Ireland Relocation: What You Need to Know
Posted by: Fiona Bland, Client Services Director
The Republic of Ireland or ‘Emerald Isle’, is known for its beautiful green countryside, rich cultural heritage, and traditions. Indeed, whilst the country’s high quality of life means it is a popular destination amongst expatriates, international assignees may still come across some relocation challenges. Our latest MarketWatch on Ireland, produced in conjunction with Cartus’ destination service provider, Irish Relo, takes a look at these challenges and offers best practice advice on how to overcome them.
Finding a Home in Dublin
Most international assignees relocate to the capital city of Dublin, but unlike most European capital cities, the rental market is rather limited, which means availability is low. With this in mind, assignees should try to remain as flexible as possible when searching for their new home and, as the Dublin market is very fast moving (it’s not unusual for properties to be taken within 24 hours), speediness and preparation is key. Before starting a home search trip, international assignees should have a bank account set up, an employment confirmation letter, and available funds to pay the security deposit and first month’s rent. We recommend that organisations be mindful of this and ensure that housing allowances are available to assignees as soon as they begin looking for a home.
Limited School Places
Due to limited international school places, assignees with school-age children should apply as far in advance as possible and organisations should send authorisation for school assistance to their relocation service provider as soon as an assignment is confirmed. Those looking for a place in a state school should know that places are given based on catchment areas, so assignees will need to find a home in the relevant area first and then apply (although this does not guarantee a place). When scheduling assignments, organisations should allow plenty of time for assignees to look at schools, as families may not always be able to secure a placement in their first option school.
Cultural Differences in Ireland
Ireland is a predominantly Celtic nation, with a love of the spoken word, music, tradition, a sense of humour, and a strong focus on family. In the business environment, locals often avoid the awkwardness of giving negative feedback by responding with humour. They are also high-context and indirect communicators, so assignees may have to read between the lines and interpret body language before responding.
Face-to-face meetings are important in Irish business, a strict agenda may not typically be adhered to, as meetings may be used instead as forums for general discussion on a particular subject. With a relaxed attitude towards time, international assignees should expect meetings to run a few minutes late. And those planning to take a leadership role in Ireland should be a sociable person, a strong decision maker, flexible, and have good communication skills.
Organisations should consider offering cross-cultural training to assignees and their families moving to Ireland, taking the length of the assignment into account, as well as the assignee’s international assignment experience.