Learning & Development

Sending a Worker Overseas Safely, Prepared, and Feeling Good

In a recent Advisor we began to explore the difficulties commonly associated with traveling abroad, as well as some of the solutions and your approach for getting your candidates or employees on board. Today we’ll cover some more potential difficulties and solutions.

Health Concerns

The Problem
Last year’s Ebola outbreak brought health concerns abroad to the forefront with a very extreme example of what can go wrong. But Ebola is just one of many health concerns for travelers abroad. Most warm climate countries have issues like malaria and dengue fever from mosquito bites. Many countries around the world also have unsafe water, which might contain dysentery or typhoid.
The Solution
CDC’s website lists the shots anyone traveling to any specific place in the world should get to prevent the most common disease one can get abroad. Studying the site yourself can give you an idea what you might tell your candidate—including whether there is anything to be concerned about in the first place.
How to Sell It
The best-case scenario is that your candidate is going somewhere where the basic health problems are not that severe. In the event you are sending someone into an area with such difficulties, letting them know that they can prevent them with shots will help calm them. Additionally, learning a few statistics can sometimes help. Sure, malaria might be technically possible to get in Peru, but very few people do get it there. Arm your candidates with numbers, and they might just relax.

Safety and Security

The Problem
Given recent events, safety and security have been on everyone’s minds. Even seemingly safe countries in Europe are now under threat of terrorist attack. Your employees will know this, and they might be genuinely worried. And besides terrorist attacks, there are plenty of other threats from corrupt government officials and police, to certain countries where taking advantage of foreigners can be a common occurrence.
The Solution
The Department of State website has a list of country-specific travel safety tips that can be a great resource. But in general, the following tips can be of real service:

  • If there is an office abroad, appoint one of the other workers as a point person. This person will act as a window into how your employee is doing abroad, this and will provide them with local knowledge and helpful tips on staying safe.
  • Get the name and number of the local American embassy and consulate, and let them know that your employee will be working in their area. Save this information, and give it to your worker before he or she leaves so there is a means of assistance should they get jammed up.
  • Research health insurance issues for that country, and check for travel notices. The CDC and State Department will provide regular updates and travel notices for specific countries.
  • Encourage employees to make copies of their important documents, and leave them at home for reference.

How to Sell It
Remind employees that safety and security are an issue everywhere even at home. Let them know you’ve researched the risks, and tell them what they are. Encourage them to take a look for themselves to see what they might be dealing with. Let them know that you have them covered and that you will do anything you need to in order to maximize their safety.

The Good News

As you can see, there are a lot of considerations before sending someone abroad, and as a recruiter, you might be afraid that no one would ever want to take all of these risks. The good news is that a paid trip abroad is very attractive, so with a little preparation, it shouldn’t be too tough of a sell.

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