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Employees can look forward to more international postings

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Companies in Asia are expecting the number of short-term assignments to increase this year, as global mobility continues to play a bigger role in business growth.

Over 70% of global companies surveyed by Mercer, including those in APAC, indicated a growth in short-term assignments, while 55% said they will be increasing the number of long-term postings.

These figures are higher than those reported in previous years, where more than half of companies increased long-term (52%) and short-term (53%) assignments in 2010 and 2011.

On average, short-term assignments last between four and 13 months, while a long-term assignment averages five years and four months.

Phil Stanley, APAC global mobility COE leader at Mercer, said international assignments have become more diverse to meet evolving business and global workforce needs.

“Relatively low pay increases in some regions and pressure to attract and retain talent have spurred many companies to embrace a wider range of global mobility strategies to incentivise their high performers,” he said.

“Mobility and HR directors now face great complexity in the number and type of international assignments that need managing.”

The biggest reasons companies offer international programmes are to provide specific technical skills not available locally (47%), to provide career management and leadership development (43%), to ensure knowledge transfer (41%) and to fulfil specific project needs (39%).

However, two thirds of the respondents admitted the only tracking tools they have to measure the success of overseas assignments were Word and Excel documents. Only 6% of respondents said they use metrics to evaluate their expatriate programmes, and 63% keep no statistics on the turnover of repatriated assignees.

Despite the lack of data, 40% of respondents said employees with international experience are promoted faster.

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