The “Anatomy of an International Business 2013-14” research by specialist international health insurer Expacare, found that business leaders believe international work is most suited to those in their late twenties to early thirties (53%). The ideal international executive is single, female, has a foreign language and good networking skills.
As well as gender and relationship status being considered crucial, the skills set of employees is also key. Those employees most likely to be successful working in a foreign country are those with excellent networking skills (60%), a foreign language under their belt (55%) and the ability to sell (41%).
Employers wanting to attract this type of candidate need to be aware of how staff make decisions about heading abroad. Over half (52%) consult their partner, but for a third (33%), parents were the key people to speak to before making a final decision. Surprisingly, nearly two fifths (39%) of business leaders said that it was the employees decision alone illustrating how working overseas tends to attract independent employees.
Once employees are relocated and working overseas nearly a third (32%) of employers said their staffs’ main financial concern would be banking and pensions. Given the different tax rules operating in countries throughout the world, a quarter (25%) were most concerned about taxation, a fifth about currency risk (21%).
Despite the financial concerns of employees well over a third (37%) believe that staff rarely come home earlier than planned. Over a tenth (13%) of employers said they have not experienced an employee return early when posted overseas. This may be because many employers are clued up when it come to the most desired elements of a package staff want when overseas with nearly half (47%) stating that health cover was important.
However the research revealed that the process of relocating is also stressful for the employers as well. Most respondents (47%) said that the process of relocating staff was challenging, although two fifths (42%) thought that process wasn’t actually as hard as they had envisaged. Nearly a fifth (17%) were most concerned about costs and one in 10 (9%) thought that the process itself was very confusing.
Beverly Cook, Managing Director of Expacare, commenting on the findings said: “It is interesting to see who living overseas suits most in terms of age and gender, but it is equally fascinating to see the most desired skill set for these employees. Language and networking skills continue to come out on top despite the world increasingly becoming a highly globalised and linked up place.
“Encouragingly, many employees find the process of relocating staff simple and that most remain working overseas until the end of their agreed term. A big part of this for the employer will be linked to choosing the right people for the right position, but also in the way they look after and prepare their staff being going overseas. In light of this, it is good to see that the majority place an importance on providing their staff with proper international private medical insurance, which will ensure their staff remain healthy and productive for their business wherever they work in the world.”