“..In many foreign multinational corporations, the hiring manager … may employ an expat because they themselves are from those countries and they find it easier to work with someone of a similar background, or because they encounter many of such candidates in their professional circles.” 
Recently in one of my Global MBA classes at the University of Manchester in our organization management class, our group discussed the topic of expat promotions and advancement over locals at some foreign companies. This is a kind of sensitive, elephant in the room topic here in Singapore. In my group, there were people from India living in Dubai, Singaporeans, and myself an American. It was interesting and thought provoking to have such a very open conversation with my fellow MBA students and helps break down barriers and generates more understanding for all. There are definitely feelings that good positions and promotions go to those whom have the same citizenship or culture of where the foreign company is located or where the hiring manager is from.
The one exception, oddly enough, for all the talk of nationalism on American news these days is American companies abroad tend to hire and promote more locals than expats in terms of percentage over any other foreign national counterpart. Are Americans less nationalistic than the news portrays or just so very individualistic and merit focused that we operate better at filling positions at a local level with local people? What’s more, is there any benefit in the companies that operate with higher percentage of expats at senior levels despite risks in alienating the locals in the country they operate or is the American approach better.
One can argue that company culture needs to be brought back from the HQ to overseas through senior people and on the other hand, one can argue that sending people from overseas offices to HQ to develop them further then sending them back to their home country in elevated positions could be a way to cross develop the company culture in a more global way.
I recently read one such article that is a very good starting point in the discussion and debate: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/commentary-why-do-companies-still-hire-expat-staff-even-though-10495202
img source for headline photo: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/commentary-why-do-companies-still-hire-expat-staff-even-though-10495202
About The Author
David Nagrosst is an international leader with over 20 years of experience in business, sales and providing IT Security, Cloud, and Datacenter Solutions to Organizations from Start-up to Fortune 150. He has provided strategic, operational, business (PNL) and sales leadership to high-performing teams in business development, sales, pre-sales solutions, consulting, engagement and bid management, leading senior teams in the United States and across Asia in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, India, Japan & Australia.
David is also an international keynote & workshop speaker, member of ISC2 Singapore Chapter, and a contributor to several international publications including the Singapore Business Review.