What to consider when relocating an IT employee
December 22, 2022
min read

What to consider when relocating an IT employee

Barbara Oberrauter-Zabransky
Barbara Oberrauter-Zabransky

Guest post by Megan Hemmings, Localyze

Developers and IT professionals are critical positions within a company because of their skills in programming, data management, and cybersecurity. However, they can often be the most difficult positions to fill.

It is estimated that Germany had 96,000 unfulfilled IT positions in 2021, a 12% increase from the year before. Talent shortages combined with low unemployment rates, mean companies must expand their IT and developer talent pools in order to find the best candidates. One potential way of expanding talent pools is to open up positions to international candidates.

Things to Consider Before Hiring Internationally

Relocating employees from one country to another can present a number of challenges if you aren’t prepared. For the best chance of success, consider the following points before opening a position internationally:

  • Whether you are hiring an employee or contractor - it’s typically easier to get a visa for an employee.
  • The length of the job (i.e., permanent, temporary, project-based) - if the job is only temporary, it’s probably worth reconsidering relocating an employee for it.
  • Cost of relocation and who will be expected to cover it - some visas require the company to pay certain fees and many candidates will expect their company to cover some of the costs.
  • The settling-in resources necessary for a successful relocation - moving to a new country involves more than just packing your suitcase. Your new employee may need help with everything from finding a place to live to setting up a bank account or language classes.
  • Applicable visa and immigration requirements, including the timeframes to complete those requirements - waiting times vary by country, and the candidate won’t be able to start work until they have their visa.

A Note on Language Barriers Among Developers and IT Professionals

Companies often mistakenly view language differences in their IT department as a non-issue because coding and programming have their own languages. The reasoning often goes, if the developer knows the programming languages for the project, speaking the regional language doesn’t matter as much. 

While this may be true for many of the technical aspects of projects your IT professional or developer will be working on, they will likely need to communicate with the team about project details, feedback, and issues that come up along the way.

If you find the perfect candidate whose language skills aren’t quite up to par, consider providing language classes as part of their compensation package.

Relocation Requirements Specific to the IT-Sector

When it comes to relocating IT professionals and developers, many countries offer special visas for these fields. It’s worth looking into these requirements before you decide to recruit internationally as they could affect the job requirements or overall job description. A few examples of this type of visa include:

  • Germany’s Visa for IT Specialists: To qualify for this visa, IT specialists seeking a work visa in Germany must meet several requirements related to work experience, education, language fluency, and annual salary.
  • The UK’s Skilled Worker Visa: This visa requires employers to be approved as sponsors before hiring someone from abroad. Additionally, there are certain salary requirements that must be met.
  • Spain’s Highly Skilled Professional Permit: Requirements for this work permit cover everything from education to salary to job description and company size.

Developing Your Relocation Process for IT Specialists and Other Employees

International relocation is stressful, especially for employees who must navigate family dynamics or who are moving to a country that speaks a different language.

The support package you offer to prospective developers is easily the most quantifiable signal of your commitment to them and your desire to see them succeed. Some common benefits to include are:

  • Assistance finding and securing housing 
  • Support with setting up bank accounts and health insurance
  • Assistance relocating their family and finding schools for their children, if applicable
  • Language classes
  • Providing a buddy within the company for culture questions

Providing these types of benefits to new international employees ensures a smooth transition to their new home, which will help them integrate into the team more quickly and more effectively, leading to higher levels of productivity.

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Benefits of International Recruitment and Using a Relocation Partner for IT Hires

Looking internationally for developers and IT professionals provides greater opportunities to find top talent and obtain a fresh perspective for your business, helping you stay competitive. However, many HR departments are not set up to properly navigate the process of relocating employees and managing visa applications.

Using a relocation partner to handle the visa needs of your employees saves you time and money. Instead of having to navigate the bureaucracy of government paperwork, Localyze can guide you through the visa and immigration process. Schedule a call today to learn more.


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