Page 20 - FIS World May 2019
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 A New Kind of Ex-Pat
FIS and emerging global workforce mobility trends
Community events like Worldfest (above) and FISW’s Welcome BBQ (opposite page) help create a foundation for families on both campuses
The mobility of a highly-skilled global workforce has changed radically in the past 40-50 years. The first wave of international work assignments in the
1970-90ssawassignedexpatriates(AEs)sentby large multinationals to foreign outposts. Since then, businesses and organizations of all sizes and geo- graphic origins have internationalized in a globally- integrated economy, underpinned by digital tech- nologies and a proliferation of global and regional agreements.
Nowadays, mobility is geographically multidirectional, with countries in various stages of economic devel- opment being both the source and destination of skilled expats. The demand for transnational talent that can efficiently work in our hyper-competitive global market is greater than ever. Digital platforms like LinkedIn help the search for borderless talent and careers, while social networking supports the rise of individualized cultures in a globalized world.
In this high-demand, individualistic climate, more and more people are looking for international ca- reers. While many continue to opt for the corporate multinational path, trends in international assign- ments show a steady growth of individuals person- ally taking responsibility for their expat lives outside an employer organization – the so-called self-initi- ated expats (SIEs).
Current trends in global workforce mobility are dom- inated by SIEs, who are predicted to become the larg- est group of globally mobile managers in the next decade. As margins for ROIs on classic expat (AE) as- signments become tighter in the ongoing “global war for talent”, the globally minded, culturally sen- sitive, entrepreneurial, highly skilled and often mul- tilingual SIEs, seemingly unfazed by relocation, be- come increasingly attractive to multinationals as
“ready-made” alternatives for international leader- ship and social capital.
SIEs are both implicitly and part and parcel of a large international school like FIS. Self-initiated expatria- tion is not a new trend in academic circles – teachers going abroad on their own initiative and self-man- aging their international teaching careers and fam- ily lives are the way it always was. But there are im- portant job demand side trends: “We’ve gone from job fairs to the teacher voice,” says Bryne Stothard, Upper School Geography teacher and Virtual Reality in education guru, who arrived at FIS with his fam- ily three years ago. “It used to be that you went to recruitment fairs to get a placement. Now it’s much easier to look for what you want and initiate the contact yourself.” In addition to direct email, sites like International School Review and platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are also channels to assess and contact prospective employers.
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