Are You Relocating The Right Employee?21 Oct 2021
Relocating an employee is a costly exercise. If you don’t plan well, you may end up with a failed international assignment with blown-out costs. The failure of an assignment project can have far-reaching impacts on the business – well beyond the financial implications.
One of the most common reasons for a failed international assignment is the employee fails to adapt to a different culture. To increase the chance of success, understand the risks involved with global projects and go through a thorough process when selecting your candidate.
Let’s explore the process of selecting the right person and look at some critical attributes that you should be looking for, along with other considerations.
To get the best person for the job, focus not only on how well a candidate meets the necessary technical skills but also on how capable they are of exceeding the basic expectations outlined in a job description.
In the case of an international assignment, much more needs to be considered instead of technical skills. Just because an employee has the skills to thrive in a role in their home country, doesn’t necessarily mean they have what it takes to achieve the same level of success on an international assignment.
When living and working in a foreign country, an employee will experience a set of challenges quite different from what they would experience in their home country. People capable of thriving in an environment outside of their home country often share the following attributes:
- Global curiosity
- Cultural empathy & adaptability
- Emotional intelligence
- Strong organizational skills
- Strong communication skills
- Positive attitude
- Language skills
- Diplomacy skills
The mix of these attributes will help determine someone’s cross-cultural suitability. During the deliberation, consider their attitude towards foreign cultures and people and how well they interact and relate to other people.
It’s also highly recommended to consult the following people, so you can have far greater confidence in selecting the right employee:
- Manager for the position (or with an in-depth knowledge of the position)
- Staff with detailed knowledge of the destination country
- HR staff from both the home and destination country
If the selection process leads to multiple suitable candidates who look promising based on their skills and attributes, please consider a candidate with strong foreign language skills and/or a proven track record from past international projects will have a far greater chance of success than someone without those skills/experience.
If your candidate ticks all of these boxes, provide them with a realistic overview of the position and assignment, so they also have the opportunity to make sure that the option is right for them. This will help to ensure the right candidate embarks on a successful posting.