Some Challenges Faced by HR Mangers when Recruiting Expatriates
It is clear that the globalized market offers numerous opportunities for companies. However, there are certain challenges that are often associated with cultural differences of countries. It is possible to identify several challenges HR managers face when recruiting expatriates. There is often a lack of knowledge on peculiarities of recruiting expatriates and, hence, HR managers often make bad decisions.
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For instance, HR managers of a Malaysian organization analysed performance of expatriates having different cultural backgrounds and found that people pertaining to certain ethnic groups were more tolerant to the differences between their and Malaysian culture, which made them more effective employees (Thoo & Kaliannan, 2013). It can be important to provide HR managers with the necessary resources and training that focuse on cultural tolerance and adaptive capacity of representatives of different ethnic groups. It is also difficult to evaluate qualifications of an applicant as the responsibilities, tasks completed, laws can be quite different from what is expected from the expatriate (Chew, 2004).
Another serious issue HR managers face is the use of diversity management in many organisations (Ananthram & Chan, 2013). Especially when it comes to gender equality, HR managers may face numerous issues. In some countries (for example, some states in the Middle East), female professionals can find it difficult to obtain employment and, hence, female expatriates do not get employment (even though they are perfect for a job).
HR managers also have to take into account various quotes that are often present in large companies (this is especially true for western companies). They have to select the most appropriate expatriates from quite limited groups of people (Ananthram & Chan, 2013). HR managers can face certain linguistic issues as well. Hence, it is clear that HR managers need specific training to be able to recruit the most effective expatriates.
Expatriates as Training Managers
Expatriates’ effectiveness as training managers depends on the content of training. Of course, expatriates should be high-profile employees who have the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to complete particular tasks. It is possible to note that, when it comes to training concerning the use of some machinery, software, tools and so on, expatriates can be very effective irrespective of their cultural competence, so-to-speak (Dowling, Festing & Engle, 2008).
There can be certain issues in the delivery of the necessary material but the cultural aspect is not primary in this case. The expatriates simply show certain methods and techniques. They teach how to use particular tools. There is little (if any) interaction with other people, as employees will work with the machinery, software, tool and so on. Of course, the expatriate should have some basic knowledge of the country he is going to work in.
However, when it comes to training on complex issues (concerning leadership, management, accounting, legal issues and so on), the expatriate should be a skilled professional who has a significant experience of working in the corresponding country. The expatriate should understand cultural, legal, economic peculiarities of the country to understand the subject. He/she should also be able to deliver the necessary materials in an appropriate way (Briscoe, Schuler and Tarique, 2012). In such cases, expatriates are often ineffective training managers.
Therefore, when choosing an expatriate as a training manager, it is crucial to pay attention to his/her qualification, the content of training and his/her experience. If the expatriate has not previously worked in the country, he/she cannot possibly train employees in such fields as management, legal issues, financial management, leadership and so on, as he/she is unlikely to understand cultural peculiarities of the region. In this case, it is better to search for a local training manager.
Ananthram, S., & Chan, C. (2013). Challenges and strategies for global human resource executives: Perspectives from Canada and the United States. European Management Journal, 31(3), 223-233. Web.
Briscoe, D., Schuler, R., & Tarique, I. (2012). International human resource management: Policies and practices for multinational enterprises. New York, NY: Taylor and Francis. Web.
Chew, J. (2004). Managing MNC expatriates through crises: A challenge for international human resource management. Research and Practice in Human Resource Management, 12(2), 1-30. Web.
Dowling, P.J., Festing, M., & Engle, A.D. (2008). International human resource management: Managing people in a multinational context. London, UK: Cengage Learning EMEA. Web.
Thoo, L., & Kaliannan, M. (2013). International HR assignment in recruiting and selecting: Challenges, failures and best practices. International Journal of Human Resource Studies, 3(4), 143-158. Web.