How Knowing These 2 Things Make a Recruited Talent Succeed More

What are the character traits of a successful assignee or expatriate?

Too often, global mobility managers and recruitment directors look at credentials, experience, academic qualifications, and skill set. However, getting the technicalities right is just winning half the battle.

Over the years, companies have realized that abilities and competencies are not enough for an assignee, no matter how promising, to be successful in their assignment. Character traits are key to long-term productivity and sustainability.

Let’s put it this way:  one assumes that a soldier who knows his weaponry and excelled in combat training would do well in the field. He would follow his commander’s orders and execute the mission given him. All that preparation in boot camp would kick in gear once the heat of battle intensifies.

However, that assessment is not necessarily 100 percent accurate. Some soldiers quit when the going gets tough, despite their impressive skill set. While others who might not have fared well in combat school just might surprise everybody and stick to their guns (literally) and keep on fighting until the battle is won.

When defining character traits, they are “all the aspects of a person’s behavior and attitudes that make up that person’s personality. Everyone has character traits, both good and bad.” In the corporate world, industry, loyalty, and resilience may be categorized as desirable character traits, while laziness, impatience, and fearfulness just might get someone the boot.

Global mobility managers cannot neglect this aspect and focus on skill set and experience alone. Some character traits are key to the success of an overseas assignment than others. Here are two vital ones to look out for:


  • Adaptabilty in an environment or living condition


A successful assignee must be willing to adjust to his situation and not panic or freak out should the more convenient conditions change. “Hardship” is getting to be a buzzword now in global mobility circles and assignees must be able to handle them should their working and living environment change.

Communicaid gives one example: if an unforeseen power outage erupts in the assignee’s once sterling neighborhood, and threatens to do so in the next few days, the assignee must be able to take this in stride while everything is being fixed.

Or if they find  out suddenly that the diplomat they are seeing has a bad experience in the country of their origin, they must be able not just to handle the ensuing conversation but win the diplomat over to their cause.

  1. A love for new experiences:

Prospective assignees must not just be open to novel experiences but they must revel in them.

A stint in a foreign country can open their eyes to learning and adventures that might not just strain their physical and intellectual capabilities, but their emotional ones as well. It’s not all cocktails and furnished apartments like the ones that California Corporate Housing provides — there are times that assignees will be asked to literally walk on dirt roads or crash in rural villages overnight in order to connect with the local communities.

Learning may not just entail an online linguistics course but sitting down with guests to partake of their cuisine that just might be too exotic for them.

A neutral or dispassionate approach can only see the assignee so far — they must be able to exude and experience joy in the journey.