Relocation across Borders
Paragon is a full service, global relocation company, operating in 150 different countries, with offices on three different continents and authorized representatives in additional strategic locations. We’re hard at work somewhere in the world, no matter what time it is. Our global footprint reflects the extent of our global relocation services; Paragon provides all the relocation services that global companies need, from international cost estimates to expatriate benefits counseling and administration, from visa and immigration services to language and cross-cultural training. With many years of experience providing services all around the world, trust Paragon for your global mobility needs.
Employee selection is critical for international relocations. Recognizing and addressing the key traits that will have the strongest correlation to success is the first step. This type of assessment also plays a critical role in talent management. Paragon’s candidate assessment program facilitates decision-making, establishes developmental focus and explores the attitudes, behaviors and competencies necessary for relocation in another country. It also allows corporations to identify employees and families who may need more support than others in the destination. The evaluation process often includes surveys, but a variety of approaches are possible depending on corporate objectives, corporate culture and the desired level of involvement. Assessments often aid companies in deciding which global relocation services to offer.
The Candidate Assessment is the starting point for Paragon’s International Pre-Decision Consulting service. Pre-Decision Consulting examines the details of each employee’s situation in light of the company’s policy, the logistics of the move, the characteristics of the destination location and the Candidate Assessment. Interviewing employees as part of the process is recommended, as this additional effort can often uncover important considerations. Pre-Decision Consulting improves the chance of success with international relocations. A second benefit can be fewer exceptions to policy, which should lower overall cost. The work can be used to make changes in the benefits offered or to whom benefits are offered to ensure costs are kept within budget.
International Cost Estimates
Paragon provides comprehensive international cost estimates for clients. This can include relocation costs, allowances and compensation (hypothetical income, social tax and tax equalization). An international relocation consultant will interview the employee after acceptance to improve the initial estimate’s accuracy. Factors such as size of the home, original price, number of family members and the container space needed for shipment of household goods, if applicable, will be incorporated. All estimates can be updated periodically going forward so that they reflect the latest information. The estimates allow for reporting variances to budget and the accrual of expenses, giving management a better understanding of true costs. With up-to-date tax tables for 80 countries and the ability to report the results in multiple currencies, Paragon can provide estimates for any and every scenario.
Expatriate Benefits Counseling & Administration
Paragon’s International Consultants contact each employee to explain their benefits, what services we provide, the employee’s role and responsibilities and the steps in the process from start to finish. Instruction is then provided on utilizing Paragon’s online and mobile accessible relocation portal (PRISM). The consultant also coordinates and provides oversight for the delivery of all services. For international relocations, this can include ensuring expense reimbursements are processed and correctly paid, coordinating the process for visa and immigration approval, arranging destination services, providing temporary living options, shipping household goods, delivering cross cultural and language training, providing spousal assistance, etc. In addition, based on client and employee preference, Paragon can provide a separate consultant for the home and host locations, enabling the employee to take advantage of expert, local knowledge in their new location.
Expense Audit, Processing, Payment and Reporting
Paragon utilizes a single platform and cutting edge technology to provide the highest level of transparency and accuracy in expense management. From service authorization to payroll interface, each transaction is managed within our PRISM system. Data flows through well-defined and controlled processes, and is monitored for accurate tax and financial reporting coding. In addition, Paragon’s robust reporting package offers many options, including ad hoc, fiscal year, compliance, etc. Our services include: 1) logging payment requests upon receipt, 2) data entry, 3) tracking, 4) auditing against policy, 5) calculating accruals of actual expenses and 6) providing reconciliations against budgeted amounts. Paragon also exchanges funds in order to deliver reimbursements in whatever currencies are requested by the client and/or employee.
Visa & Immigration Services
Paragon’s visa and immigration services, a critical component for our global relocation services, save time for both company and employee, while leveraging experts and contacts with local knowledge to deliver a better experience. Our network of trusted partners was chosen based on rigorous screening processes that assess expertise, experience, customer service and value added. International travel comes with enough critical details and logistics questions, never mind that most employees are expected to work at the same time. Paragon takes responsibility for each immigration case from initiation to completion. Paragon’s approach includes: 1) analysis of visa options, timing and cost, 2) application processing along with regular updates, 3) authentication of all documents, 4) passport issuance or extension and 5) expiration alerts and reporting.
International Destination Services
Paragon offers an extensive suite of services to successfully support an employee’s transition across borders. We manage all aspects of the transition into and out of the host location – from global immigration coordination to settling-in services. Our objective is to help your assignee and family settle into the new location as quickly as possible, so that they can focus their energies on their job. Assistance may be provided as an all-inclusive service or as specific service modules, based on individual or company preference. Support is normally provided by a local company in the destination location – so they know the area personally and in detail. Whenever possible we also match supplier partners to employees based on their ability to support specific needs. When employees are well prepared and properly supported, they settle-in more successfully and are more productive. For employers, this means lower rates of relocation-failure, more satisfied employees and an increased return on investment.
International Household Goods Shipment
Paragon leverages our supply chain independence to collaborate with best-in-class international household goods suppliers. Our Partner Select program was developed in response to large variations in the pricing of international shipments and a lack of standardized pricing tariffs. The program enables us to create high quality, cost-saving programs for our clients. A key element of Partner Select is submitting every move to a competitive bidding process to achieve the lowest cost possible.
The homefinding process begins with client authorization, which includes the assignee’s housing budget and the number of days authorized for homefinding. The Destination Service Provider (DSP) conducts a needs assessment prior to the assignee’s homefinding trip, matching the assignee’s wants and needs to the client’s housing budget. Paragon’s DSPs are expected to research and preview homes using a variety of tools to ensure that properties are suitable and available to view on the homefinding day. The DSP provides the assignee with an itinerary prior to arrival. After the trip, a comprehensive tour report is sent to our Consultant that validates the homefinding activities.
Temporary Accommodation Services
Hotel costs can add up quickly, while a transferring employee waits for a rental property to become available for household goods delivery. Corporations can save money by providing temporary accommodation services and avoiding higher lodging costs. This service begins with an in-depth needs assessment to determine allowable housing limits or allowances, space requirements, family needs, commuting issues and rental requirements. Then, employees will work with local representatives who are familiar with the area’s features and amenities to identify several units meeting the employee’s needs. Paragon contracts with a number of firms to provide multiple options and pricing packages. The employee can then make the right decision given his/her budget and personal situation. Local pick-up, a community tour and rental counseling can be included.
Settling-in services assist employees who are relocating with getting acclimated to their new environment as quickly as possible. The main benefit is employees can focus on their jobs and stay productive. Otherwise the details can be overwhelming. The service begins when the employee or family moves into their new home. A needs assessment is performed prior to arrival. Examples of typical services include setting up bank accounts, assistance with insurance forms, help finding a doctor and local medical facilities, either obtaining a vehicle lease or purchasing a vehicle, buying furniture, finding the best transportation options and just about any other form of assistance a person might need.
Employee & Family Concierge Services
Concierge services provide a local contact to appear in-person and oversee various tasks involving the employee and/or family members. The net effect is to take away any worries an employee might have and allow them to be focused and productive at work. The services provided are customized to meet the needs of each employee and their family. The process begins with an assessment of those needs and typically ends once the employee’s transition is complete. The concierge often starts with receiving household goods at the new home and is then a flexible resource, available as needed. Typical activities include community orientations, interviewing and scheduling service professionals, arranging for deliveries, overseeing the installation of locks and security alarms, chauffeuring family members and running routine errands.
School Choice Assistance
The availability of quality schools for the children of employees is a critical factor in the decision to accept an international relocation. Incomplete information can often lead to apprehension; while at the same time, meeting admission requirements for more competitive options can be tedious and time consuming. Paragon makes the process easy for employees, saving them time and frustration while ensuring they have all the information they need. Paragon’s school assistance service includes: 1) a list of all local school options, 2) school brochures and enrollment materials, 3) admission policies and testing procedures, 4) third-party evaluations, 5) direct reimbursements for tuition if applicable and 6) special needs assistance. Once the family arrives, a local representative will work with the employee and/or spouse on any necessary registrations or interviews.
Language & Cross-Cultural Training
Language and cross-cultural training for international relocations reduces failure rates, increases the satisfaction of the employee, boosts productivity and improves long-term retention. While not all companies offer a complete suite of global relocation services, this service cannot be left out. Paragon offers family-centered cultural programs to develop knowledge of the host country’s history, social customs, culture, and business practices. The training starts by establishing a framework for understanding cultural differences. Language training is available based on each individual’s schedule and can be available during evenings or weekends. Live instruction, online instruction, self-study utilizing audio recordings or visually-oriented CD ROMs and immersion programs are available based on the proficiency and preferences of each employee or family member. Instruction can and is encouraged to begin prior to departure.
Paragon provides spousal support services during and after the move. Our services are designed to ensure that any concerns are addressed quickly and in a time sensitive way, improving the likelihood of success. Since spouses may not want or be able to work in the new location, counseling is provided as to other alternatives to maintain job skills. To keep employees happy, companies must be prepared to care for spouses.
As security continues to be a major concern in a growing list of countries around the world, Paragon can coordinate training and consulting engagements with qualified crisis and risk management companies. These measures can give employees who are relocating the confidence to move forward; and, it can enable them to focus on their jobs in order to be as productive as possible. Pre-departure awareness training is critical and should include identification of the most likely threats, steps to take to reduce personal risk and the preferred course of action in the event of a security emergency. Additional training can include: 1) emergency driving, 2) planning for and obtaining medical treatment and 3) how to reduce the threat of kidnapping. The implementation will depend on the specific circumstances and destination country.
Paragon Relocation offers its clients expertise and operational experience for handling all tax matters related to international relocation. Paragon’s international relocation services include audits of tax calculations in 80 different countries, tax provider coordination, aggregation of data in multiple currencies from multiple sources, detailed reporting and the management of split payrolls across home and host countries. All amounts and calculations are audited prior to sending to the client’s payroll for processing. In addition, all expenses are available online at any time, through Paragon’s relocation portal, PRISM.