Expat vs. Halfpat

I swiped this post from http://www.allroadsleadtochina.com/, an excellent site. It brings up some good points about the viability of the localized hire, the link to the full article is at the end.

HR in China: Expat vs. Halfpat

Posted on Thursday 25 May 2006

Many within China agree that there is a shortage of local talent in the middle management sector. In the past, this was a significant issue as companies had only two options – to hire and relocate expensive expatriate (expat) staff from overseas, or inexpensive, inexperienced local staff. In the last 5-10 years however, a third option has emerged – the “local hire expatriate”, or halfpat. Attracted to China by either a sense of curiosity, or a strong belief in China’s potential, the halfpat (including overseas-born ethnic Chinese) is generally a recent graduate or young professional who have moved to China without a predetermined career path.

There are pros and cons for hiring either of these types of Western-trained non-local staff. The strength of an expat is their long-term understanding of an industry and their ability to manage business units back home. Halfpats, on the other hand, are more stable and committed to China in the long-term and they have significant cultural, linguistic and market understanding. For many companies though, the bottom line is a financial one. The staff retention, and overall success rate, of expats is not particularly impressive – particularly in contrast to that of halfpat staff, who do not require expensive relocation packages or language training as they have already taken on those costs themselves.

To read the full article, please click here