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The efficient management of the international assignment is one of the hardest, and often costliest areas for HR professionals to look after. Now many companies falter at presenting the right strategies to deal with international assignments. What’s alarming in this case is that even after considerable investment in this area, Organizations still report a 42% failure rate in such assignments.

With so much at stake, global HR managers can take a cue from the high failure rates to invest in ongoing and upfront programs that will ensure the successful management of the international projects.

Choosing the right professional, orienting the expats and their families, monitoring the employees’ performance from a distance, and sending the individual back at the end of an assignment often needs a thoroughly planned, well-developed system. So presented below are the roles of the HR managers and their team while recruiting people for international assignments.

1. The HR team should be proactive about recruiting more wisely

The HR department should always keep an eye on recruiting new people in every significant local as well as global market. The onus is on them to form a reputation as a sought-after organization among the graduates of the best universities, as Goldman Sachs has in the United States, for instance.

The ideal way to draw the efficient local native talent into the global market is to indicate how far up they can progress within the organization. While the local talents may easily move up the ladder of success, but there may be a clear disparity regarding the selection of the employees based on the markets that the organization caters to. Many multinational organizations still practice this disparity as they recruit more people in their longest-established and popular markets, putting less emphasis on the emerging markets.

In order to eliminate this disparity, multinational companies must recruit for the emerging markets and also must hire local nationals from these markets for the middle and lower levels of its career ladder. Some of these professionals enjoy a prolonged stint in international careers as well, while others head to their native places, where they command more respect, owing to the experiences they gather while being associated with international assignments.

2. Recognize the leadership capabilities of the individuals within your organizations

Create a database of the managerial skills of the individuals in your organization by asking them to define the information in their resumes, and put their management talents and potential on the generic personal-profile templates.

Knowing that people's situations and career choices may change over a period, have all the managers and other employees responsible for keeping their resumes up-to-date and reviewing their individual profiles at least once a year.

Organizations should clearly define that H.R. and line managers nonetheless will be utilizing the data to arrange for promotions and international assignments and to evaluate the necessity for training.

In this case, HR managers have to be cautious about the individual privacy provisions in the EU’s new Data Protection Directive and the implementation of similar rules in Japan that basically require employee consent to collect or distribute any personal information.

3. Adopting a system for internally advertising the posts in your organization

Develop a global labour market for your own multinational organization. Especially since it’s hard to monitor the best candidates within a large organization. In this case, routine internal advertising comes with many perks for the HR team and some of which are as follows.

  • Lets ambitious individuals understand that they have a bright future working for the particular organization.
  • Enable a competitive internal job market to thrive across genders, nationalities and other classifications.
  • Assist in categorizing the business-unit and divisional areas.
  • Control the practice of inbreeding by transferring managers across different divisions and businesses.
  • Strengthen the organization’s culture.
  • Maintaining consistency in providing the employees with responsibilities to take charge their own careers.

However, this practice may have its share of drawbacks. Line managers have to fill in for those who choose to leave, a prominent higher level authority of the organization may need to resolve the disputes between divisions and departments, and candidates not selected for the international assignments may decide to leave.

To prevent situations like this from escalating, disappointed applicants of international assignments should be gathered by the career development office to familiarize them with how their performance and skills align with their ambitions.

6. Evaluating the skill gaps and strengths of the employees

HR departments can ask the executive level employees to measure his/her attributes and skills with the requirements specified for the executive's present position and preferred higher position. Allow each of the executives to determine ways to bridge any individual skills gaps. In this case, HR departments should arrange for in-house training for the employees, and to mentor them meticulously.

The employees are encouraged to weigh their skills in an explicit manner in their the personal assessments, with those demanded by the organization’s specific business strategy. This detail should be at the core of the organization’s management development and training programs that the HR department has to monitor, and demonstrate whether you have time to orient internal candidates for new job responsibilities.

7. Maintain a global database to have an idea to determine who and where the talent is

One of the primary focus of a global HR policy has to be a global database since multinational organizations now have many more strategic positions scattered across different parts of the world and need to facilitate the career development of many more managers.

Even though some multinational organizations have been collecting worldwide HR databases over the past decade, those are still focused on the topmost positions of the organization, ignoring the middle managers in the less popular markets and potential candidates coming through the ranks.

To create this type of global HR database, you should start by specifying the job descriptions and a series of personal-profile templates that ask questions that go beyond each employee’s resume to identify their language skills; cultural ties, countries visited, interests and hobbies. For international assignments, the HR directors must take such soft skills and cultural versatility to be as significant as any other functional skills.

8. Assessing and retaining the talents

Global networks that exchange good practices and knowledge function on the basis of one-on-one contact and continuity. This continuity also reduces recruitment and opportunity costs. As the competition for receiving international assignments has intensified, hence, it has become exceedingly crucial for organizations to retain their good managers. Monetary rewards are not enough to keep these people interested, and the package must present its fair share of opportunities for personal growth and job satisfaction.

A policy should be put together that encourages the employees to grow with the organizations, in every market. Additionally, a career plan must be put in place for every employee within his/her first 3-4 months in the organization. And these plans have to be frequently reviewed to be sure they are in line with the particular business strategy and the individual need for job satisfaction. International assignments are an effective way to test, encourage and retain good employees. Such assignments can be used as horizontal promotion.

In conclusion, it must be added that to deal with the difficulties of globalization and the transformation to a knowledge-based economy, and the HR departments must form systems that emphasize on people as their most valuable resource.

The objective of a global HR program is to ensure that a multinational organization has the appropriate talent, cultural mix and managerial skills to monitor all of its operating units and opportunities for development and that its managers can adapt the knowledge-sharing network by agreeing upon a common value.

Author Bio:

Being a passionate blogger, Jijo is an academic essay writer, helping students in achieving international assignments. Apart from writing, he loves travelling and eating variety of foods from different regions.