Name: Jim Hill
Position: Managing Director
Company: People First Relocation
People First Relocation, Managing Director (Taiwan): 2017 – Present
Santa Fe Relocation Services, General Manager (Taiwan): 2007 – 2017
Crown Van Lines, Sales Manager (Taiwan): 2003 – 2007
Edina Realty, Relocation Consultant (United States): 1997 – 2002
Army National Guard, Sergeant E-5 (United States): 1993 – 2000
A: By luck actually. I was just out of university managing a coffee shop when I saw an advert in the newspaper for “Relocation Coordinator”. I had no idea what it was but thought it had to be better than what I was doing. I took to it quickly as I enjoy helping people and had great leaders to guide me. And, I’m still in contact with many of my old colleagues from twenty years ago.
A: Without a doubt yes. Both are in the people business and both can be high-stress environments. Having these invaluable experiences in the Army has helped me when dealing with anything from crisis management, to mentoring staff.
A: Being an SME there is not one day the same. I could be helping with an assignee on a DSP/Visa service, creating marketing content, or attending a government function. The variety of the work truly makes me love our industry.
A: I think the make-up of the typical assignee has changed considerably. We see more regional, project-based employees with limited benefits. This has made us change our way of thinking and how we do our own business.
A: Before anything else, inquire about the visa process of the destination country. Understanding this you can then set everything else in place. Too many times companies make this the last priority. We’ve seen this stall, and even sometimes, cancel entire projects costing companies untold amounts of time and resources.
A: Any software which is industry-specific, intuitive, and efficient. This will minimize remedial training, mistakes, and increase overall morale.
A: Inconsistent, we can do better. Our industry is very niche therefore infrastructure for this is lacking. What could be done better? Focus tends to be either at internship or senior leadership levels. People at the mid-point of their careers are being neglected. Focused recruiting, training, and peer mentoring should become second nature. Hiring diversity has always made my office stronger.
A: We need to make investment in human capitol our number one priority. There needs to be more emphasis on retaining young talent in the industry. We lose too many good people because lack of training and career development. We spend more resources on maintaining/upgrading computer systems than on our own staff.
No matter how much the role of technology increases this will always be a people business.