Pro-Link GLOBAL – Best HR supplier, strategy or team

The Best HR & Supplier Strategy or Team award honours great partnerships between HR teams working with a supplier to deliver a relocation strategy that enhances business objectives and the quality of the relocation support provided to individual employees.
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Pro-Link GLOBAL team wins Relocate Award
The judges look for excellence in innovation, service provision, use of resources, contribution to the HR team, and a positive impact on employees.Underlining the importance of immigration in the mobility context, this year's winner was corporate immigration services provider Pro-Link GLOBAL.Scoring a near-perfect 92 points out of a possible 100, Pro-Link won for the value it is adding to its multinational clients' businesses. Its role as trusted adviser ensures that clients can focus on their speciality while Pro-Link's staff focus on theirs."Our dedicated team works hand in hand with clients' human resources teams to manage the immigration needs of their expat employee populations," explains lead counsel Andrea Elliott. "We start with the end in mind, and focus on the employee experience."With this at its heart, the consulting group has built its business over the past ten years by converting apparently intractable immigration challenges into successes for its clients, and smoothing the relocation process for individuals and their families.

Saving the day

Pro-Link GLOBAL's entry statement and supporting materials were testament to the company's dynamic approach to immigration counsel and consulting. They gave numerous examples of positive contributions to clients' HR teams and the lives of relocating employees.Among the most striking was the case study about a client who is an integral part of the delivery of clean water into Africa. The company established a new entity in Kenya, posting a Rwanda-born Dutch national to Kenya in a senior role to support the operation.The visa application was subject to multiple delays during processing, owing to public-sector workers' strikes and public holidays. The employee was further frustrated by an unannounced visit from immigration officials. This was the point at which Pro-Link GLOBAL stepped in, explains Andrea Elliott."Our team had only 12 hours to submit a response. We worked diligently to gather the long list of new documents the immigration inspector demanded, creating a 66-page document on the enormous value the company brought to Kenya, our client's great philanthropic efforts in Nairobi, and the employee's extensive experience."Pro-Link GLOBAL itself has extensive experience of working across the African continent and the challenges this brings. Says Andrea Elliott, "Particular challenges to migration processes in African countries are the length of time that a process takes, the ever-changing interpretations by the immigration officials, the sheer vastness of the continent, and the lack of logistics and communications infrastructure that the more developed continents are accustomed to. Additionally, over 1,600 languages are spoken."We overcome these challenges by approaching Africa as the unique continent that she is," continues Ms Elliott. "This means developing deep and authentic relationships with immigration officials and third parties on the ground. Without approaching an African problem with an African solution, there would have been an impasse."The counsels on the case, Andrea Elliott and Lavinia Pascariu, worked for 12 hours to prepare the document demanded at the inspection. It was then delivered electronically to colleagues in Nairobi, who printed it out, took a bus, and hand-delivered the document to immigration officials."We turned a negative experience into a positive opportunity, and received approval for the employee less than a week later," says Andrea Elliott. "Using our local knowledge, legal expertise, and sheer determination, we were able to help the employee settle happily in Nairobi."The client was extremely satisfied that we were able to resolve both the onsite inspection and the pending work-permit approval in one fell swoop."

The human context

Pro-Link GLOBAL's client focus is also paying dividends where human error and local contexts come into play in this complex and fast-moving arena. The team know that external mistakes and oversights happen at every level, and that clients often have no control over them.Pro-Link's entry statement gave many examples of how the team could swing rapidly into action and draw on their expert knowledge, professional relationships and local insights to resolve often time-sensitive immigration crises and client requirements."We demonstrate excellence in leadership by owning solutions and driving fair outcomes to our clients and their employees," says Andrea Elliott, describing the example of a multinational corporate (MNC) client's experience. "This MNC regularly sends Chinese employees to Taiwan for short-term work, and we obtain three-day visas and Entry Exit Permits. It's important to note that Taiwan has tightened the multiple-entry Exit and Entry Permits for China nationals."Inadvertently, a junior admin at our MNC issued departing tickets for a day prior to their original intended departure. Upon leaving, they were advised that they had overstayed their visa by one day and a letter with resulting outcomes would be forthcoming. Our MNC contacted us in a panic when the letter arrived outlining several severe consequences. Our team contacted the immigration officer concerned and requested an audience. Following our explanation, the immigration office imposed the lowest penalty."

Creating efficiencies

"From case initiation, assessment, filing, approval and tracking of status, we apply tried-and-tested project management and quality assurance techniques to manage the delivery of consistently excellent services," says Andrea Elliott. This approach is enabling the company's clients and national entities to benefit from efficiencies, adding value at every level.The team is also assisting multinational companies and governments by creating opportunities to save resources and streamline immigration processes. Its response to noticing an upswing in assignee numbers to Switzerland from one of its international clients was to investigate the wider strategy behind this further.It found that this new project was set to provide a significant economic advantage to a particular canton, and approached the canton directly, to discuss how it might provide more streamlined visa delivery for its client."After multiple meetings, project plans and supporting documents, we were happy to receive a dispensation from the canton, permitting us to file with placeholders personal records and reducing the waiting time for our client's approvals by half," explains Andrea Elliott."We then approached the embassy in New York with the same information. The embassy permitted us to fast-track the visa appointments, resulting in a combined saving of nearly 65 per cent of the processing time."

Opening doors to opportunity

Pro-Link GLOBAL's approach has earned it a 99.7 per cent satisfaction rating over its ten-year history, as well as acclaim from the mobility industry, with the judges for this category saying, "This was an exceptionally well-produced entry, with clear examples given to illustrate the various criteria required. It demonstrates impressive service, with excellent outcomes for clients and employees on the move."Andrea Elliott concludes, "This Re:locate Award is a vindication of our team's passion, joy and commitment to creating a seamless experience for our clients through what can be challenging and difficult circumstances."Jason Rogers adds, "We are thrilled. Re:locate's awards are the gold standard within the relocation industry, and this shows that Pro-Link GLOBAL has reached the gold standard for excellence in immigration."For further information about Pro-Link GLOBAL, visit: www.pro-linkglobal.com

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