Expatriate executives are receiving significantly reduced employment packages as a result of intensifying demand for postings in emerging markets.
Four in five executives believe that an assignment in a "major emerging market" aids career progression, according to an Economic Intelligence Unit report, Up or out: Next moves for the modern expatriate.
According to the 2010 report, intensifying demand for positions in emerging markets, coupled with the high costs of the traditional expatriate deal, is forcing international firms to offer much reduced packages based on host country salary levels and without "hardship" allowances - favouring the young, unattached executives eager to acquire international experience rather than experienced senior executives with families.
As western economies emerge from recession, international companies are expecting to post more executives abroad in the next five years, especially to China and other large emerging markets, according to the 418 senior executives surveyed.
The report also showed that nearly three-quarters of executives believe that 'cultural sensitivity' is the most important attribute of an expat and 70 per cent admitted that it's particularly hard to find the right type of person from within their ranks.
According to the report, the expat's spouse and children increasingly object to the sudden separation from their own lives and these strains on the family relationship often bring assignments to a premature end. As a result, companies are now looking to offer 'commuter assignments' which allow senior managers to be home on weekends.