Overseas job opportunities on the rise

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Overseas job opportunities on the rise

Do you work for a big company and want a taste of the expat lifestyle? If yes then you could be in luck, as according to a new report compiled by Mercer, more than two-thirds of companies are looking to fill in local skill gaps, and give their staff a chance at career progression through overseas postings.

The report, entitled the (rather tongue twisting) ‘Worldwide International Assignments Policies and Practices’ report, looked into the popularity of overseas placements among a number of multinational companies. The data shows that over the past two years there has been an increase in the number of workers being sent overseas.

According to the report the most popular destinations to send expat workers included Australia, the UK, Brazil, the USA and China.

Anne Rossier-Renaud, principal in Mercer’s global mobility business, said: “International assignments have become diverse in order to meet evolving business and global workforce needs. Relatively low pay increases in some regions and pressure on companies to attract and retain talent, have spurred many to embrace a wider range of global mobility strategies to incentivise high performers.”

In the future, worldwide, 62% of those companies that  participated in the survey anticipate an increase in the number of technical-related short-term assignments, 55% anticipate an increase in talent development assignments, and half (50%) anticipate an increase in key strategic assignments.

For those hoping for a permanent stints overseas there’s some bad news as the duration of long-term assignments is trending down. The average duration of a long-term assignment is now slightly less than three years (2 years 10 months). The average minimum duration is 1 year, 5 months, and the average maximum duration is 5 years, 4 months.

The report warns that due to the global economic situation many companies, especially European ones are offering less generous expat packages. Employers claim to no longer to be able to pay higher salaries or perks such as school fees and subsidised housing. The employers however are getting around this by taking advantage of employee fears over losing their jobs. Basically many workers may feel that they have to go overseas if they want to keep their job, a not ideal situation and one that expats must think long and hard about.

The survey however, clearly supports the advantages of a foreign assignment on a CV with employees with international experience being promoted more quickly, according 39% of those surveyed. More than 700 companies globally contributed, representing all major sectors including financial services and telecommunications.

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