Photographer: Visit Stockholm @ https://www.stockholmbusinessregion.com/press/media-bank/
With the exception of the tourist industry, most European businesses have long summer breaks. This is an important fact to consider when planning a spring or summer move for your transfer. Getting important matters accomplished in a timely manner is virtually impossible during the summer months. This can affect the relocation process in a multitude of ways. Here are some tips to consider for a smoother transfer for you and your new hire this summer.
1. Remember that fewer people are in the offices. Less staff are available at government authorities so expect delays.
Applications to the Migration Agency should go in before mid June because there will be delays during June-August. Some companies, although it’s rare, close down completely for four weeks including finance department and HR.
Consider how many people and organizations are connected to one person’s cross border transfer. There are several agencies, companies and individuals involved in each transfer, aside from the home and host company as well as the relocation company. These include immigration authorities, tax agencies, health care providers, banks, insurance companies, landlords, letting agents and lawyers. Each one of these professionals has their own role in a successful transfer. All are dependent upon one another to get the task done.
Having a significant amount of advance notice during each step of the process is essential. Let your transfer know this early on in the process. Luckily, relocation companies are open during the summer. It’s peak season for them; however, relocation companies are hindered in their work because of the vacation schedules of the people and organizations they need to contact to push through each relocation.
2. School administrators and employees are generally unavailable mid June to mid August.
The availability of placement at schools is also limited. Tell your new hire that their school search should be done ideally during the winter months. For more tips on the school search, read our blog called Schools in Sweden: How to help your transferees choose.
3. Landlords go on holiday during the summer too so it can be difficult to view properties.
There are few letting agents in Sweden so relocation companies work directly with landlords and need to take into account the landlord’s agendas, vacations and personal life. Planning a home finding in the summer months takes considerable time so expect it to be really down to the last minute for confirmation of viewings. The process often involves long chains of replacements and standby neighbors/relatives in order to make it possible. Once the decision is made, leases may have to travel to vacation homes for signature which additionally slows down the closure of a successful home finding. As an HR you can prepare by making sure the key people have Power of Attorney to sign the lease regardless of whom is in the office when it’s needed. The lease is not signed on paper, but decision makers may not have a scanner or cell phone coverage enough to sign the lease.
Good news for people transferring to Sweden is that the Swedish Krona is down considerably to almost all other currencies so many landlords may vacation in Sweden this year. For those that have other currencies, they may not feel the pain of paying a deposit as acutely. We have some other blog posts on the topic of homefinding that may provide useful information:
Review with your transfer the process in advance. Let them know the order of events that need to take place during this process so they can feel as calm and organized as possible. Also, discuss their budget and show them homes within their price range so they know what to expect. Help your expat list their top priorities for a home and advise that they will have to act fast once they find something that is acceptable due to the high demand for housing in Sweden.
Relocation companies typically don’t like to scare the employees. That said, it’s good for local HR and RMCs to have a clear understanding of the timelines that are expected by landlords and to live up to them or the long line of prospective renters behind them will snatch the property very quickly. From the day of viewing properties to making the decision very little time should pass if your expat wants to secure it. The company legal team needs to act quickly to sign the lease (most landlords prefer corporate leases) and make the deposit payment.
4. Listen to the Local Experts.
The destination is the place where decisions are made and policy should be very attentive to the local needs. The charm with global mobility is that each location has its own unique characteristics. Global Mobility can succeed by being sensitive and knowledgeable of the local market conditions. This will enable them to set up a global policy that allows local nuances to be taken into account. For example, (as mentioned above) Sweden is fraught with a challenging housing market, the fast-moving market is landlord driven in a big way. Personal leases aren’t preferred by landlords, and the long line for each property will allow landlords to be very picky. First, in that queue are companies that sign leases on behalf of the tenant. Smart companies with savvy HR know and this and learn the challenges in the destination country and how to overcome them as easily as possible.
5. Enjoy the Process
During the relocation process try to be flexible and enjoy learning new things from your foreign experts and your relocation company. You are very fortunate to have a job that allows exposure to more cultures than your own. Bridging the gap between cultures to allow a person to contribute fully and quickly is an art and an honor. Finding your new hire’s strengths might not be done in the first month, but if you succeed in supporting them well during their transition, your company has a lot to gain.
If you would like more information on Immigration to Sweden logistics, you will love our guide below.
We hope this information can help you see the big picture of what it takes to bring a foreign hire to work in Sweden during the summer months. There is a lot involved; however, knowing all the steps ahead of time should save your company time and money as well as make the new hire’s move pleasant for all involved.