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The forgotten industry

Celsium Powered by Brunel

Several weeks into lockdown, we are all aware that we can’t book a weekend away, we can’t have our nails done and we can’t head to our local gym for a work out – but did you know that because of the travel restrictions, many businesses can’t get the skilled workers they need in their local offices?

The news and social media platforms have all talked about Virgin Atlantic, Thomas Cook and hotel groups including Intercontinental as well as small local businesses – their ‘trade’ has stopped, no more orders being taken, everything is postponed – there are no flights, hotels bookings or travel being booked. However no one is talking about my industry – Global Mobility.

I have often joked in the past that when I am networking and speaking to individuals who are not involved in employee relocation services, I mention Global Mobility and people often think that I work for a company that sells mobility scooters, globally. I work in a $4 billion dollar industry in the UK alone that is invisible to the world. It is a recent industry report valued the industry will exceed $1 trillion by 2030! (Industry value)

We are the silent partner of HR Directors and Global Mobility teams in corporate organisation who operate nationally and internationally. HR are responsible for mobilising their workforce – a new hire, or intra-company transfer. The client needs their skilled employees in a specific location for a specific time – 6 months, 3 years – but however long they need them there, they rely on the Global Mobility industry to deliver.

“Have you ever moved house, or started a new job? 80% of people say that these two situations are the most stressful things that will happen in their life. Now imagine doing both of these at the same time, and in a foreign country where you are unfamiliar with the local customs or language. You are expected to start work straight away but you have to rent a house, open a bank account, get your kids into local schools. Now that’s what I call stressful.”

This is where Global Mobility providers are so important – the silent partner in helping your team work, making your employees feel valued and motivated that the company they work for has made sure that their needs are taken care off. That HR have put things in place to ensure that they can arrive in their new host country/city and they can simply get on and do their job. In the background of course it is the swan effect – Global Mobility teams are managing every aspect of the relocation to make sure that the employee can arrive safely, smoothly and legally – we take care of everything, and I mean everything, to allow your employee to concentrate on working for you. Immigration, home finding, kids school places, Wi-Fi connections, utilities, car rentals, household good shipping, language training.

But what if we aren’t here when things start moving again in the business world? Many Relocation Management Companies are small businesses, set up in a specific country to support destination services.

Right now, no one is relocating, travel bans are in place, clients have postponed any future relocations waiting for local Government advice, but my industry relies on the work, we rely on delivering services to support these moves. With nobody moving, the industry has ground to a halt.

In a recent survey (March 2020), more than 42% of the Global Mobility industry said that they had seen a drop in new instructions by 50 – 75% and 23% had seen a drop in new instruction by 75 – 100%. The industry has been backed up by supporting departure services in repatriating everyone back home… that was in April…what now?

A silent industry, that has had no media coverage, no Government support (typically all LTD SMEs so no grants, government funding etc.) will not be there when the economy picks back up. Who can HR rely on when the economy begins to recover? We support every industry – automotive, agriculture, engineering, oil & gas, life science, education, mining, retail, manufacturing, financial.

The role that we play in supporting the economy to recover is invaluable – our role is critical. Companies will need key workers to fill positons, in key locations throughout the world, and only the strong and resilient of Global Mobility providers will remain to support the comeback kings – financial companies, engineering kingpins and automotive giants. Every company will rely on their HR departments to recruit the best skilled workforce and to get them in and working as quickly as possible. When that happens who will they be able to rely on? Companies like Celsium Powered by Brunel will continue to innovate, to adapt, to grow and to continue to make relocation easy.

We are a forgotten industry. We are the people who are happy to sit in the background as a strategic partner, but please do not forget us. We are not TUI, we aren’t Virgin Media or JLR, we aren’t any of the big names that often associated with keeping Britain going, but we can support these industries to recover; we will help them retain their staff, we will help them rise to the top of their game again.

Shelley Lloyd
Celsium Powered by Brunel