How to Ensure a Successful International Engagement

If you’re looking to attract global talent to help grow your business, it’s a good idea to consider not only the person you’re aiming to recruit but the well-being of their partner as well. After all, an employee with a happy partner is more likely to stick around longer and be more successful in their role.  

A fascinating doctoral dissertation highlights several significant challenges partners experience and, on the other hand, the benefits they can derive with self-direction and support.

Among the challenges identified were loss of career identity, financial independence and social support networks.

On the flip side, the advantages to be gained included the opportunity to learn new skills, acquire diverse living experiences, begin a new career and reconstruct a career identity; or replace paid work with voluntary work, hobbies or studies related to their own profession.

Partners who had a positive experience felt they developed self-awareness, self-confidence, and coping skills in a foreign environment, as well as intercultural interaction skills, language skills and understanding of international business.

Paper author, Kaisu Kanstrén, University of Vaasa, Finland, noted that, unlike their working partners, expatriate partners feel excluded from the support offered by companies and organisations.

While highlighting the importance of the partners’ own career management skills, active participation and self-directedness, she also encouraged companies and organisations that recruit international experts to develop support programmes for partners and involve them from the very beginning in planning to move and live abroad.

Additionally, she suggested partners should more often be seen as potential experts whose skills could also be more widely utilised. This would benefit all parties, and moving overseas would not require the partners to give up their own careers.

“Although the comfort of partners is very important for the success of international assignments and recruitments in general, companies and organisations still do not pay sufficient attention to the situation of relocating partners,” said Kanstrén.

Bringing in International Talent?

If you’ve found the international talent you need but you’re not sure how to get them into the country, the Ayers Group can help. With over 20 years in the business, and as one of few companies approved by the Australian Department of Home Affairs (Immigration Department) to hire and on hire international workers, we can do it all for you. We’ve also built a user-friendly online backoffice solution to manage everything you and your professional contractors need, from day one. Contact us to find out more.


Kanstrén, Kaisu (2021) Expatriate partners: career identity, career capital and subjective well-being perspectives. Acta Wasaensia 473. Väitöskirja. Doctoral dissertation. Vaasan yliopisto. University of Vaasa.