5 tips to tie expats to your business

As a company you invest in every single employee but hiring an expat may cost you more time 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, therefore, in your best interest to keep such an employee employed for at least 2 years. In this blog post we explain how to build a strong relationship with your expatriate employees.

Not everyone is the same

No expat is the same. Everyone has a different motive to move to and work in the Netherlands. 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, arranging housing is the first step. Do this, preferably, before arrival so that your employee knows 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 tasks from companies that employ expats. Also think about the daily commute. Many expats want to live in the bustling center of a city but cannot (yet) cycle. 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.

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 work related.

Dutch people are inclusive and love 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 know 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 time to go home to their loved ones. Discuss when, during the year, the workload peaks are and when there is more room to take a longer holiday. Most places do not allow 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 Dutch course after six months

After two years, most highly educated expat take stock and decide to stay or go. People who take a Dutch course a few months after arriving in the Netherlands 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?!

Expats with children will pick up the Dutch 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 the Dutch 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? Here is an article about the best places for expats to meet.

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