Employers keen on hiring overseas returnees

14 Aug 2019 / 12:04 H.

PETALING JAYA: A clear majority of employers in Malaysia are eager to employ an overseas returnee in the coming year, citing “different perspectives on business” to be the top benefit that returnee talent can bring to the table.

These are few of the key findings in the 2019 Hays Overseas Returnee Report, which highlights overseas returnee recruiting trends based on responses from both candidates and employers residing in the five Hays Asia operating markets in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore.

In the survey, Hays asked candidates who have studied or worked overseas, “Would you be willing to hire a local returnee in the next 12 months?” to which 86% of employers in Malaysia said ‘yes’.

Employers were also asked about the benefits local returnees could bring to their organisation. While 79% voted ‘different perspectives on business’, this was followed closely by 76% who said ‘cross-cultural awareness’ and 67% who said ‘overseas commercial experience’ were key advantages of having overseas returnees in their workforce.

The global recruitment firm revealed that the high confidence in overseas returnee talent is not unfounded. Many employers report to have had a good experience with their overseas returnee staff and would, in fact, play advocate for the hiring of skilled candidates who have worked or studied abroad.

When asked about their satisfaction rates of overseas returnee staff, over a third of employers (35%) in Malaysia were ‘satisfied’ and 6% were ‘very satisfied’, while only 1% were ‘unsatisfied’ or ‘very unsatisfied’. This has translated into nine in 10 employers willing to recommend employing an overseas returnee to their peers.

Commenting on the findings, Hays Malaysia managing director Tom Osborne said with dwindling confidence in recruiting locally for the essential talent needed to drive growth, employers look with favour on overseas returnees who bring ample value to the table.

“Overseas returnees are therefore in a good position to highlight their experiences whether in working or studying abroad. In particular, they could stand to benefit from displaying how their different perspectives on business would help improve existing business processes and translate into business value. Many firms hold in high regard the international experience and local cultural understanding that overseas returnees can offer in the country’s globalised economy. Overseas returners should therefore take advantage of the existing market situation that favours them.”

Overall, eight in 10 hiring managers across Asia are keen on employing overseas returnees. The keenest employers were Hong Kong (88%) and Mainland China (87%), while the least keen were Japanese employers (67%).

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