Challenges facing international assignment managers

C. Tweedy-Smith, Liza Howe-Walsh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    International assignments are acknowledged as a high cost method of resourcing staff in overseas locations. On average the cost to the organisation is £250,000 to £750,000 per annum per assignment (Black & Gregersen, 2007). However the need for global mobility of employees continues to receive significant focus in many multinational organisations. Recent research undertaken by the RES Forum which is an independent community for In-House Global Mobility and HR professionals found that not one of the 53 organisations surveyed anticipated reducing the number of expatriates during 2010. It is clear that, irrespective of the prevailing financial climate, organisations cannot postpone the requirement to become ever-more global. Thus the issue of retention of international assignees is pertinent; the estimation by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC, 2006) that up to 50% of repatriates will leave the organisation within 2 years of return from assignment is all the more concerning as it is crucial to reduce rates of attrition. The role of the International HR function in managing the overseas experiences of staff and increasing retention forms part of the challenge of International Assignment Managers (IAM). This article seeks to explore the role of the International HR function and the challenges facing HR practitioners involved with managing staff in overseas locations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6-8
    Number of pages3
    JournalHR Bulletin: Research and Practice
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


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