Global HR: Repatriation Planning

By Solomon, Charlene Marmer | Workforce, January 1, 2001 | Go to article overview

Global HR: Repatriation Planning


Solomon, Charlene Marmer, Workforce


Coming home is tough for expatriate workers and their families. Heres a checklist of critical issues for HR

Repatriation presents one of the most complex sets of issues facing international human resources managers today Bennett & Associates and PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP offer guidelines to make the process go more smoothly:

Prior to departure:

* Involve international human resources at corporate strategic levels when planning for international activities

* Clearly establish the need for the international assignment with input from home and host locations

* Use research-based selection processes to make certain that the employee and family are suitable and able to succeed abroad

* Provide cross-cultural and language training to increase effectiveness and adaptation overseas

* Offer career spouse counseling and assistance during assignment

* Outline a dear job description for the expatriate's position

* Communicate realistic expectations about re-entry to employee at the time the position is offered

* Appoint home and host mentors who are held accountable to track and support the employee during the assignment, and to identify potential positions at re-entry

* Send job postings to the expatriate while abroad

* Prior to return, arrange a networking visit to the home office to establish viability with line and human resources managers

* Circulate the employee's resume to all potential hiring units

* Establish fallback position if no job is available

* Arrange for employee to maintain visibility through regular business trips home

and through contact with visiting home-country personnel

* Send the employee newsletters, copies of important memos, and relevant publications

* Encourage home leave At re-entry:

* Arrange a formal or informal welcome home

* Offer repatriation counseling or workshops to ease adjustment

* Assist spouse with job counseling, resume writing and interviewing techniques, and provide educational counseling for the children

* Provide the employee with a thorough debriefing with a facilitator to identify new knowledge, insights and skills

* Arrange a post-assignment interview with expatriate and spouse to address any repatriation issues Financial planning and related activities:

* Coordinate with home and host offices prior to repatriation to identify repatriation date

* Run cost projections with anticipated repatriation date to determine the most cost-effective time frame for departure

* Arrange a pre-repatriation house hunting/school enrollment trip

* Arrange tax exit interview for employee with tax service provider to determine need for tax clearance/final host country tax return to leave the country

* Give the tax-service provider year-to-date compensation data for tax clearance/return processing

* Process any relocation payment

* Process return incentive payment

* Process payroll documents to remove employee from expatriate status and review need for actual withholding payments for remainder of year with tax service provider

* Provide an HR generalist in new location with necessary personnel files

-Charlene Manner Solomon

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