Theresa Häfner, Head of Business Solutions at InterNations, spoke at Relocate Global's Festival of Global People in London, about the benefits of socially integrating global talent abroad — both for expat employees and international employers.
Hiring, onboarding, and moving international talent beyond the national borders needs a shift of approach. While many employers currently offer financial support and address the practical aspects of relocation, personal factors, such as access to local socializing opportunities, are often neglected.
However, people that move abroad for work move with more than just their boxes and suitcases. They move with emotions too as they leave behind friends, family, and their social and personal support networks. Findings from the Expat Insider 2019 Business Edition show that the lack of socializing opportunities is the top reason for expat employees’ unhappiness abroad, while loneliness is the main motivation for an early return.
Social integration, meaning settling in, feeling at home, making friends, becoming part of the new environment, and being immersed in the local culture, should, therefore, be a key element of any comprehensive relocation package. Socially integrating expat employees will reward HR and global mobility teams with improved international talent retention and more successful foreign assignments. "Because smooth integration abroad is not only beneficial to the employees but can also have a significant impact on business goals — in terms of productivity, risk management, and cost-efficiency," explained Theresa Häfner.
About theExpat Insider 2019 Business Edition: The InterNations Expat Insider is one of the world’s largest surveys on life abroad — 20,259 expats took part. The Expat Insider 2019 Business Edition focuses specifically on global employees and their spouses — 10% of respondents were foreign assignees, 23% were international hires, and 7% were relocating spouses. Through detailed results, infographics, and expat quotes, the report provides insights that can assist global mobility and HR professionals in understanding the needs of expat employees better.
Expat Insider 2019 Business Edition
A Look At Global Talent Mobility Through Expat Eyes