Expat Job Boom As Firms Look For Skilled Workers

By |

Expat job prospects are likely to improve as more than two-thirds of firms look to boost the number of short term assignments this year.

Around 70% of companies are looking to deploy more workers overseas because of struggles in attracting and retaining talented staff for this year, according to recruitment firm Mercer.

Those job deployments, the firm says, are more likely to be short-term rather than long-term and underline a growing trend over the past two years.

Expat job opportunities are booming in Australia, Brazil, the US, China and UK.

The prediction comes from a report by the firm which says there was an increase in long-term and short term assignments in 2011 and 2010 of 52% and 53% respectively.

Star performer incentives

The report analyses global trends in expat management, policies and employment practices.

Anne Rossier-Renaud, who works in Mercer’s worldwide mobility section, said: “Companies are seeing their business and global workforce needs diversifying and are now embracing a range of mobility strategies to give high performers an incentive.”

One issue is relatively low pay increases in some regions have put some companies under pressure to attract and retain top quality employees. They are increasingly using incentives to move their star performers around the world.

However, company human resources directors are now facing an increasing number of issues over managing international assignments.

Among the reasons that Mercer says companies give for increasingly using expat workers skills range from providing management development, knowledge transfer and to fulfil special project needs.

Nearly half of firms in the US and Europe say they use overseas assignments to help develop leadership abilities, but 62% of firms say they are expecting an increase in assignments for technically skilled workers.

Shorter stints

International companies are increasingly finding that as the world’s economy picks up specific technical skills are not available locally which puts a premium on the earnings of expats who do possess those skills.

Expats on foreign assignments are now finding that the length of their stay is becoming shorter.

The average long-term stint averages around 34 months.

The average stay for an expat is 17 months, while the maximum assignment is 64 months.

The report found that expats undertaking these assignments are generally aged between 35 and 55 years-old, with younger expats tending to undertake shorter assignments – with an increase in assignments growing rapidly.

Leave a Comment