International firms don’t operate in silos any longer. Instead many have universal platforms, software and processes in order to ease dealing with clients and suppliers from all around the globe. This seamless globalisation of the business environment makes it a lot easier for international businesses to hire managers from other countries.
Why expat talent is in global demand
This trend doesn’t just exist within organisations, many international recruiters are called upon to source global talent as businesses look to embrace international insights and innovations. Here are some of the reasons global talent is in such demand:
An expat manager will come from a different environment where new approaches and different strategic thinking may be used. Even if the transfer is happening internally within a global company, an expat manager will be able to bring insights and suggestions as to new ways of doing business. Expats are used to thinking and living outside the box and their creative thinking makes them an asset within the marketplace. Hiring an expat manager could give your business a much-needed boost, but to ensure it is effective he or she needs an in-depth understanding of your business and your marketplace.
Expats are used to quickly assimilating and adopting a new country’s way of doing business and are more motivated to make adjustments than someone who has worked in the business for years. Expats, by their very nature are open to change and have a vested interest in making a success of their new position – a position they might often have moved half way across the world to obtain. As the saying goes ‘the bigger the move, the more you have to lose’.
Expats tend to be leaders rather than followers and as such are very attractive to companies looking to advance and grow. Leaving your home and moving abroad develops a skillset where one looks for opportunities and solutions rather than stopping at the first hurdle. Expat managers are more likely to challenge the status quo and look for smarter, quicker and better ways of doing things.
Expats are often fluent in more than one language, which is a huge asset in the international workplace. They also tend to have a wider experience in dealing with diverse people. As part of their adaptable natures, they have had to develop communication skills that enable them to overcome obstacles and these skills make them valuable assets in the workplace where business success depends on communication.
Despite the advantages of hiring expat managers, already outlined here, countries like Australia and the USA are clamping down on firms ‘bringing in’ foreign workers from abroad – unless their skills are needed within the country. Expats often have industry-specific skills that are lacking in a particular country, and the only way to obtain them is through the hiring of expats.
While “think local, act global” is a popular phrase at the moment, this largely depends on a company’s ability to compete with global players in the market – something that is often only possible with the help of expat talent.