What science says about expatriate success


What science says about expatriate success - map pins

When the pandemic subsides, will you send workers on foreign assignments again? 

The costs of bad decisions for expats will be higher than for local roles. 

Will you consider psychometrics? 

Here’s what science says on personality and expatriates success (from Mol et al (2010)). The big 5 are all positively related to expatriate success, extraversion & conscientiousness are most strongly related (both .14), emotional stability and agreeableness come next (both .09) while openness (perhaps surprisingly) is near zero (.05). But the best predictor is how well expats perform is whether they adjust to work & life (.27). 

But do personality traits predict performance for expatriates as well as they do for home country hires? 

The answer is, yes, they do! The reason is that the biggest differences for expats living a foreign life are in non-work contexts. Personality traits are at least as valid, if not more valid, when predicting expat performance. 

Try Podium's Perspectives assessment next time you're selecting for overseas assignments!



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