Human resource assignment in the global setting is recognized as abig challenge especially in multinational companies. Being a humanresources director for a multinational firm that has begun to assignworkers to international posts, the responsibility of ensuring thetask is implemented effectively and efficiently lies in my hands. Theresearch paper presented here explains how the staffing needs offoreign operations will be determined. In order for expatriates toperform well, a mentorship program is required and this paperexplains the program. Due to inefficiency of the necessary resourcesto provide in-house training, our firm will use an externalconsultant to provide pre-departure training for employees.Five(5) components that will be coveredin the pre-departure training anda rationale for eachcomponent. The components ofpre-Departure training include Cultural Awareness Programme,Preliminary Visits, Language Training and Practical assistance. TheCultural Awareness Programme enhances the understanding of theexpatriates of the country that is to host them so that they canadjust. The Cultural Awareness Programme can be justified since itwill help the expatriates avoid difficult situations. This trainingis considered as an investment as it helps the expatriates in the newenvironment. The Cultural Awareness Programme training timeframe isdependent on how long the expatriates are going to stay in the hostcountry. If the expatriates are going to stay for a long period, thetraining period is expected to be long unlike where the expatriatesare going for a short period. Preliminary visits happen whenthe expatriates are sent to the host country before the actualassignment. It helps in the pre-departure preparations and also toassess their suitability in the host country. Preliminary visits areused in a familiar country or where the cultures of both countriesare considered to be close. Language training helps increase thenegotiating ability of the expatriates. It also enhances directcontacts with stakeholders in the host country and this is importantin competition, market structure and investment. Practical assistanceis provided to the expatriate prior to the assignment taking intoassumption the actual assignment. It is justifiable as it helps easepressure and anxiety over the host country experience. Practicalassistance may involve local orientation, language assistance orrelocation assistance (Stahl & Caligiuri, 2005).Three(3) criteria that managementwill apply to assess theperformance of expatriates workingabroad Expatriates sent on global assignments willeither flourish or fail but professional Human resource managerspride in that they can predict the outcome of the assignment afterinteracting with the assignee. This is because they have developedsixth senses on global assignments. The first criterion is to assessthe cultural adaptability, which is a key instrument in the talentmanagement strategy. The second is linking talent management tomobility helps respond to the challenges that may be facingorganizations. Mobility is linked to talent to talent managementsince it involves human capital. Organizations are now using talentmanagement strategies in their drive selection unlike the traditionalway where employees were selected and assessed for particularassignments. Nowadays, organizations use leadership developmentstrategies while relocating where they see a high potential.According to surveys conducted, companies are now using talentmanagement and assignment pre-selection in their reviews andmanagement.
The third is cultural assessment and Talent management that helpscreate a candidate pool, integrate development and training andself-selection. In creating a candidate pool, it helps select highpotentials to be hired. in the case of an International company, ithelps determine cultural adaptability hence creating a pool ofcandidates. Self-selection happens so that employees can selectthemselves for international assignments depending on theirreadiness, their potentials and strengths to deal with challenges intheir new country. This is good as it helps employees understandwhether the international assignment will be fit and create andcreate a personal development to them. Integrate training anddevelopment give employee’s knowledge on certain assignments and itcan be used to train new employees (Carpenter, Sanders &Gregersen, 2001).3. Selection and recruitmentstrategy that will be used whenoffering international assignments. Itis a common scenario that employees of international companies workin more than one country hence international managers need to beaware of international business management. Firms are using selectionsystems based on potential of their candidates. The firstconsideration would be age whereby the recommended age should bebetween late 20s and mid 30s years. This is because the task involvedsophisticated and requires deeper understanding procedures. It alsoinvolves studies and this is the right age. A selection panelcan also be used comprising of people with knowledge about the hostcountry either doing business or having lived there. The other methodis choosing the candidates that have passed previous internationalassignments since they are aware of the differences in culture andhow to get things done in the host country. The other recruiting andselection strategy is to pick candidates who are fluent in thelanguage used in the host country so that they can ease dealings withlocal clients. The other way would be to provide expatriates withrealistic job assignment previews that are realistic so that theyunderstand the assignments destination business practices, climateand culture (Cerdin & Pargneux, 2009). Comparing andcontrasting the two staffing alternativesfor foreign operations thatare available to our firm. Ethnocentricstaffing approach and global staffing approach are the twoalternatives that can be applied in our foreign operations. Inethnocentric staffing approach, citizens from the parent country ofthe corporations are employed to hold key managerial positions in theforeign operations. The argument for applying this approach is thatindividuals from the parent country of the organization are familiarwith the goals, procedures, policies, products, and technology of theparent company. Such employees are in the pole position to observe inadvance the possibility of managerial crisis or any other potentialproblem and report to the parent company on time. However, even withethnocentric staffing approach, junior employees are recruited in thecountry where the subsidiary is situated (Cerdin & Pargneux,2009). Global staffing approach, on the other hand, differs tosome extent with the ethnocentric approach. According to thisapproach, nationality should not be an issue in staffing and thusindividuals are selected based on merit within and outside of theorganization regardless of citizenship. Global staffing approachprovides an organization with a large pool of qualified employees whoare also willing to work with the company. The approach also providesthe organization with diversified culture and skills that arebeneficial to the company. The global staffing approach is the mosteffective in our firm because it is more cost effective. The hostcountry rate of pay is lower than the parent company and thus thisapproach will help the firm to reduce the cost. The nationals of thehost country also feels that the process of recruiting is fair andthey are thus likely to prefer the company’s products. Ethnocentricstaffing approach may make nationality of the host country develop anegative attitude towards the firm because of excluding them in keypositions (Cerdin & Pargneux, 2009). Importance ofproviding a high-quality mentoring systemfor international assignees. Ifmentoring program of the international assignment is well managed,employee’s rate of attrition may reduce significantly. In addition,international assignees who have gone through the mentorship programcan still contribute to the growth of the organization even afterrepatriation. Most mentorship programs are implemented at a low costand have long lasting benefits making them worthwhile implementing. Amentor establishes connection with the international assignee andprovides support throughout the program. Employees who have undergonethrough a mentorship program are in a better position to identifyappropriate positions before they are repatriated. Mentorship programassists international assignments in both expatriation andrepatriation. It is through the mentorship program that assigneeslearn home country current events and possible changes to the firm.The mentorship program also connects international assignees withleaders of the parent firm. In addition, the program assistsassignees to adjust and cope to the new environment and new workplace(Stahl & Caligiuri, 2005). A good mentorship program forinternational assignees must assess leadership skills, be strategicin design, and foster assignee engagement. Two steps are followed indeveloping a working mentorship system. First, understanding how thefirm’s main strategy drives the demand for employees. For instance,any long term planning requires a basis in fundamental knowledge.Secondly, one needs to understand the link between the mentorshipprogram and the overall strategy. This includes selecting mentors,developing assignees and mentors, individual performance management,tracking effectiveness and motivation.Measuring returnon investments for internationalassignments Investment required to sendexpatriates on external assignments is substantial and thus it shouldcome with huge benefits as well. Measuring the benefits ofinternational assignments have been a challenging task over the yearsbut not an impossible one. Several key drivers can be used todetermine the overall return on investment. When a firm sendsemployees to undertake international assignments, there are goalsthat it aims to achieve and these are the ones that should determinethe return on investments. If all the goals of sending outexpatriates are achieved the conclusion should be that the return oninvestment is excellent. Achieving half of the goals will imply anaverage return on investment while achieving below half of the goalsimply a weak return on investment (Carpenter, Sanders &Gregersen, 2001). If financial revenue of a firm increasesafter sending out expatriates, then the return on investment ispositive. Multinational firms aim at increased internationalizationand this is one of the reasons of sending expatriates. Ifinternationalization increases, the return on investment will bepositive. If by having an expatriate in the role stability of thefirm increases, the return on investment is positive. In addition,the fulfillment of each of the following goals will imply a positivereturn on investment. The goals include improved governance,successful technology transfer, and availability of skills and staffdevelopment. The rationale of using this criterion as a measure ofreturn on investment is because achievement of the set goals meanssuccess of the process.
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Cerdin, J. L., & Pargneux, M. L. (2009). Career and internationalassignment fit: Toward an integrative model of success. Humanresource management, 48(1), 5-25.
Stahl, G. K., & Caligiuri, P. (2005). The effectiveness ofexpatriate coping strategies: the moderating role of culturaldistance, position level, and time on the international assignment.Journal of Applied Psychology, 90(4), 603.