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Reputation | Employee Engagement | Citizenship

International Dual Career Network

People’s Insights: Volume 2, Issue 34

What is IDCN? Founded by Nestlé in 2011, IDCN is a network of multinational corporates that help mobile employees’ partners find jobs and integrate into new locations. Partners can join IDCN for advice on finding a job and to network with local HR professionals. Other organizations can join the network to tap into a pool of international “turnkey” talent and support their international employees.

*This post is inspired by ideas shared at Nestlé’s Sue Johnson’s session Dual Careers: Getting & Keeping the Best Talents at the Global Women’s Forum 2013.

Rising demographic: Dual Career Couples Between 1996 and 2006, the percentage of two-income married couples rose 31% in the US. Now 47.5% of all American married couples are dual-career couples. In Canada, the percentage of husband wife families that were dual earners is roughly 70%, and approximately two-thirds of twoadult families have two incomes in the UK.

Jackie and John Coleman Contributors, Harvard Business Review


“Dual career� refers to couples in which both partners are working and both are career-focused. The term can also refer to couples in which both partners are working at the same company. Research shows that 60% of international companies provide support for partner job searches.

Dual career and the associated challenges - I Concerns around a partner’s career affects both recruitment and retention of international employees. ECA, specialist in expatriate issues, notes: “According to research carried out by the Permits Foundation almost 60% of spouses say that they would be unlikely to relocate in future to a country where it is difficult for a spouse or partner to get a work permit.” ECA 2012 Managing Mobility survey finding

Dual career and the associated challenges - II

ECA 2012 Managing Mobility survey finding

Alain Verstandig notes: “The problem again affects those who go on to accept the challenge. For them, the partner’s problems in finding the right professional opportunity in the new country are the prime reason for the failure or premature termination of an international assignment. “A McKinsey study has demonstrated that 70% of the factors leading to a failed expatriation are family-related.”

What IDCN offers employees It was difficult to integrate in Switzerland before I found out about the scheme. The network became a kind of coach, helping me to gain perspective and handle the difficult changes as an expat. IDCN really helped to fill the gap to take proactive steps to find a suitable job and create my own network of people.

David Galán Global dairy buyer for Nestlé (recruited via IDCN) Source:

IDCN offers international employees and their partners a support network, job advice, networking opportunities and a potential job database. Employees and their partners volunteer to help run local networks, and the member corporations fund the endeavour.

What IDCN oers companies IDCN offers corporates access to a turn-key talent pool and a solution to address dual career challenges faced by their own international employees. Theoretically, the larger the network, the larger the number of job openings and the larger the talent pool.

What companies oer in return Corporate members can join and leave freely, make their own recruitment decisions and policies and are not required to hire or prioritize partners or spouses in the network. In return, corporate members are expected to support the network with active participation at events, permission to use their facilities, and general information about job openings. IDCN currently 50 organizations on-board.

Is IDCN a Success? IDCN’s pilot program in Switzerland has organized over 10 events, has a roster of 460 partners registered, 40 spouse volunteers and has helped 20 partners find new jobs. In its newer locations Paris, Zurich and Mexico City, IDCN has organized 6 events, including workshops and career fairs and is already seeing high participation and positive feedback from partners.

Dual Career support as a recruitment tool Family issues remain the sensitive aspect of international mobility. Today, we place a great deal of attention on dual career problems‌.One often forgets that for the transferee, the continuity of his or her career is unaffected, as there is no change of employer, merely of country of residence. For the partner, however, the change is total.

Jan Van Acoleyen VP Human Resources, Alcatel Microelectronics


With dual career couples on the rise, experts point out that dual career support is a new-age recruitment tool (much like social media engagement!). NestlĂŠ's Sue Johnson shared an off-hand figure of 1 million as the cost of an unsuccessful international mobility (in terms of training, recruiting, replacing, knowledge lost etc.).

Why is mobility so necessary? Nestlé’s Sue Johnson shared that mobility was a part of the Nestlé experience and was an important experience to prepare talent for global roles (the company does after all operate in 86 countries). Mobility also helps transfer talent to places where the right talent is lacking.

1) 2) ECA’s 2012 Managing Mobility survey

Acc. to ECA, 62% of companies anticipate increases in long-term mobile assignees.

Next trend: Mutli-generational families in the workplace? Unilever’s Doug Baillie noted that economic hardship and personal ambitions would ensure more older people in the workforce, and women empowerment would ensure more women in the work force. For large companies, multigenerational families in the work place are almost a reality – with a grandfather, father and daughter working in the same company. Source: womens_forum on Flickr

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International Dual Career Network: People's Insights Volume 2, Issue 34  

This week, we distill insights around the IDCN - a network of multi-national corporates that help mobile employees’ partners find jobs and i...

International Dual Career Network: People's Insights Volume 2, Issue 34  

This week, we distill insights around the IDCN - a network of multi-national corporates that help mobile employees’ partners find jobs and i...