Challenges in International Recruitment

Challenges in International Recruitment

* Dr.Shanmukha Rao Padala & ** Dr.N.V.S.Suryanarayana

Introduction:

Attracting staff from overseas remains a challenge for Human Resource professionals due to a low rate of labour market mobility. That’s according to a new report compiled by the Intelligence Group, in association with StepStone, which reveals that willingness to travel abroad for work varies widely across Europe. While eight out of 10 employees in the UK are willing to work overseas, the Dutch (49%) and Danes (46%) are least likely to consider a job in another nation.

Of over 2,000 companies surveyed, 42% are currently recruiting internationally, primarily to address specific skills deficits. Shortages are worse in the engineering, IT and telecommunications sectors. But despite the opportunities which exist, the annual mobility of nationals in the European Union (EU) is less than 0.4%.

For those willing to work overseas, the primary motivation is to broaden experience (64%), followed by career development (50%) and the opportunity to obtain a more lucrative salary/benefits package (47%). The research revealed that workers are least likely to move abroad to follow a partner or for employer brand reasons alone.
When the decision to work in another country has been taken, a majority of job hunters (66%) start their search by visiting online job boards, whereas less than a quarter (23%) contact recruitment agencies. Only one-fifth of job seekers consult international newspapers.

Deciding how best to publicise a vacancy is just one element of how to devise a successful international recruitment strategy according to Matthew Parker, Group Managing Director of StepStone’s Solutions business. “It is important to remember that most workers don’t automatically think about looking for a job abroad. It is only when they see an enticing vacancy that they might seriously consider relocating,” Parker says. “It is therefore vital to not just post a job somewhere and wait until candidates reply, but rather to tailor each vacancy according to the factors that motivate the potential applicants that you are targeting. This research reveals that those motivations vary from country to country so any international recruitment strategy must be informed by these cultural differences,” he says.

Specialising in monitoring labour market trends, Geert-Jan Waasdorp, Director of Intelligence Group, believes that more companies than ever before will have to develop international recruitment campaigns to ensure competitiveness. “The transition to a knowledge-driven economy in Europe has increased the demand for highly skilled workers. To remain competitive, recruiting and retaining the right staff is crucial. Companies must be prepared to wage a war for talent on a global battleground,” Waasdorp says.

One organisation that has already developed an international recruitment strategy is Marriott International. “We have a wide variety of roles to fill each year, and without an all-encompassing international recruitment strategy, we would not be able to fill all our positions with the mix of skills we require,” Chris Dunn, Regional Director of Talent Management at Marriott International, says. “Our international recruitment strategy is underpinned by e-recruitment software and services, which we find invaluable, both for publicising positions and for processing the thousands of applications that we receive on a monthly basis from all over the world. Use of these services and software has also ensured that our recruitment campaigns can be far ranging in terms of geographic scope but yet remain cost-effective,” Dunn says. Other findings from the report include:

· Cultural and language differences are the biggest barriers for international recruitment strategies (43%), followed by legislative problems (31%) and the difficulty in checking candidate qualifications and references (26%).

· Companies in mainland Europe prefer to recruit from neighbouring countries, whereas firms in the UK have no particular preference regarding the country of origin of their foreign employees.

· Almost 40% of Britons would be amenable to working in another country for more than five years. However those from Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden and Denmark) prefer to return home within two years.

This 100-page report, which is entitled ‘The International Recruitment Manual’ was compiled by the Intelligence Group and features the results of surveys of 2,171 European companies and over 20,900 workers In addition, it provides HR professionals with practical advice on how to recruit staff from overseas.

Human Resources Priorities

International and domestic organizations identified similar HR priorities for the next two years.  The top priority, identified by 52 percent of international companies, was leadership development. Domestic organizations also ranked leadership development as a top priority (35 percent).

Recruiting high-quality employees ranked second as a priority for both international (40 percent) and domestic companies (46 percent). Employee retention was also a top concern for both international (33 percent) and domestic companies (46 percent). In fact, retention was the top priority for domestic organizations.

Challenges to Consistency:

International companies face many challenges when trying to make HR practices consistent across all locations/offices. The top three challenges include:

  • Variations in social, political, and economic circumstances.
  • Different locations/offices have their own way of doing things and are resistant to change.
  • The perceived value of the HR function varies across locations/offices.

General Challenges for Global Human Resources Function

Functions such as operations, sales, and marketing have generally made great progress in adapting to the global reality. However, the HR function has typically lagged behind in developing policies and structures that support globalization. The top challenges HR faces in the globalization process include:

  • Coordination of activities in many different locations.
  • Understanding the continual change of the globally competitive environment.
  • Building a global awareness in all HR departments/divisions.
  • Creating a multicultural HR team.

Causes for expatriate failure:

            One of the problems contrasting IHR professional is to manage expat failure rate. Expat failure means that the assignee returns to the home country or resign from the job before the international assignment is completed.

            Globally the expat failure rate varies between 25% and 40%, and varies from country to country, many of the US based MNCs, for instance, have 10% to 40% failure rate, less than 5% failure rate in Japanese and European orgnisations.

            Reasons for expat failures are many but the major causes seem to be personal inability of the assignee himself or herself to adjust and other family problems. Universally, the critical cause for expat failures is the ‘shock issue’- impact of culture. Culture has its impact on several behavioural nuisances of the expat, both off-the-job and on-the-job. While issues are punctuality, greetings, dress, gift giving, negotiating and conducting meetings belong to the first, the second includes socializing, celebrating festivals and events and the like. Failure to understand and adjust to these by the assignee and by his or her spouse is one of the most impacting factors contributing to a premature return of the assignee.

            An expats adjustment to the local culture typically comprises three stages. The ‘U’-shaped curve start with a high, suggesting that the expat enjoys a great deal of excitement, as he or she discovers the new culture. This stage is called the tourist stage. Business travelers, as compared with expatriates, often have the luxury of remaining at this stage. The initial stage is followed by a period of disillusionment (second stage) in which the expat faces depression as the difficulties with a new culture become clear. These difficulties include inability to converse in the local language, problems in obtaining certain products and food supplies of personal preference, home sickness and the like. At this stage, the curve hits a low and is characterized by what is called culture shock.

            The expat strangely discerned, uncertain, out of place and even fearful when culture shocks him or her. Established norms of behaviour are disrupted and the more routines are disrupted, the more severe is culture shock. In addition, the more critical to routine that is disrupted, greater the mental energy that is required to adjust, and greater the frustration, anxiety and anger. Culture shock is a critical stage, and how the individual copes with the psychological adjustment in this phase has significant impact on his or her success or failure.

            If culture shock is handled successfully, the expat enters the third stage, which may be called the adapting or adjustment phase. He or she begins to feel more certain, positive, confident, works more effectively and has learned to cope with the diversity challenges.

            While culture shock continues to be the main reason for expt failure, ultimately, all roads lead to the ‘selection rigour.’ The IHR manager’s role in picking up the right candidate for international assignment is equally critical in deciding success or failure.

            Expat failure results in high cost. It is estimated that the cost of sending a failed manager and his or her family back home is around US $250,000. in addition, the indirect costs of such failures are substantial. The tangible costs of expat failure can be easily measured in money value as cost of expatriation to host location, such as travel and relocation of personal belongings, high salaries, training for the assignment, support provided to spouse and family members and re-staffing the position. The intangible costs can be understood as loss of business and industry/government contracts and liaisons, company’s reputation being at stake, impact on the host unit’s operations and morale of employees; in addition, the expats own sense of failure, status with peers and impact on the emotional behaviour of the family of the expat.

            An early return is not necessarily an accurate measure of expatriate failure, because ineffective assignees might remain overseas cause even more harm to their organizations. There are also expatriates who satisfactorily complete their overseas assignment but, dissatisfied with their new position, or with their projected career path, leave the company within two years. This attrition rate has been estimated as high as 22% during the first year after repatriation and a further 22$ in the second year, depriving the organization of the assets of a trained and experienced employee and creating the additional cost to the organization of recruiting and training a replacement.

Reason for expatriate failure:

US Organisations:

  1. Inability  of spouse to adjust
  2. Manager’s inability to adjust
  3. Other family reasons
  4. Manager’s personal or emotional maturity
  5. Inability to cope with larger international responsibilities

Japanese Organisations:

  1. Inability to cope with larger international responsibilities.
  2. Difficulties with new environment.
  3. Personal or emotional problems.
  4. Lack of technical competence
  5. Inability of spouse to adjust.

Challenges in International Recruitment

* Dr.Shanmukha Rao Padala & ** Dr.N.V.S.Suryanarayana

Introduction:

Attracting staff from overseas remains a challenge for Human Resource professionals due to a low rate of labour market mobility. That’s according to a new report compiled by the Intelligence Group, in association with StepStone, which reveals that willingness to travel abroad for work varies widely across Europe. While eight out of 10 employees in the UK are willing to work overseas, the Dutch (49%) and Danes (46%) are least likely to consider a job in another nation.

Of over 2,000 companies surveyed, 42% are currently recruiting internationally, primarily to address specific skills deficits. Shortages are worse in the engineering, IT and telecommunications sectors. But despite the opportunities which exist, the annual mobility of nationals in the European Union (EU) is less than 0.4%.

For those willing to work overseas, the primary motivation is to broaden experience (64%), followed by career development (50%) and the opportunity to obtain a more lucrative salary/benefits package (47%). The research revealed that workers are least likely to move abroad to follow a partner or for employer brand reasons alone.
When the decision to work in another country has been taken, a majority of job hunters (66%) start their search by visiting online job boards, whereas less than a quarter (23%) contact recruitment agencies. Only one-fifth of job seekers consult international newspapers.

Deciding how best to publicise a vacancy is just one element of how to devise a successful international recruitment strategy according to Matthew Parker, Group Managing Director of StepStone’s Solutions business. “It is important to remember that most workers don’t automatically think about looking for a job abroad. It is only when they see an enticing vacancy that they might seriously consider relocating,” Parker says. “It is therefore vital to not just post a job somewhere and wait until candidates reply, but rather to tailor each vacancy according to the factors that motivate the potential applicants that you are targeting. This research reveals that those motivations vary from country to country so any international recruitment strategy must be informed by these cultural differences,” he says.

Specialising in monitoring labour market trends, Geert-Jan Waasdorp, Director of Intelligence Group, believes that more companies than ever before will have to develop international recruitment campaigns to ensure competitiveness. “The transition to a knowledge-driven economy in Europe has increased the demand for highly skilled workers. To remain competitive, recruiting and retaining the right staff is crucial. Companies must be prepared to wage a war for talent on a global battleground,” Waasdorp says.

One organisation that has already developed an international recruitment strategy is Marriott International. “We have a wide variety of roles to fill each year, and without an all-encompassing international recruitment strategy, we would not be able to fill all our positions with the mix of skills we require,” Chris Dunn, Regional Director of Talent Management at Marriott International, says. “Our international recruitment strategy is underpinned by e-recruitment software and services, which we find invaluable, both for publicising positions and for processing the thousands of applications that we receive on a monthly basis from all over the world. Use of these services and software has also ensured that our recruitment campaigns can be far ranging in terms of geographic scope but yet remain cost-effective,” Dunn says. Other findings from the report include:

· Cultural and language differences are the biggest barriers for international recruitment strategies (43%), followed by legislative problems (31%) and the difficulty in checking candidate qualifications and references (26%).

· Companies in mainland Europe prefer to recruit from neighbouring countries, whereas firms in the UK have no particular preference regarding the country of origin of their foreign employees.

· Almost 40% of Britons would be amenable to working in another country for more than five years. However those from Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden and Denmark) prefer to return home within two years.

This 100-page report, which is entitled ‘The International Recruitment Manual’ was compiled by the Intelligence Group and features the results of surveys of 2,171 European companies and over 20,900 workers In addition, it provides HR professionals with practical advice on how to recruit staff from overseas.

Human Resources Priorities

International and domestic organizations identified similar HR priorities for the next two years.  The top priority, identified by 52 percent of international companies, was leadership development. Domestic organizations also ranked leadership development as a top priority (35 percent).

Recruiting high-quality employees ranked second as a priority for both international (40 percent) and domestic companies (46 percent). Employee retention was also a top concern for both international (33 percent) and domestic companies (46 percent). In fact, retention was the top priority for domestic organizations.

Challenges to Consistency:

International companies face many challenges when trying to make HR practices consistent across all locations/offices. The top three challenges include:

  • Variations in social, political, and economic circumstances.
  • Different locations/offices have their own way of doing things and are resistant to change.
  • The perceived value of the HR function varies across locations/offices.

General Challenges for Global Human Resources Function

Functions such as operations, sales, and marketing have generally made great progress in adapting to the global reality. However, the HR function has typically lagged behind in developing policies and structures that support globalization. The top challenges HR faces in the globalization process include:

  • Coordination of activities in many different locations.
  • Understanding the continual change of the globally competitive environment.
  • Building a global awareness in all HR departments/divisions.
  • Creating a multicultural HR team.

Causes for expatriate failure:

            One of the problems contrasting IHR professional is to manage expat failure rate. Expat failure means that the assignee returns to the home country or resign from the job before the international assignment is completed.

            Globally the expat failure rate varies between 25% and 40%, and varies from country to country, many of the US based MNCs, for instance, have 10% to 40% failure rate, less than 5% failure rate in Japanese and European orgnisations.

            Reasons for expat failures are many but the major causes seem to be personal inability of the assignee himself or herself to adjust and other family problems. Universally, the critical cause for expat failures is the ‘shock issue’- impact of culture. Culture has its impact on several behavioural nuisances of the expat, both off-the-job and on-the-job. While issues are punctuality, greetings, dress, gift giving, negotiating and conducting meetings belong to the first, the second includes socializing, celebrating festivals and events and the like. Failure to understand and adjust to these by the assignee and by his or her spouse is one of the most impacting factors contributing to a premature return of the assignee.

            An expats adjustment to the local culture typically comprises three stages. The ‘U’-shaped curve start with a high, suggesting that the expat enjoys a great deal of excitement, as he or she discovers the new culture. This stage is called the tourist stage. Business travelers, as compared with expatriates, often have the luxury of remaining at this stage. The initial stage is followed by a period of disillusionment (second stage) in which the expat faces depression as the difficulties with a new culture become clear. These difficulties include inability to converse in the local language, problems in obtaining certain products and food supplies of personal preference, home sickness and the like. At this stage, the curve hits a low and is characterized by what is called culture shock.

            The expat strangely discerned, uncertain, out of place and even fearful when culture shocks him or her. Established norms of behaviour are disrupted and the more routines are disrupted, the more severe is culture shock. In addition, the more critical to routine that is disrupted, greater the mental energy that is required to adjust, and greater the frustration, anxiety and anger. Culture shock is a critical stage, and how the individual copes with the psychological adjustment in this phase has significant impact on his or her success or failure.

            If culture shock is handled successfully, the expat enters the third stage, which may be called the adapting or adjustment phase. He or she begins to feel more certain, positive, confident, works more effectively and has learned to cope with the diversity challenges.

            While culture shock continues to be the main reason for expt failure, ultimately, all roads lead to the ‘selection rigour.’ The IHR manager’s role in picking up the right candidate for international assignment is equally critical in deciding success or failure.

            Expat failure results in high cost. It is estimated that the cost of sending a failed manager and his or her family back home is around US $250,000. in addition, the indirect costs of such failures are substantial. The tangible costs of expat failure can be easily measured in money value as cost of expatriation to host location, such as travel and relocation of personal belongings, high salaries, training for the assignment, support provided to spouse and family members and re-staffing the position. The intangible costs can be understood as loss of business and industry/government contracts and liaisons, company’s reputation being at stake, impact on the host unit’s operations and morale of employees; in addition, the expats own sense of failure, status with peers and impact on the emotional behaviour of the family of the expat.

            An early return is not necessarily an accurate measure of expatriate failure, because ineffective assignees might remain overseas cause even more harm to their organizations. There are also expatriates who satisfactorily complete their overseas assignment but, dissatisfied with their new position, or with their projected career path, leave the company within two years. This attrition rate has been estimated as high as 22% during the first year after repatriation and a further 22$ in the second year, depriving the organization of the assets of a trained and experienced employee and creating the additional cost to the organization of recruiting and training a replacement.

Reason for expatriate failure:

US Organisations:

  1. Inability  of spouse to adjust
  2. Manager’s inability to adjust
  3. Other family reasons
  4. Manager’s personal or emotional maturity
  5. Inability to cope with larger international responsibilities

Japanese Organisations:

  1. Inability to cope with larger international responsibilities.
  2. Difficulties with new environment.
  3. Personal or emotional problems.
  4. Lack of technical competence
  5. Inability of spouse to adjust.



Source by S.R.PADALA & NVS SURYANARAYANA

Author: admin