International hires: expats that either find a job abroad on their own or are recruited by a local company. There is, however, much more to this expat type than just their main reasons for relocating across borders. The recently published Expat Insider 2018 Business Edition, a report based on one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive surveys on life abroad, took a closer look at this expat type and the survey results delivered some interesting findings.
Did You Know?
International hires are less supported than foreign assignees in terms of receiving relocation support. Organizing an employee’s move abroad and providing a lump-sum payment for expatriation-related expenses are two of the most commonly offered types of relocation support. While international hires also receive these more commonly than other types of relocation support (such as language classes and intercultural training), they don’t get it to the same extent that foreign assignees do. When comparing the two expat types, the differences are significant — only 43% of international hires compared to 75% of foreign assignees received the organized move, and 36% of international hires compared to 65% of foreign assignees received the lump-sum payment.
International hires find a lump-sum payment for expatriation-related expenses most useful and intercultural training least useful. Of the types of relocation support that international hires evaluated (language classes, intercultural training, additional spouse support, access to local networking opportunities, access to local socializing opportunities, membership in an expat organization, information on local life, move organized, lump-sum payment for expatriation-related expenses), the usefulness was generally rated positively. For them, receiving the lump-sum payment, organized move, and access to local networking opportunities were perceived to be most useful. They rated intercultural training as least useful.
International hires take quite some time to settle down abroad. International hires were on average most satisfied with feeling settled in their new home country after being there for five years or longer. This means it does take them a few years to settle down and feel at home. One Turkish female international hire living in Germany echoed this, commenting: “It is difficult to integrate into the local culture and there is sometimes hostility towards foreigners”. Apart from integrating into the local culture, factors such as making friends and having a personal support network are also considered to be contributing factors to them feeling completely settled.
Read the Expat Insider 2018 Business Edition: Expat Insider is one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive surveys on life abroad (18,135 expats from across the globe took part in the 2018 survey — 19% of respondents were international hires).
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