Currently, businesses have ventured into international markets while at the same time maintaining their domestic market share for various reasons. With the emerging competition among business organization, an organization can easily shut down if not in a position to cope with or outdo actions taken by competitors (Harvey & Moeller, 2009).
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Various business organizations have started merging into international markets for several reasons that include growth, expansion, and survival. The concept of competition can highly be attributed to the mushrooming of multinational corporations, which has been experienced in the recent past and the trend continues (Briscoe, Schuler & Claus, 2009).
While many other competitors trend on this path, our organization had a decision to remain into the domestic market due to careful scrutiny of the company’s performance and the fact that it had remained in the market for quite a long time and enjoyed excellent performance while in the domestic market.
In addition, the management had considered the fact that remaining in the domestic market would be one of the ways of keeping the organization’s vibrant culture alive. However, there has been a move by the management of the company to move into the global business due to various reasons.
For instance, the company looks into the international market for fear of losing all its grounds to global competition. However, the company is also unwilling to resize the organization through laying off employees as one of the ways of saving on costs. As a way of outdoing the potentiality of bankruptcy, the organization is considering the possibility of making maximum utilization of resources through investing in global markets.
With the emergence of globalization of businesses, it is apparent that companies are set to have branches operating in other countries around the globe. Multinational corporations have employees from all over the world (Harvey & Moeller, 2009). Expatriates come with various challenges; therefore, depicting some of the reasons for their poor performance at work place.
With the new venture that our organization is about to take, measures have to be taken to ensure that all challenges facing expatriates are addressed. Our company will be hiring expatriates; hence, we should address challenges faced by expatriates all over the world.
This paper discusses the various challenges facing expatriates. As a step towards globalization, the organization will be hiring expatriates to work for other branches to be established all over the world. In addition, the paper gives recommendations on challenges highlighted.
Challenges associated with expatriate hiring/ training
Selection based on headquarters criteria rather than assignment needs
The process of hiring, which is followed by deploying people to their respective positions within the organization, is a major goal of an organization irrespective of its status as a domestic or an international company.
The process of hiring employees comprises the process of recruitment and selection (Brown, 2008). However, the process of obtaining relevant candidates for the job can be hampered due to the stipulations of the needs of the assignment. For instance, there may be a low turnout in the number of candidates applying for the job.
In most companies seeking to globalize their markets, assignment needs may have predispositions on who should hold key positions at headquarters and subsidiaries. In addition, the assignment needs may align with constraints imposed by the host governments.
For instance, it may be a requirement as stipulated among the needs of the job for a candidate to have work visas and other international documentations. The assignments needs may be set in a way that the recruitment process is conducted internally, rather than being an external exercise.
Due to this issue, there has been the question of credibility when it comes to the role played by the management in the process of recruitment. In such a practice, the controversy rises from the fact that the management teams will tend to recommend their best employees working for the domestic company to assume the international assignment (Deresky, 2013).
With regard to the process of selecting employees, my team recommends an alignment between the needs of the company and those stipulated against the requirement for the assignment.
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For instance, the company should ensure the removal of stringent measures among the requirements stipulated in the assignment needs. Our company should come up with a program that assists the selected candidates to obtain relevant permits and other documents required.
In addition, necessary arrangements should be made to ensure that these needs are scrapped off to attract a large pool of applicants for the job. Mostly, most people have the required academic qualifications and credentials, but may be locked from applying for the job due to lack of other documents (Deresky, 2013).
Our organization should ensure that interviews are conducted both internally and externally. In a bid to eliminate bias and intensions by recommending employees working internally for the international assignment, interviews should be conducted on an international scale (Brown, 2008).
The organization should also hold interviews in every country that it intends to establish a subsidiary branch. Such interviews should be scaled in a way to ensure savings on costs, as one of the ways to prevent the company from running into bankruptcy. Relevant systems should be put in place through the application of technology in a bid to cut down expenses.
For instance, application of technology will enable video teleconferencing, which is one of the features that can facilitate the interviewing process even from the headquarters without necessarily travelling from one country to another.
The convergence and divergence of technology ensures technological transfer and ensures best practices by the management. Through this move, the management will also be at a position to eliminate biasness in the selection process.
Inadequate preparation, training, and orientation prior to assignment
International assignments are often more complex as compared to the domestic ones. The complexity of the assignment arises from the fact that it involves traveling and settling to work in another country and different culture (Deresky, 2013). Therefore, due to this complexity, inadequate preparations prior to the assignment can be a costly affair.
Fundamentally, the company should ensure the success of expatriate employees (Dowling & Welch, 2005). Through adequate training, expatriates are at a position to develop a global mindset, adapt to other cultures, and appreciate them. In some cases, expatriates are not in a position to adapt these values due to inadequate preparations and orientation.
During recruitment, expatriates that are not averse to the company encounter difficulties in performing their duties efficiently. Inefficiencies and shoddy work push the organization into incurring extra costs in trying to rectify mistakes (Deresky, 2013). In recommendation, the company should ensure the adaptation of a relevant training program.
In addition, the company should have an adequate orientation program to prepare expatriates to assume new roles and responsibilities within the company. Moreover, an adequate training program will not only be beneficial to the company, but also to an individual for through adequate training, expatriates can maximize benefits gained from the international career.
Cross-cultural training is also vital in ensuring prevalence of accuracy on expected results from employees (Briscoe, Schuler & Claus, 2009). This aspect is also one of the ways through which an expatriate can align his or her goals to those of the organization, hence high expectations and productivity to the organization.
Another benefit attached to cross cultural training is the fact that this type of training program will enhance the performance of expatriate employees and the management, adjustment to new cultures, and enhancement of cross cultural managerial skills.
Alienation or lack of support from headquarters
The challenge of alienation creeps in when the management ceases to care for expatriates once they return to their own countries. In addition, once expatriates have been posted abroad, the management tends to forget them (Briscoe, Schuler & Claus, 2009).
Notably, expatriates tend to adjust well during the repatriation stage. Neglecting of this crucial stage means a reduced managerial and executive performance of the organization. From the research carried out by the taskforce, it was noted that implementation of supportive human resource policies by the organization is a crucial step towards ensuring satisfaction of expatriates.
Inability to adapt to local culture and working environment
Expatriates are subject to working under a different working environment and culture. A majority of them encounter difficulties in adapting to cultural practices of the society where a subsidiary is set up (Deresky, 2013). For instance, an expatriate of Arabian origin may find it difficult to adapt to the American culture while working for a subsidiary based in the US.
Some researchers have also disclosed that during the cultural shock stage, expatriates find it difficult to adjust to their work environment, culture, interaction, and general interaction. Some of these factors are connected to the individual’s perceptions and some of these factors are outside the control of the organization.
However, the organization should conduct an orientation program, which entails giving the expatriates time to adjust to their new working environment, learning the dominant languages and coming up with a cultural orientation program.
Problems with spouse and children- poor adaptation, family unhappiness
The problem of spouse, poor children adaptation, and family unhappiness is one of the factors that have led to the resignation of many expatriates during their early stages of employment (Brown, 2008). For instance, children may not adjust to the new environment especially in schools and this challenge may be heightened in cases where there are some sorts of discrimination.
If one member of the family is not happy, the same problem extends to the entire family (Deresky, 2013). Studies carried out by various researchers have revealed that it is crucial to consider the adjustment of spouses and family, as well as the expatriate.
From studies carried out, there is a clear indication that, in most cases, spouses remain alone at home and in many cases, organizations do not have support programs for them, viz. the companies think of the expatriate only.
Therefore, my group recommends that the company should come up with a program that allows expatriates to live with their entire family at the place of work. In addition, they can also choose to live alone, but should be entitled to regular, but short leaves to visit their families.
Insufficient compensation and financial support
Some companies have unfair remuneration scales for different categories of employees, although they may be at the same level and job group (Dowling & Welch, 2005). For instance, some multinational companies offer poor payment packages to expatriates from developing countries while those from developed countries are highly paid.
Lack of motivation among expatriates leads to poor performance in terms of work output and is likely to lead to internal conflicts among expatriates (Briscoe, Schuler & Claus, 2009).
Therefore, to solve this challenge, our company should come up with a fair remuneration scale where employees at the same level of employment are entitled to equal pay. In addition, the company should also come up with a program to provide employees with financial support through lending out loans at a low rate of interest.
Poor programs for career support and preparation
Career support is one of the ways through which employees align their overall goals and objectives to those of the organization. The aspect of some organizations not supporting the career growth of an expatriate is likely to cost organization lots of money, especially when an employee resigns (Briscoe, Schuler & Claus, 2009).
When this move happens, companies experience a high employee turnover, hence incurring high costs in the recruitment process.
In a recommendation, to curb this problem our company should implement packages to ensure support of expatriates’ career growth. For instance, the company can have exposure programs such as allowing expatriates to attend trade shows, seminaries, and other programs in relations to one’s career path among others.
Briscoe, D. R., Schuler, R. S., & Claus, L. (2009). International Human Resource Management – Policies and Practices for Multinational Enterprises. Oxon, UK: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.
Brown, R. J. (2008). Dominant stressors on expatriate couples during international assignments. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 19(6), 1018-1034.
Deresky, H. (2013). International Management: Managing Across Borders and Cultures, Text and Cases. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Dowling, P. J., & Welch, D. E. (2005). International human resource management – Managing people in a multinational context. Mason, OH: Thomson South- Western.
Harvey, M., & Moeller, M. (2009). Expatriate managers: A historical review. International Journal of management reviews, 11(3), 275-296.