Expats: 5 tips to tie them to your business | Undutchables

5 tips to tie expats to your business

Categorie: Business

As a company you invest in every single employee but hiring an expat may cost you more energy and money. Be that as it may, expats are often highly educated, ambitious people and are therefore an enormous added value for your company. It is in your best interest to keep such an employee employed for at least 2 years. In this blog post we explain how to take action.

Do not tar everyone with the same brush

No expat is the same. Everyone has a different motive to move to and work in Sweden. For example, for an American this could be a better work-life balance, an engineer from India might move because of too much competition from others in his own country, a Brazilian might expect a better future perspective for his family and many Japanese come to investigate where our high productivity comes from. By looking at the motives you can also fine-tune the working method and approach per person.

Help in finding a home

An important part of making a person feel at home in a country is having somewhere to stay. So housing is the first thing to be arranged. Preferably before arrival so that people know where they are going to live. Create peace in the practical matters that need to be arranged, because a lot is coming at them in a language they are not yet proficient in. Think of visas, municipality, taxes etc.

There are organizations that take over these kind of tasks from companies that employ expats. The training period at work and getting used to the Swedish (business) culture already require enough energy. Also think about the daily commute. Many expats want to live in the bustling center of a city but cannot (yet) cycle (if they get to live on a cycle distance from work). This type of matter must therefore also be taken into account.

Once expats have a home, keep communicating with them about whether they like it, if things need to change, etc. It is important that, in addition to their work, they have to worry as little as possible about their stay in Sweden.

Make them feel welcome at the office and beyond

Give expats a warm welcome when they start their journey with you. A good start is half the battle. Introduce them to all their new colleagues and give a good introduction to the company. Provide plenty of opportunity to ask questions, including issues that are not necessarily about work.

Swedish people are seen as outgoing people when it comes to business and like socializing, especially when it comes to the Friday afternoon drinks. After 6 pm, however, it is private time and they only go out for dinner with business partners if necessary. Keep in mind that expats usually don't know anyone or only a few people outside of work.
Help them to make contacts by recommending certain (sports) clubs or catering establishments, organize activities outside working hours or bring them into contact with other expats or expat groups.

Give them enough vacation days to visit family

Many expats leave their family and friends behind. Many of these expats would love to take a long holiday in the summer or around Christmas to go home to their loved ones. Discuss when the workload peaks are and when there is more room to take a longer holiday. Most places do not allow for employees to take a holiday longer than 3 weeks at the time. If it permits, be more flexible around vacation days and give expats this time with their loved ones. They will truly appreciate this, making it more likely that they will remain loyal to their employer.

Offer a Swedish course after six months

After two years, most highly educated expat take stock and decide to stay or go. People who take a Swedish course a few months after arriving in Sweden will feel at home faster and will therefore also decide to stay longer. How nice is it, when you can communicate with your colleagues and you can really follow the conversation?!

For expats with children will pick up the Swedish language much quicker. Parents obviously do not want to be left behind. When a course is offered through work, the threshold is lower and expats are more inclined to follow a Swedish course.

Are you looking for talented candidates from abroad? Register your vacancy here, or contact one of our recruiters. Do you have expats in your workforce? Our partner Grow Internationals arrange social events to make your expat feel at home in Sweden.


Become a member

Would you like to receive our Undutchables Newsletter? In this newsletter we will give you guidance on working in the Netherlands or in Sweden and working with internationals, let you know about upcoming events and share interesting articles.