'Pressure key motivator for expats' study finds

Relocate Global - 13th January 2017 , USA

Assessment-solutions company, cut-e (now Aon), has released a report to help employers and HR managers determine ‘success factors’ for expats on international assignments. A report aimed at identifying the personal characteristics that make for a successful overseas assignee has been published by US assessment specialist company, cut-e (now Aon). Aimed at helping global companies choose the best people for international assignments, the report – Predicting Who Will be a Successful Expatriate – analyses research from 35 organisations involving assessments from managers, staff and expats themselves.

Feedback was collected on each expat's performance, their personal success, their communication abilities and how well they integrated into the local culture.

"Sending employees to live and work abroad is a tremendous opportunity but it is also expensive and a substantial number of expatriates end their assignments prematurely," said Marinus van Driel, director of professional services for cut-e (pronounced 'cute'), which provides online tests, questionnaires and 'gamified' assessments in 70 countries and 40 languages. "Our research identifies which personal attributes are required to succeed as an expatriate. Based on our research, we have created a model that can predict whether someone will adapt well to a new cultural context, perform as expected, cope with the personal and professional challenges and derive a high level of satisfaction from an expatriate assignment."

The study found the key characteristics for success as an expatriate were:

  • emotional stability
  • openness to change
  • cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity
  • an ability to adjust to different customs, perspectives and business practices
  • strong inter-personal skills
  • flexibility
  • resilience
  • respect for diverse viewpoints
  • a high level of autonomy and a sense of humour

The most successful expatriates view pressure as a strong motivator. They're prepared to put time and effort into challenging tasks and they're not overly concerned with the aesthetic aspects of their workplace. These attributes help them to adapt, take initiative and organise their work. Psychometric assessments that provide insights into job-related values, motives and interests can help you to select the right candidates for expatriate assignments.

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