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Expats in Russia Have Longer Assignments Than Their Global Peers

Russia examines the nature of expatriate employment status.

Russia is one of the few remaining locations where international companies favor long term expat assignments, according to a report released this week.

Eurohome, a firm specializing in relocation assistance for expatriates and consulting human resources departments at multinational corporations, released their Eurohome 2014 Global Mobility Report — Russia, which examines the nature of expatriate employment status in Russia.

Global mobility refers to "a company's ability to relocate and mobilize its workforce to adapt to the countries they currently operate in as well as those it plans to expand to in the future," the report said.Tthe Eurohome report revealed that Russia differs from global trends and those of the other BRIC nations.

First, the nature of Russian expatriate assignments has not followed the global trend toward short-term project-based assignments. Instead, these positions have retained the traditional expatriate functions such as skill-based, business-needs driven assignments, as well as talent management and leadership development, and know-how transfer responsibilities. Despite global trends, only 7 percent of expatriate postings to Russia are project based.

Russia's global mobility characteristics differed from global trends in several other ways. Although Russia is seen as an important market, two-thirds of companies doing business in Russia have no more than five positions occupied by international executives here. The report said that this was likely due to visa restrictions, the perception that it is a difficult assignment with regards to living conditions and Russia's high rank on cost-of-living surveys. Additionally, three-fourths of all expats in Russia are male.

"Russia's eclectic mixture of free-market vs state-controlled economy in combination with its under-developed infrastructure frequently presents challenges for companies hoping to expand operations in this region," the report said.

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