Quality Hiring Starts By Dipping into a Pool of Sea Turtles

Sea Turtles. That’s the moniker for returning expatriates who want to return home but who also find it hard to fit right back in. Their assignments have long been over but they don’t want to retire or have a hard time adjusting to the hometown or city they had left ages ago. Or many of them had become so immersed and acculturated to their countries of employment that they experience some culture shock. They don’t mind the shock as it’s the foreignness of another company or country that draws them in.

Many Sea Turtles are American expatriates who had spent an average of 10 years manning subsidiaries or satellite officers worldwide, conquering new markets for the mother company. Others are their mirror images: Asian or European expatriates who had found a second home in America, and have a difficult time conforming again to the business practices and cultural traditions in their native countries.

As Mercer describes these groups, these Sea Turtles always have a mobile mindset. They are the intellectual and professional ancestors of the 21st-century global nomad. The children of two (or even three) worlds, they can’t stay rooted in one place, but would rather be frequently transitioning from one workplace location to another.

The ingenuity that lies within the Sea Turtle though is they are professional amphibians. They know and can fully function in the many cultures and worlds that they had been immersed in, although they cannot live in one permanently for a long time. This special quality also makes them a secret weapon for global mobility managers who are embattled with filling in the talent gap with skilled, qualified assignees who can commit to long-term work.

Intelligence Group elaborates on the skills and other characteristics that global mobility managers can tap into:

They can build the bridge between cultures and facilitate easy communication between the home office and the new countries that it will be transacting with.

They are in a far better position to close international partnerships and forge new ties with business and other leaders in other countries.

They can be the pioneers in extending the country’s new divisions in other regions and nations, increasing the market share of the companies.

They can impart their expertise, knowledge, and insights to the other members of the workforce and prepare them for internationally-related work.

They can be the frontliners to head startups that the company will be launching in other U.S.-based or international locations.

They can be called upon to provide guidance for strategies that have to do with international expansion.

The natural work habitat of Sea Turtles is a fluctuating one. They can thrive on challenge and changing situations precisely because their entire professional DNA has been nurtured by cultural diversity. They can embrace the many ethnic cultural communities found in  Northern California, and welcome the kind of healthy competition found in Silicon Valley.

That’s why a pool of Sea Turtles can be the secret source of global mobility managers who are always in the search of quality hiring.