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International Assignees – Expected trends in 2020?

A recent report published by PricewaterhouseCoopers gives us a glimpse of the state of international assignments in the year 2020. This comprehensive report shows new trends, challenges and opportunities of international assignments in the years to come, from the use of new technology to remuneration policies and from the new type of assignees to connections between states and companies.

Here IBA Global has summarised some of the highlights of the report:

International Assignees

PricewaterhouseCoopers foresee a 50% rise in the number of international assignees, but as the baby boomers slowly begin to retire, new generations of international workers will appear to replace them. New generations of international assignees will be motivated by different factors and have diverse career goals.

According to the report, The Generation Xers will arrive at their full career potential in 2020. They will be selective about their assignments and try to maximise their income. They will be joined by the Millennials who tend to perceive international assignments as a rite of passage and are more likely to work abroad longer and come back to their homeland later in their career. In 2020 we will also still see some of the baby boomers working and seeking the best assignments in order to keep high incomes and maintain their living standards.

Competition between Companies

According to this report, the competition between firms will continue to increase in the near future so companies will have to fight even harder to hire and retain the most talented and high level employees. To find this new talent, international companies will have to recruit worldwide while they will also have to find ways of encouraging their employees to stay in the organisation.

According to the PricewaterhouseCoopers’ study, while remuneration policies will remain the main incentives, they will no longer be sufficient to retain talented employees. Companies will have to adapt to their employees’ core values and provide them with challenging and stimulating roles around the world.

New Destinations

Emergent countries will have reached their full potential in 2020 resulting in new global mobility patterns. Instead of having personnel going from Northern to Southern countries, firms will increasingly send their employees to any country in the world.

The constant search for new talent will drive international companies to scout the foreign market for employees who bring a high level of competence, knowledge and experience. For example, the report shows the case where a Chinese organisation may hire a European worker and send him or her to work in Africa.
Changes to demography around the world will also impact the mobility flow. Indian cities for instance will become more important as their educated population overtakes key urban centres in western countries making India an attractive place for doing business. Bangalore, for example, has been reported to have a huge population of experienced global mobility professionals which is attracting many western organisations looking to outsource some of the business processes.

In addition to the above, the report also highlights several challenges and obstacles for the international assignees of the future that can jeopardise their success. Among these challenges are the impact of culture, increased interaction with different ethnic groups, loss of social networks and difficulties finding an occupation or employment for partners and children.

Cross cultural awareness training courses like Living and Working in India or Partner and Family Training can help by providing key insights and knowledge about the target culture and strategies for dealing with cultural adaptation. The skills developed on an intercultural training course can ensure that international assignees today and in 2020 will have the support they need to be successful anywhere in the world.

One comment

  1. Hello! nice post, next time could you please cite your sources? it’s always interesting to know … Thanks, keep it up!

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