3 tips to help attract expat candidates

3 tips to help attract expat candidates

In my previous two posts, I examined the financial and traditional reasons why it is becoming more difficult in attracting educated expats to the GCC first, as well as some current reasons related to the regional instability and renewed focus on hiring local Nationals.

I am still convinced that the region is a great one with a lot of advantages to offer to expats, and there are a number of things that C&B and HR can do to support the recruitment of the “right” expats to the region.

The good news is, not all of them require spending a lot of money 🙂

1 – Get your internal facts right

The first thing is to ensure that  you are not interviewing for a position where management will tell you to hire a local National just after you have just sent out the offer, or worse, just after the candidate has accepted the offer and resigned from their current position. Trust me, it happens…. And in all sorts of local or regional organisations,  whether private or semi-governmental.

This kind of behaviour casts a bad reputation on your organisation and you can be sure that the candidate will not only refuse to ever speak with you again, should you have a great opportunity for them later on, but they will also let everyone know about it in their network. This is especially damaging if the candidate possesses rare skills and their contacts happen to be in the same industry or profession.

So, a little bit of planning really goes a long way in not alienating a whole talent pool.

2 – Put in place a referral scheme

A referral scheme proposes to grant your employees a pre-set amount of money if they present candidates to open positions at your company, the person they referred is hired and successfully completes their probation period.

Not only is it cheaper (and often faster) than paying for an agency to find candidates, but you get access to a candidate pool of better quality. Your employees won’t want to send “bad” candidates as they feel it reflects on their own reputation within the company. And the candidates are already pre-sold to the organisation and the region through their relationship and conversation with your employees. This is really a win-win and all companies, in my view, should have such a scheme put in place.

3 – Emphasize the content and quality of the package.

Instead of simply handing an offer and letting the candidate figure things out by themselves, provide them with more information so that they can “picture themselves” in the position. You can benefit nicely from the positive effects of this little psychological trick.

For example :

  • When you prepare the package, present it in the local currency of the candidate as well. This facilitates the thinking process for them.
  • Provide financial simulations with an equivalent of gross package in the home country for them to realise the value of what you offer. Don’t forget to take into account and explain the cost of living differential between the GCC and their current working country !
  • Emphasize the quality of housing  available to educated expats in the GCC…  usually there is no affordable equivalent in their home country.  Liaise with a few real estate agencies to prepare an overview of what the people could obtain for the housing allowance that you pay, or ask the relocation agency to put one together if it’s not part of the relocation package already.

Of course, applying these 3 tips if your company is treating its people badly and has a poor reputation in the market place, will not be enough for you to attract and retain the high calibre talent that your organisation needs in order to ensure its success.

I’ll be very interested to read about the tips that you applied in your company, to support it in its quest for the best expat talent, so please leave a comment and share your experience with the other readers !


Related posts :

Two reasons why it is more difficult to attract expats to the GCC

The other reason why you find it more difficult to attract expats in the GCC

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  2. […] Two reasons why it’s more difficult nowadays to attract expats to the GCC August 29, 2011 By Sandrine Leave a Comment This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Attracting expats to the GCCAttracting expats to the GCCTwo reasons why it’s more difficult nowadays to attract expats to the GCCThe other reason why expats are less attracted to the GCC3 tips to help attract expat candidates  […]

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