Expath for GetYourGuide – Case Study

by Expath Global Mobility

How to bring high-tech international talent to Berlin on time and stress-free.

A Team Made of Internationals

“At least 70% of our software engineers are international hires”, says GetYourGuide Senior HR Manager, Mimmi Pakkala. Her company relies on an international team of technology, tourism, and IT specialists to build and maintain the leading global marketplace for unforgettable travel experiences. GetYourGuide was founded in Berlin in 2009 and it employs more than 700 people around the globe, 30% of whom are working in tech roles.

But hiring for tech positions is not easy. GetYourGuide‘s strategy is to tap into the global pool of talent for the most skilled software engineers, whether they come from Eastern Europe, Asia, South America, Africa or elsewhere — which is particularly relevant to the global nature of their business.

A Natural Extension of Their HR Team

“We have a professional talent acquisition team of about 30 people. It contains sourcers, coordinators, and recruiters. And then of course, for very high-level roles we also rely on external agencies to help us”. All these people at GetYourGuide are working around the clock to find and bring the right talent to Berlin, efficiently and smoothly.

When relocating to a new country, it is natural for people to worry about many things like how to find a flat, what papers to bring, if they can open a bank account, when and how to register with the authorities, etc.

With 40% of their staff hired internationally last year only, GetYourGuide‘s HRs would have spent 17 additional hours each week solving immigration and relocation-related issues for these employees.

The high volume of detail-oriented, niche questions makes it difficult for talent acquisition managers to focus on their main job: finding and retaining the right talent.

Relocation is an important, but time consuming, workstream. Assigning one in-house person to deal with the back-and-forth can be challenging. We have valued Expath’s services and admired how the company has built these expert teams which can process volume and offer availability for our employees.
Mimmi Pakkala, Senior HR Manager at GetYourGuide

Tailor-Made Immigration Support

In one year, Expath’s Global Mobility team helped GetYourGuide bring 40% of their new employees to Germany from 30 different countries. Our in-house team dedicated 900 hours in total to these new employees, ensuring they could get all of their visa paperwork in order and complete immigration steps quickly and correctly. One single person moving to Germany requires about a full-day of working time just to get their visa and work-permit procedures completed — and that’s when everything else runs smoothly.

Mimmi highlights the importance of having this level of customized support: “I know that when I introduce them to Expath, I rarely get any questions from the employees. And also once they are here, people are really well-supported.”

The process is so smooth that it has absolutely become our new standard.
Mimmi Pakkala, Senior HR Manager at GetYourGuide

Because visa regulations vary between countries, hiring the most qualified candidate is not always simple. This is where Expath‘s decade-long experience can prove most valuable, as HR teams must often evaluate candidates from different countries and don’t always have oversight into which country may take how long.

At GetYourGuide, for example, it once took over a year to bring an employee from the Philippines to Germany, because of uniquely complex emigration laws from the Philippines. However, we were able to navigate the multiple procedures and successfully bring the candidate to Germany. Because at Expath we understand the rules and regulations in various countries, we’re able to advise the HR team on the best hiring options, to avoid a waste of time and resources.

As Mimmi points out: “This immigration topic used to be complicated and very messy. Now, with Expath, I feel that we know very well which documents are needed, how much time is needed, what help can be offered, what other challenges a person can face in their home country.”

Stress-Free Relocation for Every New Hire

Just like our immigration service, Expath’s relocation packages have been a massive stress-reliever for GetYourGuide‘s HR team.

Last year alone, 35 of our relocation coaches worked closely with GetYourGuide‘s new hires, ensuring a seamless relocation journey. Our experts supported them with the first critical steps of moving to Germany: searching for a flat, registering with the authorities, setting up a bank account, and all that‘s needed in order to get them payroll-ready.

“Employees often have their appointments with the authorities and bank accounts set up already before their first week in the company, which I really appreciate. If we see that there‘s some tight timeline, we know we can always reach out to Expath and say, ‘Hey, can you please prioritize this for this person because our payroll is closing,’” explains Mimmi, “that’s such a lifesaver!”

Need Help with Relocating International Hires?

One very sought-after component of the relocation package is the flat search support. “When new hires come to Germany, they have to deal with finding a flat that suits their needs and situation — which can often be very challenging.”

Expath‘s Relocation Team is currently trialling a new service for GetYourGuide to book temporary accommodation for new hires where they can also register their address (do the Anmeldung) — a critical first step when moving to or within Germany. “We have developed this new module together with Expath, the temporary housing booking. And I think this one can bring the relocation process to the next level.”

In Berlin in particular, this hiring perk can make or break a deal by taking high startup costs away from a new hire: “Sometimes, if talents have several offers to choose from and they can compare the cost of living between two cities, if we are trying to get them to Berlin they may say — no, sorry, I‘m going somewhere else, here it‘s too expensive.”

In this competitive landscape, managing new hires‘ expectations is another aspect that Expath and GetYourGuide have always worked closely on: “We tell people that this is a heated situation and it can be that you won’t find your dream flat during the first month here, and you should be prepared to go through several flats before you find something permanent. But everybody has managed so far with your help. Expath can offer the kind of empowerment it always does — how to find the right flats — and we as a company can offer this time for our employees, and then we are sure that everyone feels well supported.”

This tight collaboration between our immigration and relocation experts and GetYourGuide‘s HR team made it possible for Expath to help them scale their hiring process — in over six years of collaboration, we helped GetYourGuide‘s HR team save thousands of working hours and countless moments of stress with relocating their much-needed talent to Berlin.

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