Applied Sciences



International Job Assignments

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International job assignment

Companies around the world frequently send some of their organizational staff abroad to work with affiliates for various purposes. Employees may be sent to further their education and develop their organizational performance and management skills. In most cases, employees are sent abroad to acquire higher experiences in international trade in their respective companies. When international job assignments are expected to last for longer periods, the employee’s families may need to accompany them. Basically, sending employees for international job assignments is an investment that an organization should plan and prepare to undertake for it to be successful and can be done through training, handling reparation and compensation planning.


A fundamental aspect of successful international job assignment is to provide training to the target employees. In this case the target employees are the accountant, manager and an engineer. This provides them with an opportunity to know what they should anticipate in the new location. An effective training for employees should be rigor implying thorough. For long term employee relocation, the training should be comprehensive as oppose to short term relocations on job assignments. In cases when the employee has to fully relocate together with his or her family an even greater rigorous training is imperative (Rosenbusch, Cerny II & Earnest, 2015). Training may be conducted by use of videos showing the culture of the host country, lectures on trade and organizational operations in the host nation. For even longer assignments, intensive practical and empirical training including direct interactions with people from the host country may be important for both the employee and his or her family. According to studies, international assignments are more successful when families of the target employees are included in training and in consultation (DeNisi & Sonesh, 2016). Employees on international job assignments may go through three major types of training:

Documentary training is like a classroom learning session in which the employees are taught the cultural differences between them and the people from the host nation. In this kind of training, the differences are closely examined because they can be hindrance to successful job assignments in the target location. Cultural differences can easily trigger misunderstanding and conflicts. Such aspects that differ with culture include greetings, gender interactions as well as gift issuance which are common human relations. For instance the manager, accountant and engineer would be made aware about how valuable punctuality is for the Romanians.

A second type of training is the cultural simulation training. This teaches the employees the dos and the don’ts in the host country. In this kind of training, employees are given an opportunity to respond to scenarios and practice what they would do should such situations occur in reality. This is to help them develop culturally sensitive responses which will eventually enable them manage situations abroad.

The third type of training is the field simulation training. This kind of training is aimed at assessing how prepared the employees and their families are for the task ahead. This is done by visiting a place with similar conditions as the target location or relocating the family to an absolutely new area where they have to make new friends, go for shopping in a new location or identify transport means and generally explore the new environment. This provides the employees and their families with an opportunity to practice what they have learnt in the training with what is real in the ground.

Handling repatriation

Sending employees to work in a branch outside the country has become relatively common for many businesses planning to go global. When sending the employees abroad, it is imperative that the employer makes sure that their job contacts clearly indicate what they are expected to deliver and the relevant changes in roles and salaries (DeNisi & Sonesh, 2016). when an employee continues to work under the same employer like the case in the scenario, the employment contract has to be updated to prevent any kind of conflict between the employer and the employee. This is primarily significant in preventing the likelihood of abrupt and unjustified termination of employment contract, delayed payment etc (Jayasekara & Takahashi, 2014). Proper job description enhances performance of employees on international assignments.

In handling repatriation, it is important that the employer considers the business laws and regulations of the host country. This will provide clear information on working hours, holidays, cultural aspects etc (Bader, 2015). All of which are factors that can affect working of the sent employee. In addition, the employer should also consider complain and grievance reporting and handling strategies. Also the employer should plan and communicate continued training for the employees to enable them develop and grow in their profession. (DeNisi & Sonesh, 2016). This is because training ay requires the sent employees to travel back to the home country for programs or participate I similar programs in the host nation. Another factor to consider is the ability of a sent employee to move to a competitor’s organization. Such issues recovered based on the clauses contained in the contract and an employer can easily use legal means to recover the cost of relocating the employee who fails to meet the agreement requirements.

Repatriation as a termination option, the employer will consider the employment contract to decide whether the deported employees who have returned in the home country should continue working with the home company in similar position or in a different position.


There are obvious salary changes and payment when an employee is sent to work abroad. The salary should be calculated with conversions of the host currency in mind. When selected for international assignments, employees worry about stability of their families, their career aspirations and quality of life as expatriate. Above all, employees worry more about the level of compensation (Rosenbusch, Cerny II & Earnest, 2015). The payment should also be specified as whether weekly or monthly and clearly indicated in the contract. Housing should also be considered with respect to finding and paying for it. Heath or life insurance also ought to be documented in the contract as well as tax reimbursement policy. Bader (2015) advises that the level of compensation and social support are key determinants for the success of an employee on international assignment. The employee should be informed clearly about handling changes in tax within the host country. The employer should also consider the risks and hardships that employees are likely to be exposed to and provide them with a risk or hardship allowance. The safety of the employees should be prioritized as they work in a new country.


Bader, B. (2015). The power of support in high-risk countries: Compensation and social support as antecedents of expatriate work attitudes. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 26(13), 1712-1736. doi:10.1080/09585192.2014.962071

DeNisi, A. S., & Sonesh, S. (2016). Success and failure in international assignments. Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Management Research, 4(4), 386-407. doi:10.1108/JGM-12-2015-0060

Jayasekara, P., & Takahashi, Y. (2014). Improving post-assignment behavioral outcomes of expatriates. Journal of Global Mobility, 2(3), 298-316. doi:10.1108/JGM-01-2014-0002

Rosenbusch, K., Cerny II, L. J., & Earnest, D. R. (2015). The impact of stressors during international assignments. Cross Cultural Management22(3), 405-430.

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