Homeward bound

There’s room for improvement when repatriating overseas workers
By Stephen Cryne
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/04/2009

In the book The Art of Coming Home, author Craig Storti says repatriation is more difficult than going abroad. While the allure of a foreign location is often key to securing the agreement of an employee and his family to accept a foreign posting, the return home is not always so rosy.

Canadian employees are going abroad in record numbers, with more than 60,000 reporting a place of employment outside Canada, according to the 2006 census conducted by Statistics Canada. And as the global economy returns to growth mode, so too will the demand for Canadian expertise in areas of infrastructure engineering, mining, transportation and IT — industries that are expected to do remarkably well in the coming months as global economic stimulus packages begin to gain traction.

A survey conducted by the Canadian Employee Relocation Council (CERC) found two-thirds of its members with international assignees reported those workers as being between the ages of 40 and 50 and, in the majority of cases, they are accompanied by a working spouse or partner.