Why employees are sent overseas?


Overseas assignments are usually carried out by major multi-national companies, and employees assigned abroad make up the bulk of expats worldwide. So why do companies have to send employees abroad in the first place? Here are a few things you need to know to help you understand this strategy.

Company Strategy

Multinational companies thrive on global expansion, and to do that, they need to place their best foot forward whenever they acquire new offices abroad. One of the major reasons for sending employees overseas as a company strategy is to build and stabilise offices abroad. Employees from head offices especially senior executives know the business model, talent management and company goals better, so sending them to build the offices for overseas expansion is a smart strategy. The company would have to shell out a few more funds for the transfer of a senior executive, but it will benefit the company more in the long run.

These kinds of assignments can be temporary just until the new office is set up or permanent if the company need someone from the headquarters to supervise and be the head of a regional office. Sending trainers and talent acquisition professionals are also very common company strategies to send people abroad for the benefit of the company.

Skill Gap

Aside from preparing and managing regional offices, employees are also sent abroad to fill skill gaps in certain offices and develop talent abroad. Developing markets are usually seen as good investment potentials for multinational companies, as well as young entrepreneurs who want to explore business opportunities for less costs. But this also means that there are certain skills and specialities that just cannot be filled in a developing nation. This is why companies hire professionals or skilled workers to be sent overseas to fill the company's specific need, as well as develop a new team and develop possible new talent from the local market that can benefit the company.

Global Market Insight

Aside from filling up the gap of skills in a new office abroad, employees sent overseas also tend to soak up more insights about the regional and local market. They contribute not only in expanding the company's view but also by observing the regional and local market that can benefit the company. Hiring a local consultant to give views about the regional and local market will not be the same as sending an employee from the main office to the regional office, as the perspective will be quite different in the eyes of a seasoned employee of the company compared to local consultants. This is also one of the major reasons why people who have work experience abroad can get higher rankings in companies and more job offers as they can give more than a single-minded insight about the company's business.