SOURCE: Kenexa

November 18, 2008 11:00 ET

The Kenexa Research Institute Finds That Expatriates Are More Engaged Than Nationals, but Still Considered a "Flight Risk"

Expats More Focused on "Here and Now" -- So What Makes Them Stay?

WAYNE, PA--(Marketwire - November 18, 2008) - According to research conducted by the Kenexa (NASDAQ: KNXA) Research Institute (KRI), expatriates (expats) are generally more engaged than non-expatriates, yet they are still more of a retention risk

More than 50% of expats seriously think about leaving their current organization within the year. This may be because they tend to see their relationship with their employer as project- or task-oriented -- when the assignment objective has been reached, the expat considers whether to re-engage or seek employment elsewhere. The survey results, from Kenexa's 2008 WorkTrends™ study, also indicate that expats are more focused on the "here and now" -- only 53% rarely think about looking for their next job at another organization.

Brenda Kowske, research consultant, Kenexa Research Institute, stated, "According to our survey results, expat and non-expats have similar drivers of engagement. They both need to feel confident in the future of their company as well as their personal future with the company. Work-life balance also is an important driver for both groups. Yet, there are several unique elements. For instance, to be engaged expats need to feel a sense of personal accomplishment in their work and that their company leadership is committed to diversity. Non-expats, on the other hand, want a high level of excitement about their work and also to feel that management treats them with respect and dignity."

For companies hiring expats, the results of this survey indicate that the process of strengthening employee engagement will be somewhat different for employees embarking on expatriate assignments. Overall, expats are more satisfied than non-expats in the things that matter to engagement, such as confidence in the company's future, commitment to safety and a promising future for the employee.

The survey also found that the make-up of expats is diverse -- more than 30% are professional/technical workers, 23% are senior/middle management, 21% are clerical and 14% are supervisors.

About WorkTrends™

The Kenexa WorkTrends database is a comprehensive normative database of employee opinions on topics including leadership, employee engagement and customer orientation. Comparisons are available for workers from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

About Kenexa

Kenexa (NASDAQ: KNXA) is a global leader in building the world's greatest workforces using a combination of software, employee research science and business process optimization. Kenexa's global solutions include applicant tracking, onboarding, recruitment process outsourcing, employment branding, skills and behavioral assessments, structured interviews, performance management, multi-rater feedback surveys, employee engagement surveys and HR Analytics. Kenexa is headquartered in Wayne, Pa. (outside Philadelphia). Additional information about Kenexa and its global products and services can be accessed at