Sibson survey reveals that expatriate recruitment is on the rise

Two thirds of US based multinational companies intend to increase their expatriate recruitment according to a recent survey by Sibson Consulting.

A recent evaluation of the expatriate recruitment intentions of a number of major US based corporations revealed that up to two thirds of them intend to increase or maintain the size of their expatriate employee base. The analysis, which was published in the Expatriate Market Talent Trends Report, was produced as a result of a survey completed by the North American based Human Resources consultancy, Sibson.

One significant finding of the report revealed that, at 53%, over half of those businesses that currently based their migrant workers in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, intended on keeping their foreign staffing levels the same.

Michael Norman, Senior Vice President of Sibson Consulting commented on the findings: “Despite the global recession, a majority of U.S. multinationals are maintaining or increasing the number of expatriates around the world,” he said, “Expats` business capabilities and experience continue to differentiate them from many local candidates.”

However, the results of the survey were mixed, with the remaining third of multinational corporations surveyed revealing that they intend to decrease their expatriate staffing levels. Of these companies, the high cost of expatriate compensation was cited as being the main driver for such activities. Furthermore, such companies disclosed that they intended to replace positions that were previously held by expatriates with local talent. A total of 51 per cent of those included in the survey planning to invest more in such local talent.

A further area of consideration within the survey concerned expatriate pay. 67% of the American based multi-national companies surveyed reported that they intended to keep expatriate pay the same, whilst 26% said that they intended to decrease expat pay and compensation and 7% said that they intended increase it.

Michael Norman also commented on changes in the model for the ideal expatriate employee, disclosing that qualities such as language proficiency, cultural awareness and sensitivity are becoming as increasingly important as industry knowledge and technical skills.

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