Global Employees in the Netherlands Best Supported and Happiest
20 Mar 2019
Employers of International Hires and Foreign Assignees in the Netherlands support their expat employees well in terms of the variety of support offered. In addition to practical relocation support, such as having their move organized and receiving a lump-sum payment, they also focus on more personal relocation support types. These include, for example, access to socializing opportunities and membership in an expat organization.
However, while on a global level International Hires receive solid support in the Netherlands, they are still less supported than Foreign Assignees in the country. “When it comes to benefits for International Hires, international recruiting can and should learn from global mobility management,” says Theresa Häfner, Head of Business Solutions at InterNations. “While companies hiring international talent in the Netherlands are seemingly doing better than those in other countries such as Germany and Switzerland, more should be done in terms of offering relocation support. In order to stay competitive in the war for talent, they have to support International Hires even more.”
Global employees who are better supported with their relocation and integration experience an easier, shorter adjustment period and a higher satisfaction with life in general. “Moving abroad comes with organizational as well as emotional challenges,” says Häfner. “If the Netherlands wants to remain an attractive destination for global talent, employers need to further build on their offerings of both practical and personal support for their employees. It is, however, good to already see a more well-rounded approach to relocation support from employers with global talent in the Netherlands.”
In the newly released Expat Insider Business Edition Country Focus report, InterNations Business Solutions takes a closer look at nine different types of relocation support that global employees and their partners receive from companies. In addition to the Netherlands, the report looks into the situation of expats who moved abroad for work and live in China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Switzerland, the UAE, the UK, and the USA. The report focuses on the benefits that International Hires (found a job abroad on their own or were recruited by a local company), Foreign Assignees (sent abroad by their employer), and Relocating Spouses (moved abroad with their partner) receive, as well as the types of support they would have wanted. It reveals the benchmark that the Netherlands sets for other countries in terms of the more personal support types, and the positive impact that a combination of practical and personal support has on the happiness of global employees.
International Hires Need More Practical Support
International Hires in the Netherlands received considerably less practical relocation support than Foreign Assignees in the country: while 86% of Foreign Assignees received an organized move, only 50% of International Hires received the same offer from their employer. Similar differences in support received are true for lump-sum payments and information on local life: 76% of Foreign Assignees received a lump-sum payment compared to 49% of International Hires; and 57% of Foreign Assignees received information on local life, compared to 46% of International Hires.
Even so, compared to the other countries featured in the report, International Hires in the Netherlands are at the top when it comes to receiving relocation support. For example, only 38% of International Hires in Germany received the organized move, and 33% received the lump-sum payment — much lower than the averages of those in the Netherlands.
International Hires Are Best Assisted with Personal Support Types
Assistance with more personal types of relocation support, such as access to socializing and networking opportunities, as well as membership in an expat organization, are areas where employers in the Netherlands really stand out. These types of support seem to be less prominent with employers on a global level, but employers of International Hires in the Netherlands seem to find it worth offering.
In terms of access to local socializing opportunities, 32% of International Hires in the Netherlands received assistance from their employers. This is twelve percentage points higher than the global average (20%). Of the nine featured countries, only China (33%) has a slightly larger share of International Hires who received it.
Furthermore, 22% were offered access to networking opportunities, which is not only higher than the global average (17%), but it is also the largest share of International Hires among the featured countries.
Lastly, only 12% of International Hires in the Netherlands received membership in an expat organization from their employers. However, this is still higher than the global number of 8% and highest of the featured countries.
Support Is Solid with Room for Improvement
While the report shows that employers in the Netherlands can be commended for taking steps towards a more well-rounded and personal approach, there is definitely room for improvement. Of the International Hires in the country, 62% still indicated they did not receive access to networking but would have liked to, while 55% missed access to socializing opportunities, and 59% said that they wanted membership in an expat organization.
In addition to this, while International Hires in the country are more supported than Foreign Assignees in terms of networking and socializing opportunities, and equally well supported in terms of language classes (47% of both expat types received this), they are still less supported in many other instances, such as receiving an organized move and lump-sum payment.
Another point is that Relocating Spouses in the country are even less supported than International Hires and Foreign Assignees, with notably lower shares of this expat type having received assistance.
Settling In Is Not as Difficult, but Making Local Friends Is a Pain Point
As International Hires in the Netherlands received support with both their social integration and practical support, the Expat Insider Business Edition Country Focus found that their ease of settling in is not as bad as some of the other European countries featured in the report, such as Germany and Switzerland.
Getting used to the Dutch culture is rated on the higher end with 64% of International Hires agreeing that its easy, which is eight percentage points higher than the global average (56%). Only International Hires in the USA (73% agree), and France (64% agree) have equal or higher overall ratings.
Close to three-quarters of International Hires in the Netherlands (74%) also agree with the statement that it is easy to settle down, which is the highest share among the nine countries featured.
The settling in factor where International Hires in the Netherlands have the most negative ratings is making local friends — 47% state it is difficult to make local friends, compared to 43% globally. Making local friends is also a challenge for Foreign Assignees in the Netherlands — 48% indicate it is difficult, which is again higher than the global average (41%).
A French male International Hire shared his comments about the difficulty of making local friends, saying that “it is very difficult to become one of their friends,” while another male from New Zealand agrees: “The Dutch are not interested in making friends with expats.”
International Hires in the Netherlands Are Happiest
International Hires in the Netherlands are happiest of the nine featured countries in the report. A large portion (84%) indicate they are happy with their life in general, which is 13 percentage points higher than the global average (71%). Foreign Assignees in the Netherlands are also happiest compared to Foreign Assignees in the other featured countries (86% happy vs. 80% globally). The fact that International Hires received more personal support, could be a reason for this slightly higher positive rating. In comparison, Relocating Spouses not only received less support but are also unhappier than the other two expat types — only 64% indicate happiness with their life in general.
About the Expat Insider Business Edition Country Focus
The very first Expat Insider Business Edition Country Focus zooms in on Foreign Assignees, International Hires, and Relocating Spouses in nine featured countries (China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United Stated of America). It is an extension of the Expat Insider Business Edition, launched at the end of 2018. It provides valuable insights for global mobility and HR professionals supporting expats. All findings are based on the InterNations Expat Insider survey, one of the world’s most comprehensive expat surveys — 18,135 expats from across the globe took part in the 2018 survey. Important: The choice of the nine countries was solely based on having a big enough data sample. These countries are not ranked in the report, but comparisons are made between the countries. Global percentages for the expat types are also compared.
About InterNations Business Solutions
InterNations Business Solutions provides expert insights and personalized solutions for global mobility and HR professionals to ensure successful foreign assignments and improved international talent retention. InterNations is the world’s largest expat network with 3.4 million members and 420 communities worldwide. Through the InterNations Corporate Membership, expat employees and their families are empowered to quickly and easily integrate abroad through peer-to-peer support. This helps them through the most critical onboarding phase and seamlessly integrates them into their new home country for the entire time abroad. In turn, they are more productive at work and save global mobility and HR professionals time and costs.
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