Relocate winners inspire colleagues ahead of 2018 Awards

February’s record-breaking Relocate Global networking evening at the Institute of Directors welcomed an impressive number of Relocate Award winners, all keen to share their insights and experiences of the past 12 months in the run-up to this year’s entry deadline.

Set comfortably in the stately surroundings of the Institute of Directors, guests at this year’s Relocate Global International Networking event had two words on their lips for the key issues facing global mobility and its related sectors this year: disruption and uncertainty.With the Brexit negotiations impacting immigration, the labour market, trading patterns, business continuity and investment, John Beck, UK Sales Director of Santa Fe Relocation — a sponsor of this year’s Relocate Awards — outlined the broad themes affecting the mobility sphere and that the sector is shaping responses to.

Group moves getting the go-ahead?

“First and foremost, we find with political uncertainty a lot of organisations are putting on hold their plans for relocating individuals into the UK or out of the UK,” Mr Beck told Relocate Global at the annual event.“The second challenge is immigration. This is becoming quite challenging in many locations – whether it’s the United States, the UK, Australia or other markets – where governments are taking more of a nationalistic turn.”Yet, in this growing market for mobility services and support, these challenges offer opportunity, he suggested, especially for Brexit-related group moves “as employers are looking to finally enact their contingency plans.”“A lot of organisations, in particular the global ones, have really been assessing where they should be – Frankfurt, Dublin or Amsterdam, Paris, you name it. These companies are now looking to see how they can actually start implementing these group moves as in relocating families in bulk.”
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Meeting the people challenges

For James Walters, director of Smith Stone Walters, Relocate Global Award-winning Immigration Provider of the year, “In immigration there is really only one issue at the minute – and that is Brexit. The implication is absolutely huge for immigration.”Around the room, this hot topic of Brexit was joined by many others. Talking talent, Sarah Boyle, manager at recruiter and interim management specialist Mobility People International, agreed that indecision was now giving way to action. She added that events like this, with “Relocate as a recognised brand," are "great for coming to meet likeminded people and provide the opportunity to expand our knowledge."“The biggest challenges for us at the moment would be matching the right people to the right roles,” said Ms Boyle. "We found 2017 was a bit of an odd year in terms of companies not quite knowing what they wanted to do. We had an imbalance in 2017 of lots of candidates looking for really interesting roles – and that’s picked up in 2018, but there is more of a match toward the candidates."

Talent meets technology

In a year that has also seen significant consolidation in our sector and alliances built around technology, it was fascinating to talk to Steve Black, co-founder of MOVE Guides, which recently acquired Polaris Global Mobility, about digitisation and disruption.Outlining technology’s role in what is essentially a people-centred industry, Mr Black said, “I don’t see bots and AI ever fully replacing the work that mobility teams are doing. But what I see it doing is upscaling and changing the nature of the work that’s being done.“Technology can rip out what could be a couple of hours of work per assignment. That really allows the organisation to reinvest that time in better service, more touch for the employee and the individual, and really providing a solution that’s empowered by technology rather than a replacement.”

Managing GDPR and reaching new markets

Technology, talent and leveraging the opportunities of the global market are also on the agenda for the serviced accommodation sector. Here, Jo Layton, MD – Group Commercial Sales, The Apartment Service, which sponsored the evening, said among the biggest challenges is distribution around the world to major buyers, whether they are in relocation or the corporate market.Compliance and conducting business responsibly are also high on The Apartment Service’s list of priorities, Ms Layton told Relocate Global. “Health, safety, security, environmental – there are massive agenda points at every conference that we go to, at every meeting and during every RFI and RFP that we do.“At the moment, right now, GDPR, making sure that we look after people’s data and that we help our supply chain to look after the data and that we help our buyers ensure that they don’t end up with any issues when they use us in the future. That has become a major area of focus for us.”

Inspiring success and keeping pace with change

To continue to keep pace with these and wider changes, Relocate Global is launching four new Relocate Award categories for 2018. Each celebrates and encourages positive responses to the disruption we are all facing for the benefit of businesses, employees and their families.In a year that gave us the #MeToo campaign, a potentially breakthrough moment for gender equality in the public consciousness, and continuing Relocate Global’s long-established championing of women and diversity more widely in relocation and global mobility, we are proud to invite entrants to the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion category.Further reflecting Relocate Global’s commitment to progress in our sector – and our strong links with education partners from primary schools through to universities and research-based organisations – is the new award for Best Mobility Research Contribution. This celebrates innovative research contributions that impact and advance knowledge.For education providers and further underlining Relocate Global’s future focus are the new categories for School Providing Outstanding Relocation Support and Inspiring Future Careers, which is for the best employer and school initiative.

Capturing the zeitgeist and celebrating excellence

“I think Relocate Global have brilliantly captured the zeitgeist of what needs to be looked at in education, particularly with a focus on relocating families,” said Nathaniel McCullagh, Founder and Managing Director, Simply Learning Tuition, which won the Relocate Award for Excellence in Employee & Family Support in 2017.

Tips for entering the Relocate Awards

With just 29 days and counting left on the calendar to complete and submit your entry in one of the 14 categories – including the four new categories – there is still time to claim your place among the winners in this year’s awards.Robbie Wogan, CEO of MOVEAssist, which won a Relocate Award last year for its chatbot, MAIA, offered advice on how to book your organisation’s success a place at the Relocate Awards gala ceremony on 9 May – and the benefits of entering.
“There is a bit of work involved,” said Mr Wogan, “but it is well worth doing if you’re a provider and you’re competing against bigger competitors who may have a bigger budget.“It’s certainly helped us to raise the profile of the product and the company, and it’s made it easier for us to explain the new concept. If you’re an in-house team trying to convince leaders to take you seriously and get involved in what mobility is trying to do, it gives you that extra bit of ammunition.“The awards themselves are a fun event where everyone is working to a common purpose."Representing fellow Relocate Award winner, GT Global Tracker, Liam Brennan, its managing director also advised investing time to complete the entry form.“The entry form is quite simple, but you do need to communicate what you are doing in the industry within those questions. We decided to set aside the time, which was well invested and paid off.”This year, the venue will be the UnderGlobe at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on London’s South Bank. For now, all the world is a stage for you to act on your success and enter this year’s Relocate Awards.For related news and features, visit our Mobility Industry section. Entries are now open for 2018’s Relocate Awards. Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory 

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