A year ago anyone would have been forgiven for thinking that the relocation business is a nice and simple, predictable area to work in.
Paperwork goes in, people come out.
Today, there’s not a single aspect of talent relocation that hasn’t been changed by Covid-19.
Relocation is, by and large, still a traditional, human-driven industry: people moving people. But the world it exists in has changed fast, and beyond recognition. Travel restrictions, delays, and overall health concerns have added layers of complexity to relocation. The movement of people can’t stop, however, because businesses still need, and are actively recruiting, international talent. And someone has to make it all work.
The weight of this new responsibility in an already tricky game of global human chess falls disproportionately on the relocation agencies, global mobility teams, and immigration lawyers working their fingers to the bone to move people safely.
Software companies are stepping up to drag this industry from the Roaring Twenties to the 2020’s.
Before Covid-19, the global movement of people was speeding up, making workloads unsustainable for the kind of manual relocation systems most companies and agencies have in place. Government action around the world has been slow to simplify immigration processes, making bureaucracy a major bottleneck even before the pandemic. For relocation and global mobility professionals, work was piling up.
When Covid-19 hit, relocation agencies and anyone still looking to hire internationally found themselves in a worst-of-both-worlds scenario: Moving people seemed almost impossible. Restrictions and border closures started coming and going, with new rules being implemented overnight. But people still needed moving, so relocation providers had to find ways. In 2020, the volume of talent relocations done by Jobbatical grew by more than 365 percent, demonstrating the scale of this global mobility paradox.
Whatever turns the global situation takes next, there’s no going back to “business as usual” for relocation agencies. The relocation experience will still be paramount, but obstacles to ensuring it will remain.
On this backdrop of global uncertainty, relocation agents should be able to do their work smoothly and efficiently and still focus the bulk of their energy on providing a spectacular talent experience. But what’s the reality? Endless email threads and follow-ups, manual paperwork, and redundant data collection are making genuine human connections an afterthought. Companies like Jobbatical are determined not to let that happen.
Whether you’re an independent relocation agent or immigration lawyer, or if you belong to an in-house global mobility team, you know the struggle—for yourself and the people you move.
Over the course of a typical relocation, a person has to go through multiple rounds of manual information and document collection. In fact, it turns out that as much as 30-40 percent of the information people need to type out in their relocation process is redundant. Repetitive... Reiterating. Recurring. Did we already say “redundant”?
For agents, this and other inefficiencies in the system mean hours of manual form-filling and follow-ups that drain resources that could and should be better used elsewhere.
Having experienced too much of this pain themselves, Jobbatical recently released its proprietary global mobility software for use by relocation agencies and global mobility teams. Initially created for Jobbatical’s own team of relocation agents, the software allowed the company to save 10,000 hours of work for clients in 2020.
With one-time data collection on Jobbatical’s immigration platform, talent doesn’t have to enter any information more than once. Visa and permit application forms are pre-filled with information from the talent’s profile, downloadable in seconds. This automation reduces manual application creation time by 6-7 hours per relocation case.
The software extracts talent information for forms, reducing data input effort for talent by 15-20 percent. For talent, that added speed and efficiency leads to a simplified, noticeably smoother experience. Which, in turn, leads to increased talent happiness—perhaps the biggest indicator of a job well done for immigration and relocation service providers.
Overall, the fast information exchange enabled by the Jobbatical platform translates to a 20-30 percent decrease in manual work for employers and employees, streamlining and shortening the entire immigration process significantly.
Software that can be used to automate and streamline workloads is an absolute must for relocation agencies and global mobility teams today. But when you’re up against the slowly spinning wheels of bureaucracy, good software can take you far, but it can’t take you all the way.
For Jobbatical, slapping bandages on the wound while ignoring the underlying problem has never been enough. Founded in Estonia, a country known for its relatively simple immigration processes, the company set out to combat red tape and fight the immigration problem at the source. Last year, Jobbatical announced its collaboration with the city of Berlin, giving people access to fast-lane immigration to the German city. In Estonia, Jobbatical has been influencing policies and helping the government become more tech-enabled for years. In 2020, Estonia released its unique Digital Nomad Visa scheme, a project that was spearheaded by Jobbatical’s immigration experts.
Down the line, Jobbatical’s goal is to create better immigration systems that will allow the software to take relocation speeds to a whole new level.
With all this talk of speed and efficiency, it’s worth noting that somewhat counterintuitively, using software to automate and streamline processes doesn’t make the relocation industry any less human. It enables it to become the most human it could possibly be.
The point of relocation agencies and specialists is not to be paperwork-filing machines. That task should fall to actual machines. With the right software, any relocation professional can afford the time and energy to offer a relocation experience that makes people feel safe, even in the most unprecedented of times.
That’s why it’s not just big corporations with lots of spending money who can justify investing in relocation software. Small agencies and even individual immigration lawyers and in-house global mobility specialists can significantly reduce error and simplify their case management with the right SaaS.
That’s what software is for, after all. To enable people to do what they do best and need the most: Invest more time and energy in creating human connections that lead to the most positively life-changing relocation experiences imaginable.
Try Jobbatical’s immigration software for free and see for yourself!