New study offers clues to successful expat hirings

Published:  13 Jan at 6 PM
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Tagged: Euro, Study Abroad
A new study has identified which character traits are common to expats with successful careers overseas.

Many professionals and entrepreneurs are keen to try their luck as expats in countries across the world, but many don’t succeed and are forced to return to their home countries for a rethink. A recent study has identified the personal characteristics necessary to take full advantage of the many challenges and opportunities involved in working and living overseas.

Of course, the study is intended to help employers looking for suitable candidates for overseas postings, but can be equally useful as regards giving guidelines for those planning a career-related exit from their country of birth. Those interviewed included successful expats, their employers and managers and, importantly, their working colleagues. Individual performance ratings were based on ability to communicate, personal success and integration into local cultures.

Sending workers overseas is a costly business for employers, especially as a considerable number of expat professionals throw in the towel and head for home before their contracts end. The study revealed a number of key attributes necessary for making a successful career in an unfamiliar location.

Welcoming change, displaying emotional stability, sensitivity to and awareness of cross-cultural issues, the ability to adjust to local customs, business practices and perspectives and developed interpersonal skills were all considered essential to success in expat working life. The study also valued resilience, flexibility, autonomy and respect for different points of view, as well as a sense of humour.

Obviously, finding a successful expat professional with every single one of the demanding personal attributes as defined in the study might be difficult, but as a guide it’s sure to be useful. The authors of the study recommend psychometric testing as a tool in accessing applicants’ chances of success, as insights can be had into motivation, interests and job-related values.

Taking into account the ongoing demand across the world for expat professionals, the study is likely to at least alleviate employers’ chances of making a wrong and potentially expensive misjudgement.

Source - prnewswire
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