Global talent is predicted to reach 3.5 billion by 2030. However the McKinsey Global Institute’s report also forecasts a shortage of skilled workers. The result? The competition for global workers is set to intensify…

A five-year study of the global workforce by Tsedal Neeley highlights five traits of successful global workers. International recruitment teams should be aware of these attributes, strengthening their organisations’ talent mobility during increasingly competitive times.

Neeley says: “Rather than assuming we’ll work in one location, in our native culture, we will need new skills, attitudes, and behaviors that help us work across cultures. Our ways of thinking about careers, colleagues, and collaboration will need to become more flexible and adaptable.”

Often, international assignees need to work across different countries, languages and cultures. Neely suggests five traits that help global workers to be successful:

1. Positive indifference. Embracing cultural differences rather than seeing them as obstacles helps global workers to adjust to international relocation. This is particularly important of less important differences such as the need to wear identity badges, for example.

“Positive indifference is important for two reasons, explains Neely. “One, because global work is by definition likely to bring employees into contact with cultural differences and culturally diverse practices, the ability to adapt smartly could be the difference between success and failure. And two, positive indifference makes work life that much easier in a global firm because employees are open to learning and exploring new terrains.”

2. Commonality between cultures. Similarities, just like differences, may seem small yet they can bring colleagues from different cultures closer together. Embracing common elements helps teams to bond and become more productive.

3. Global vs local belonging. A sense of belonging with the larger organisation rather than the local office has greater potential for commitment, understanding and job satisfaction.

4. Seeking interactions with other, geographically distant subsidiaries. Communicating with international colleagues enables:
• Shared learning and experiences
• Spread of best practice
• Greater efficiencies

“In general, when interactions are high, there is a greater ability to develop trust and shared vision among international coworkers,” explains Neeley.

5. Aspiring to a global career. The research findings show that travel, living in a new country, and the opportunities for career advancement attracted global career aspirations. For many, the advancement of a global career is linked to their ability to speak English.

“Comprehensive relocation policies give assignees the support framework for their global roles, however the attitude and approach of each individual are key to realizing the full potential of each opportunity,” says Louise Chilcott, Global Move and Relocation Specialist at BTR International.

If you would like a no-obligation review of your organisation’s international relocation policy, contact Louise or call her on +44 (1) 01582 495495.

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