Publication Date

2001

Abstract

Cendant International Assignment Services is a relocation company that specializes in managing and coordinating international and domestic moves for organizations all over the world. While some organizations maintain high levels of employee retention, others encounter difficulties with attrition among their employees with international experience. In the pursuit of identifying the crucial factors that contribute to this rate of attrition, the author researched the question: How can retention rates of employees international experience be improved? The author adopted a qualitative research approach to interview six assignees who had been on international assignments, as well as six managers who had never been on an international assignment. The interviewees were selected from different job rankings under the premise that they were willing to share their experiences openly. A conclusion is reached that the two groups of interviewees exhibited significant differences in their perception of what is needed to achieve a successful international assignment. This conclusion bears significant meaning for the author's position as International Assignment Consultant and for all other relocation professionals who have frequent contact with the human resource departments of various organizations both large and small. The findings provide strong evidence for establishing a solid selection process for international assignees as well as settling clear expectations, providing career planning, training programs and mentorship programs to yield desired retention rates for returning expatriates.

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