The effect of terrorism on expatriate assignments

Given the current climate around the threat of terrorism and the steady increase of expatriate assignments in high risk areas, it comes as no surprise that more thought is going into the recruitment process for expatriates than ever before.

That said, we are finding that terrorist incidents, like the most recent in Paris and Brussels, do not appear to be major disincentives to many candidates and it is still very possible to attract high quality personnel to work overseas, despite the increasing geo-political instability.

When considering an opportunity, we find that these candidates will always assess the relative risk of the environment that they are going to be working in, and normally expect commensurate compensation to reflect this. Recruiters must be open and honest about all facets of a role they are offering. In particular, they must demonstrate how they plan to mitigate any risks to their employees. It’s not just the risk that’s the issue; Terrorism can be a source of intense stress for employees living in a high risk area and so prospective employers need to have ways to reduce this. If they are unable to do so, it is likely that they will not be able to retain employees for the desired period of time.

One way of mitigating this risk is to provide employees with high quality social support, this can often help to reduce homesickness and also any fears over safety. This support can take a number of forms including introductions to social networks, regular safety training and support for families. All of these factors can contribute to the psychological wellbeing of expatriates.

Tangible support is also more important than ever in high risk countries. Many candidates look for the provision of specific housing, cars with a driver and safe schooling, if their families have also moved.

Here at Norrie Johnston Recruitment, we regularly deal with recruitment for international organisations and we are always fully aware of every aspect of any role that we are working on. We always give our candidates accurate and non-sensationalised information about the nature of any threats in such a country. This means that we can ensure we are finding candidates who are the best fit for the role but also ones that will retain their employment with the client.

We are focused on filling senior permanent and interim executive roles, using a mix of technology plus, importantly, traditional search, employing best of breed recruiters who have real-world business experience. We secure this combination of technology-enabled, top recruiters together with senior executive experience means the agency can provide hand-picked short lists of perfectly matched senior interim candidates within 2-4 days while for permanent roles the timeframe from brief to short list is 2-4 weeks. For more information about Norrie Johnston Recruitment visit or call 01962 828 792