step by step - expatriation

making choices

Before deciding to expatriate, you must ask yourself a full range of questions which will allow you to make the right decision: expatriate or not.

Why expatriate someone? Why not hire a local employee, which would allow you to forget about all the costs, risks and constraints tied to the international mobility of an employee? Why expatriate an entire family when you can send a single person?

You must find an answer, a justification to all these answers and many others prior to making a final decision because you must remember that expatriating an employee is a choice. You cannot have doubts about whether expatriating is the best choice, it must be a certainty.

Expatriating an employee is by definition “expensive” if not “very expensive” but you cannot forget that it is also about the “employee”, the “family that joins the experience”, the “carrier” and the “life style”.

Therefore, and even if it is difficult to be certain of having made the right choice, you must have tried to diminish risks to the maximum. Errors can have expensive consequences in international mobility. 

What are the rules that can help you start a successful expatriation?

1 - First, you must familiarize yourself with the host country: Is it an easy country to familiarize yourself with? Is it a safe country? What are the immigration rules? What are the labor laws? Can we house people easily? And their family? Are there good schools for the children?

2 - Secondly, you must familiarize yourself with the industrial or HR project which made you get to the conclusion that one of your local employee’s had to go abroad:

- You have a foreign entity and you have staff exchange with that entity for the development of your employees ;
- You have bought a firm based abroad and wish to take its control with your people ;
- You have branches abroad but you do not find the proper staff in the local market ;
- You have no structure abroad and wish to commercialize your products or install a first office.

3 - The choice of the candidate by the HR and management is essential to reaching the goal of your expatriation project.The candidate (and his family, eventually) must be convinced that expatriation is best.

4 - Finally, you will have to follow the expatriation throughout his assignment. Do not forget about him!