Expatriate Assignments

In Growth Markets to Soar

By Dori Meinert Jan 1, 2013
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0113cover.gifAlmost half of the 520 global companies in a recent survey intend to increase the number of staff they send to growth markets such as Africa and China in 2013.

The number of short-term and long-term assignments is expected to almost double during the next three years, according to Ernst & Young’s Global Mobility Effectiveness Survey 2012.

Companies are having trouble retaining those employees, however, once they gain the experience abroad and return home. Within two years of returning home, 11 percent of the employees resign and move on to other companies, the survey found. African companies lose 26 percent of returning employees within two years of repatriation, compared with 12 percent for North American corporations. European organizations lose 11 percent, and South American businesses and Asia-Pacific companies each lose 10 percent.

Top Global Mobility Challenges
Tax compliance 19%
Compensation and benefits16
Housing and schooling13
Policy management13
Source: Ernst & Young’s Global Mobility Effectiveness Survey 2012.

According to survey respondents, their top global mobility challenges are tax compliance, immigration, and compensation and benefits.

“To meet the many challenges that organizations face, it is essential that talent management and global mobility are integrated,” says Dina Pyron, Ernst & Young’s global mobility leader. “Growth is the primary goal for many organizations, and it is essential to use your best talent to stay ahead of the pack.”

Bias Found Against Unemployed

In 2011, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission began investigating employers’ refusal to hire unemployed applicants as a potential form of discrimination.

Researchers from California State University in San Marcos and Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., say they have the first empirical evidence of a stigma or bias against unemployed job candidates that increases the longer they are unemployed.

“Candidates unemployed for 18 months were viewed as less qualified and would be less likely to be granted an interview and hired than those unemployed for six or 12 months at all ages studied,” the researchers wrote. “There is a stigma associated with being unemployed for a long duration of time despite the fact that many individuals have become unemployed solely due to adverse economic conditions.”

The study found that volunteer work reduces this stigma, increasing the likelihood of those unemployed candidates being interviewed or hired. The volunteer work didn’t have to be work-related to have a positive effect, the researchers found.

Performing volunteer work enhanced a candidate’s attractiveness in the study because the candidate was perceived to have desirable personal attributes, such as good citizenship, rather than because of perceptions of job qualifications or skills, they found.

The study involved 270 college students judging fictitious resumes. The applicants varied by the duration of their unemployment, their age and their volunteer work. The study was conducted by Ted H. Shore, professor of management and marketing at California State University, and Armen Tashchian, professor of marketing and professional sales at Kennesaw State University.

The author is a senior writer for HR Magazine.

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