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Exploring New Horizons: A Look at Ernst & Young's Expatriate Program

Depending on the location, even basics such as the electrical supply, roads, health care and security can be issues for employees.

March 1, 2013
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In the increasingly globalized world of business, organizations are coming up with diverse ways to find the best employees to work in developing markets.

Ernst & Young, for example, has established its New Horizons program, geared to high-potential employees, with three to five years of experience, who work in an emerging market for three months.

One segment of the program sends American employees to Brazil, while Brazilian employees head to the United States or Canada. "This gives everyone involved diverse experiences and a chance to build their skills and global mindset," says Troy Dickerson, director of mobility strategy and operational effectiveness.

Along with sending employees from developed countries, some companies are sending employees from that particular region, says Scott Sullivan, executive vice president of Brookfield Global Relocation Services. So someone might go from a more developed African country to a less developed one. "They may come from a background, lifestyle and culture that are closer to the realities" of the new place, he says.

Depending on the location, even basics such as the electricity supply, roads, health care and security can be issues for employees. "Everything you take for granted is just harder," says Paula Larson, chief human resources officer for Western Union Holdings Inc., who has lived and worked around the world for a wide range of companies.

On the flip side, living in a growth market creates an opportunity for employees to showcase their abilities. They're outside their comfort zone and have an opportunity to demonstrate what they can accomplish, Larson says. "Having experience in emerging markets makes for amazing leaders. They learn how to look at something through a different lens."

Susan Ladika is a writer based in Tampa, Florida. Comment below or email editors@workforce.com.

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