Worried If Expats Can Do the Job? 3 Qualities One Should Look For

If you’re thinking you can always be guaranteed your assignee will fulfill his job even with his solid experience and credentials, think again.

Now this is why performance evaluations, combined with a support system, is vital to have in any company. All high-performance jobs bring a lot of stress to those who occupy them, and assignees experience deeper and possibly more intense levels of them because they are away from familiar surroundings and the loved ones who usually act as the source of their emotional and spiritual rejuvenation.

But it’s time to ask, especially since talents could be traveling more than 2,000 miles for their new jobs in the United States: What makes certain assignees succeed more than others? Is there a specific personality that increases the chances of success? Are there traits that they should have from the get-go?  It’s important to determine these factors as they will form part of the criterion that you will soon be looking at during your next recruitment drive.

Skills and experience are non-negotiable. For example, IT professionals and marketing managers have to be upgraded on the latest core competencies that can ensure that a certain project or campaign wins. However, once you have winnowed the skills and filtered those who have them from those that don’t, there are traits that you must look for in each assignee candidate, regardless of his age, position, and professional background. Check the following:


Adaptability to current management practices

Assignees know they have to adapt to their new country of employment. They have gone through enhanced language and cultural training, familiarized themselves with the lifestyle of the communities and cities surrounding them, and taken great pains to understand what makes the U.S. way of doing business different from theirs.

However, as Forbes points out, adaptability to the management of their new company and their business etiquette is mandatory to survival. After all, before they can adjust to the shock of the greater world outside, they would have to deal with standard American management styles not normal in their home country. For example, someone who has worked for years in a rigidly patriarchal firm might feel a bit of unease in dealing with colleagues who have the same rank, are entitled to the same perks, are as competent as he is, but happen to be women. That need to understand, conform, and belong is one reason why global mobility specialists should always design and run programs that promote diversity and inclusivity.


Communication, the ability and the willingness to use it, is another factor that can ensure an assignee’s success, says iExpats.

Mastering English fluency and American idioms will go a long way in avoiding misunderstanding and fostering collaborations. It can also help the assignee use more of the digital tools at his disposal critical to work associated with globalization.

However, one often overlooked trait is the desire to communicate. Assignees who take the time and effort to approach their colleagues and thresh out issues will achieve more than those who just bottle up their issues and sulk in one corner. They also establish stronger relationships and make for good team players.


A personal drive to succeed.

FIDI names this as one non-negotiable factor for success. Like all achievers, assignees will encounter unexpected bumps on the road and might fail occasionally. What is important is that they have the resilience to learn from their mistakes, get up, and set themselves again on their A-game.

Some people tend to succumb to defeat more than others, but assignees who constantly push themselves to overcome temporary setbacks to get the job done will last longer than other foreign nationals.