SME's also need an expatriation policy

Defining an expatriation policy is indicative of the company’s development strategy in the HR policy, and avoids increasing costs due to individual packages and insufficient knowledge of social as well as financial costs of an expatriation. Though they increasingly internationalize their activities, SME (Small & Medium-sized Enterprises) do not always have an expatriation management policy. They often prepare a custom-made expatriation project for the first expat assignee that is not applicable to the next expats. The case by case policy implies higher bids of requests and precedents. Building an expatriation policy from the first project gives firm foundations: the mobility manager has answers about the choices of the company as well as possible packages.

Medium-sized enterprises often need the presence of consultants helping them thinking to the best possible practices according to their situation, their development strategy, and, of course, their HR policy. Consulting also contributes identifying the important points to consider as well as the possible traps to avoid.


Alceis was recently called upon to advise a French company (around 1000 assignees) building its expatriation policy. The aim: helping the company formalizing an attractive and coherent framework, consistent with the best practices of the market, and respecting the contractual, financial, and managerial aspects of expatriation.

Dialogue with the top management of the group, clarification of the situation and needs, preparation and animation of the meetings, practical translation into propositions respecting rules and practices, presentation of the different possible options, synthesis of the working group: this is the method currently used by Alceis consultants.

The main treated subjects are the key points of an expatriation policy: stakes of the expatriation policy vs. the strategy of the Group, choice of the different elements of the package, application modalities, working contract, social security, follow-up of the assignee and family. These topics are headlines: the content is still to be conceived and written.

The mission also covers expatriation piloting: follow-up of the assignment, yearly interview, organization of the end of the expatriation. In the outcome of a short cycle of meetings (generally four or five), the project of expatriation policy constitutes the synthesis of the working group. It will then be presented to the general management for validation, with the help of the presentation prepared by Alceis.

The approach is then materialized by a brochure. This document aims to inform the expats or future expats, and is a common reference.

Our method operates a coherent policy, source of cost reducing for the company.

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