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Nestlé is leading a new effort with other multinational companies and organisations to help partners of its staff to find work.


The 'International Dual Career Network' (IDCN) scheme aims to retain the best people, boost dual couple careers and address the increasing problem of expats leaving their jobs because of worries over their partner's career prospects.


More than one fifth of employers reported that their expats returned home early for this reason, according to recent statistics from the non-profit organisation Permits.


A survey by one of the IDCN members Ernst and Young revealed that more than 10% of expats leave their jobs before the end of their contracts, in one in 12 companies worldwide.


Networking opportunities


"We want to put partners of our staff on an equal playing field with other jobseekers to find employment in a new country," said Peter Vogt, Deputy Executive Vice President for Nestlé and Head of Human Resources.


"This network provides advice on CVs, guidance on how best to look for a job, networking opportunities and access to HR contacts with member companies," he added.


Spouses worldwide


'International Dual Career Network' was first launched by Nestlé in Switzerland in 2011. There are now about 460 spouses in the country who are registered with the scheme.


In the same year, the initiative was launched in Mexico City, Paris in France and Zürich in Switzerland, to meet the growing need for career guidance for spouses.


In total, over 700 spouses and more than 40 multinational companies and organisations are taking part in the initiative.


Roll out


The scheme helps spouses to network with recruiters from different companies in the IDCN scheme.


The initiative is to roll out in London this year and is expected to launch in São Paulo in Brazil, Shanghai in China, New York in the United States, Barcelona in Spain, Malaysia and Singapore.


New insights


'International Dual Career Network' is already helping spouses in Switzerland.


Since its launch, Nestlé has recruited about 13 spouses through the network. Another ten Nestlé spouses have also found jobs with other companies in the IDCN scheme.


David Galán, who is now a global dairy buyer for Nestlé, moved with his family from Spain to Switzerland in 2011 after his wife secured a full time job with an international company in Geneva.


"It was very difficult when we first moved here - dealing with a new country, new language, new culture and new career options," said Mr Galán. "The main barrier was not having a bank of contacts to have face-to-face interaction with.


"Through the IDCN scheme, I gained insight into the job market in the surrounding region, ideas on how to find work and the opportunity to meet people in the same situation."


A few months after arriving he decided to volunteer to help out at IDCN after his wife received an email at work about the initiative.


Taking proactive steps


At a networking event organised by IDCN, Mr Galán made contact with a number of recruitment representatives from multinational companies in Switzerland.


Shortly after, he saw a job advertised with Nestlé that fitted his criteria and contacted the recruiter he met at the event.


"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," he continued.


"IDCN really helped to fill the gap to take proactive steps to find a suitable job and create my own network of people."

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