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Attracting Expatriates

Statue of priest praying

The task of attracting expatriates from around the globe is challenging. Talented individuals have a choice. Far too many cities hope and trust that companies in their city are capable of filling vacancies from abroad. Thus do too little to support the expat ecosystem.

Understandably, with jobs moving away due to a lack of applicants, a strategic approach is necessary in a surprising number of desirable locations.

Companies who wish to hire expats find themselves engaging in unique discussions with prospective employees. Important topics for local nationals are often at the forefront of negotiations with international applicants that are completely irrelevant to nationals who know local formalities well. 

Furthermore, strong competition is felt from attractive locations the world over. Some cities radiate an impressive image across continents. Some are large and vibrant, others sit in ideal locations. Some possess enticing climates, others present an appealing inner city atmosphere.

Skilled expats are frequently offered multiple positions. This fortunate circumstance enables them to balance the choice of career move against hard and soft facts in respect to the location where the company is located. 

A True Picture

A potential expat employee considering relocating can face important concerns on several levels. When researching their options, they wish to make the wisest choice possible That is especially so, if accompanied by their spouse or children.

Thus interviews for employment can include many extended topics. Where do I school my children, are my partner’s qualifications recognised, the cost of living, rentals versus purchasing, health insurance options, driver licence acceptance or entry and residency regulations. Even nourishment and dietary preferences can be relevant. The list is extensive, some only becoming clear late in the day. They know all the answers in their home country, not in yours. 

Much information is revealed on assorted websites, blogs and other sources. Mostly in the local language. Furthermore, a beautiful, inspiring portrayal of the city that is helpful to expats is often failing.

Attempted engagements can fail because potential expat employees are not aware of the full offer that the city and the region provides.

By Vincent Green, Oct 5 2021


Expat location guides in each city post the mayor's welcome to expats. Effects are threefold. International residents are acknowledged for their decision to relocate. It sends a motivational message to municipal employees to serve them well. An inspiring signal is also sent to companies and locals such as in the friendly location of Neuss, Germany.

Retaining Expats

Improving the chance of companies retaining international employees in their location is a challenging task for city authorities. Life as an expat is complex. The need for balance, contented interaction and feeling at home is key. Those that underestimate the necessity to support are likely to lose valued residents.