Have you been tasked with the selection of a new corporate housing provider? Check out these 4 key consideration points to help you make the best decision on behalf of your organisation…
Ensure you understand exactly what you are getting in terms of amenities or services within the corporate housing package your company has selected. Will the assignee receive laundry services? Which utilities are included (will the assignee have use of parking spaces, internet or cable television)? Don’t limit yourself to only considering the basics like water or electricity.
Corporate housing is often sold with a preferable price tag to hotels, however paying for unincluded extras on top of basic fees can end up costing your organisation significantly more money. Also make sure you enquire at the outset how the provider accepts payment for services rendered, and how the process for any damage deposits works.
The majority of corporate housing providers will supply properties within city limits for ease of commuting. Ensure you look at the assignee’s journey to/from the workplace in detail. Will they be driving to work? If yes consider the flow of traffic and the availability of alternative routes in case of road closures. The commute to work may appear short as the crow flies on Google Maps…But the journey may be more complex in reality, this can be especially true in the case of public transport.
Will the assignee be commuting by train or bus? Some buses will take a long time to cover relatively short distances due to constant pickups/drop-offs. Trains may not always be as simple as they appear…Is the assignee’s journey to the train station itself practical (how close is the nearest station on foot)? What happens in the event of train cancellations? All of these eventualities should be considered when selecting corporate housing in the most suitable location for your assignee.
Some assignees will be hoping for a level of high touch, white glove service within serviced apartments. They may wish to maintain regular contact with housing providers in a more customer services driven ‘hotel-like’ experience. Other assignees might prefer to be left to their own devices, without frequent check-ins by the provider, allowing them to enjoy a more private ‘home-like’ stay.
Where any maintenance or general issues arise with housing, it can be useful to know whether your assignee will be dealt with by one account manager or a large call centre of customer service reps. Both have their plus points (an account manager may offer a more personalised service vs. a call centre with 24/7 availability) and negative points (delays caused by a single point of contact vs. a less consistent, less personalised call centre experience).
Decision makers on global mobility teams should take care to consider how they will quantify the successful service delivery of a corporate housing provider. Consider collecting data from the provider specifically focused on targeted KPIs, this will assist you with understanding what is or is not working well for your assignees.
Think about how the corporate housing provider will be able to provide you with evidence that any given placement is going well, as well as the experience of your entire assignee population (if you have a preferred supplier of corporate housing services across the board). Look back month by month to ensure services were delivered as agreed and make predictions and changes to ensure future successes.
Written by Katie Smith, Assoc CIPD, BA Hons | Head of Special Projects – HR, Talent & Content at Alchemy Global Talent Solutions.