a lot going on and it’s certainly not simple to describe!

Ultimately, global mobility is about people, so if you always keep your focus on the employee’s personal experience, you won’t go far wrong!

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Written by Lydia de Montfort

Lydia de Montfort is a Relocation Consultant in Weichert’s UK office. With six years of experience in global mobility, she has assisted assignees and their families moving between diverse locations into and within EMEA. She has a B.A. in French and Italian from the University of Bristol and an M.A. in Translation and Professional Language Skills from the University of Bath. She has lived and worked in France and Italy and this experience has helped her to understand the challenges faced by international transferees.

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