Family Tops List of Expat Concerns

Conclusions of a study by IESE and Ernst & Young



With grim prospects at home due to the economic crisis, many executives are volunteering to accept overseas assignments. However, gone are the days of the cushy relocation package, making such assignments less enticing than they used to be. Another downside is that executives feel less inclined to decline an expat assignment, fearing reprisals should they say no.

These are some of the conclusions of a study by IESE and Ernst & Young, based on interviews and surveys of executives from 30 multinational companies, most of them Spanish.

Consequences of the Crisis

Turning down an overseas assignment carries the distinct possibility of either losing your job or seriously limiting your career prospects, according to those surveyed. The fact that there is a line of other executives waiting to take your place adds to their worries. The effects of the crisis are also felt in expat packages. Seven years ago, the major financial incentives being offered to expats were enough to lure candidates abroad.

Now, however, an expat assignment is no longer the road to riches. There is hardly much difference from what they would earn at home, unless the job abroad represents a genuine promotion. Having said that, extra pay is still being offered to reflect a higher cost of living in the destination country, or hazards associated with a particular assignment.

Read full article on the IESE Insight website.