More and more companies struggle to find talent locally which forces them to look across borders. For IT experts there might be plenty of companies to choose from. Other professionals might look into international organizations or startups that won’t require candidates to speak the local language.
Petra Botekova and her colleagues recently developed a brand new app to help companies to relocate their employees. We asked her about the usage and importance of their new product and also about the situation and circumstances of expats' work-life in Austria.
BFY: 8 years ago you moved abroad and have now lived in 5 different countries. In which countries did you feel the best?
PB: I left Slovakia when I was 21 and for a long time didn’t feel at home, until I came to Vienna. It’s the world’s most livable city for a reason. Still, I connect the feeling of belonging more to people than to places. Arriving here with the mission to build a regional branch of my former employer, I had the most amazing team that felt like family to me. Many expats aren’t so lucky. I had a German coachee who had been living in Austria for several months telling me that he would never move abroad again. Why? You would think that the cultures are very similar. He underestimated the importance of making friends outside of work and ended up feeling lonely and depressed. It’s oftentimes the simplest things we don’t consider that can make or break our experience abroad.
BFY: You now pre-launched a new relocation app, ReloPilot. How would you describe the concept of it?
PB: I wish I had an app like that when I was moving abroad (every time). There was Airbnb for accommodation, Uber for travel but no simple solution for moving to another country. ReloPilot has all the relevant information and services like visa, home search and cultural preparation in one place. We’re now kicking off the solution with companies that provide a budget to their employees who then decide what they need when & from which expert while the app still keeps an eye on the blind spots, like the one mentioned above and makes the whole experience easier and more fun. Our goal with ReloPilot is to create an intuitive relocation experience and meet the individual needs of international talent. Kicking off the solution for companies, we want to help them attract and engage younger generations while saving up to 50% of costs compared to traditional mobility solutions. By the end of August, we want to have 3 or more pilot clients/key partners on board, who will provide us with feedback and internal know-how for the final development while using the app for a reduced price after the launch. We have already several established companies interested to support us but are still happy to hear from others.
BFY: How does the app work?
PB: First a company chooses a package for the new hire or existing relocating employee and simply clicks to initiate the relocation process. The user then selects relocation goals and tracks the progress. All the relevant information and services like visa, home search and cultural preparation can be found and accessed within the marketplace with a pool of proven experts. Last but not least, the community feature helps the user make friends and integrate with more ease. You can watch the intro video here.
BFY: In your opinion is there a challenge to find a job in Austria if you are an expat because of being an expat?
PB: Absolutely. Besides the language barrier, many companies fear relocation & integration problems. Sometimes, looking for a job might take up to half a year so you might have to be a little patient and be prepared for a bumpy road rather than a smooth transition. You have to stand out compared to the local candidates. That’s why investing extra time and effort into understanding the local market & culture and adjusting your CV and motivational letter, as well as interview preparations, accordingly might be extremely important and save you a lot of time.
BFY: What should Future-Employer Brand Managers do in order to attract and retain the greatest talent in your point of view?
PB: Understand the changing workforce needs, which by 2025 will consist of 75% Millennials. Millennials and Gen Z look for change, flexibility and meaning. That’s exactly why global mobility opportunities are a huge opportunity for companies to attract and engage younger generations. Nowadays most Millennials expect to work abroad at some point of their careers, but the companies struggle to manage a global workforce. The traditional relocation solutions are often highly administrative and not tailored to employees’ needs. That’s also why with ReloPilot we wanted to create a highly experience- & human-centered solution that addresses these challenges.
BFY: What does new work or future of work mean to you? What are the biggest challenges here?
PB: To me it means thinking & living across boundaries, whether these are countries, organizations or work fields. Whatever differences or boxes we had been creating won’t fit our daily lives anymore. The most successful companies will for example not only increase their employee diversity but also know how to include it and leverage its synergies and innovation potential. Also, remote work & global mobility will become a new normal for more and more companies looking for the world’s most talented workers internationally and bringing them to new locations. This brings an increased complexity that might be challenging and the earlier we realize that the better we can prepare and the easier the transition will be.