In many developing countries where specialist skills are in short supply, employers tend to favour expats over locals when recruiting for management positions. This can cause resentment amongst the local population, but employers argue that expats have the edge for a number of reasons.
Expats have lived and worked abroad and are able to apply best practices that they have followed in other work environments. Expats usually incorporate global ‘out of the box’ thinking when approaching a problem. Their flexible mindset and attitude can be a huge asset in a business looking for creative solutions when making critical business decisions.
Many companies prefer to transfer their staff abroad rather than recruit locally because internal employees have a good grasp of the company’s DNA, their culture and how they prefer to operate. For global companies, internal employees also tend to have extensive experience working for the company around the world.
Coming from a foreign culture, an expat is more than likely to bring in new approaches and fresh ideas into a business. With this knowledge, expats can help improve existing processes and streamline systems to enable companies in emerging markets to take steps towards global expansion in terms of products and services.
Moving abroad to pursue a career is a move that takes a lot of commitment. Expats working abroad tend to be highly motivated and committed to ensuring their careers are a success. They are usually willing to take on many challenges and make adjustments that locals may not be prepared to.
Experienced expats from abroad are often fluent in more than one language and have both the language skills and expertise to communicate effectively with stakeholders from their home country. This can be a huge asset if a company is looking to do business with organisations in a country with both a foreign language and culture.
Access to international trends
An expat who has worked in a different country – or a variety of countries – should have good knowledge of international trends and legislation. This give local companies a competitive edge if they are looking to grow their business abroad. Often businesses hire a manage of a specific nationality when their target audience belongs to that country.
If a business has a multicultural team, it makes sense to have an expat manager lead it, because a foreigner is often better a building bridges between people from different backgrounds and helping everyone in the team improve their overall performance.
Broadening the local outlook
Bringing expats into a company often has the frequently overlooked advantage of helping the locals develop. Research has shown that working in a multicultural workplace helps make people more creative and can help locals develop a more complex and sophisticated view of the issues they confront.
If you are a South African moving abroad to enhance your career and would like to know more about how you can maximise your finances through financial emigration, accessing your South African retirement annuity and our tailor-made tax solutions for South Africans around the world, contact FinGlobal today.