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Deciding Who Goes Overseas

March 29, 1999
Related Topics: Expatriate Management, Featured Article
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If your company has identified that it needs to send an employee on an assignment overseas, then it will soon be taking a big financial risk -- global assignments are rarely cheap. A successful assignment can mean reaping huge rewards in a new marketplace, but a failed assignment can be disastrous. And much of the responsibility for the assignment's success or failure rests on the employee being sent overseas -- an employee the HR department is often asked to choose. Before you make that choice, ask yourself these questions about the candidate:

How familiar is the candidate with the company's global objectives?

What are the candidate's professional goals and objectives?

What professional and educational experiences does the candidate bring which will help ensure success in the assignment?

How motivated is the candidate to go overseas?

What does the candidate perceive as beneficial in the assignment as it relates to his or her future with the company?

How eager is the candidate to learn new things?

How well does the candidate handle ambiguity and tolerate differences?

How does the candidate deal with failure and mistakes -- both his or her own and those of others?

How did he or she experience previous transfers?

SOURCE: "Staff Selection Impacts Global Success," Charlene Marmer Solomon, Personnel Journal, January 1994.

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