International Human Resource Management Strategies

According to Mathis and Jackson (2008), human resource management is an organization’s function that entails all aspects that are associated with the human resource or workforce in a particular organization, company or institution. It entails aspects like recruitment, coordination, and control of the people working in an organization. Some of the issues linked with human resource management include hiring, compensation and benefits, safety and welfare, communication and motivation, employees’ performance management and administration and training among others.

Human resource management is a very essential function in every organization as it enhances the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the organization through the smooth running of all the activities and operations that are carried out in the organization. It falls under one of the major components of the management function which is staffing (Schneider & Barsoux, 2003).

Dowling and Welch (2008), argue that recruitment is the process of attracting and encouraging individuals to apply for different positions n an organization. Domestic recruitment and international recruitment differ in their scope of operation. Domestic recruitment entails recruitment practices carried out within a nation while international recruitment covers recruitment practices across borders.

When it comes to international human resource management and recruitment in particular, there is increased number of activities and processes, the perspective is global, there are larger risks involves, entails aspects of privacy of the expatriates, consideration of the different social and cultural, political as well as economic attributes of the different nations and balancing of treatment given to different nationalities in organizations. These factors are not an issue when it comes to domestic recruitment (Kirton and Greene, 2000).

Recruitment and selection go hand in hand. Selection is the process of choosing persons who are best suited for a particular position, from a group of applicants. Various tools areVarious tools are applied for the selection process, for instance, interviews and referrals. The selection process is very important as it ensures that the right candidates are deployed, in terms of qualifications and experience. This is achieved through matching of the attributes in the application documents and the practical ones (Roberts, 1997).

According to Andall (2003), Cultural diversity in the workplace is associated with a lot of problems that necessitate some extra effort by the management to ensure that it does not affect the progress of an organization negatively. Most of the problems occur naturally due to the cultural differences while others could be facilitated by negligence by various authorities for instance where people are not considered to be equal just because of their cultural differences. This could be through policies that govern aspects like legislation and immigration (Leitner, 2008).

Some of the challenges faced in the management of cultural diversity in organizations include communication (Constantine and Derald, 2005). International staffing is linked with the language barrier which should be dealt with to allow for effective communication since lack of proper communication may cause problems for instance where the key goals and objectives of an organization are not well understood. This, in turn, affects proper interaction which affects teamwork and morale among the employees (Healey, 2008). This issue can be reduced through the implementation of training programs on various languages to bridge the language barrier (Reynolds and Valentine 2004).

Discrimination is also a challenge linked with differences in culture among employees were people in the workforce tend to affiliate with those with whom they share some cultural commonality like nationality. This can be dealt with by urging the employees to appreciate one another and avoid any form of discrimination (Lewis, 1999). According to Jeannet (2000), resistance to change is also a challenge faced in international staffing. Some employees may not be willing to change their ways of doing things even with changes in the society as they tend to lean on their cultural backgrounds so much that they are not ready to accept changes no matter how positive they may seem to be.

These challenges impend mobility in an organization in one way or the other and should, therefore, be dealt with effectively (Deresky 2002). Another strategy that can be adapted to deal with the cultural issues faced in international staffing is organization culture (Cornelius, 2002). This is a critical aspect that helps in dealing with cultural differences in an organization. It entails how an organization undertakes its practices and how cultural diversity is treated. An appropriate organization culture can integrate the cultural differences possessed by different employees, taking in the positive attributes and dealing with the negative attributes effectively. This way, it can moderate the cultural differences among the employees allowing an organization to prosper in its endeavors (Warner & Joynt, 2002).

Marx (1999) asserts that there are various phases of cultural adjustments. The first phase entails cultural euphoria where an individual feels out of place in an organization due to cultural incompatibility. Then there is cultural confrontation where one realizes the fact that the only solution is to accept and confront the reality rather than missing the familiar life one was used to. The third phase is cultural adjustment. This entails taking necessary measures to enhance effective integration and thus with time, one becomes more comfortable (Holbeche, 1999). Cultural adaptability is the last and fourth phase where an individual who once felt out of place feel part of the organization/society. At this stage, a person appreciate the changes undergone and even realize the benefits associated with cultural diversity and is more willing to be part of the organization for a long time (Wetherell, 2008).

Human resources resources (domestic and international) in any organization is very essential as no organization could run in the absence of people. Every organization regardless of nature and size moves on and succeeds because of the efforts put forth by the employees through the diversity of talents and capabilities exhibited by them. Differences in cultural values should also be managed to allow efficiency (Anca and Vazquez, 2007). The management of the employees and their cultural differences is a crucial element that ensures that everything regarding the employees is for instance through aspects like motivation and rewards that ensure the employees are on their toes in their efforts to better their performance and the performance of the organization in general (Holden, 2002).

Reference List

Anca, D.C. and Vazquez, A. (2007), Managing Diversity in the Global Organization. New York: Palgrave: Macmillan.

Andall, J (Ed) (2003), Gender and Ethnicity in Contemporary Europe, Oxford: Berg.

Constantine, G.M and Derald, S.W., (2005), Strategies for building multicultural competence in mental health and educational settings. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons.

Cornelius, N (Ed) (2002), Building Workplace Equality. Ethics, Diversity and Inclusion, London: Thomson.

Deresky, H (2002), International Management. Managing across Borders and Cultures, London: Prentice Hall.

Dowling, P.J. and Welch, D.E. (2008), International Human Resources Management: Managing People in a Multinational Context, 5th ed. London: Thomas Learning.

Healey, F. (2008), Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Class: The Sociology of Group Conflict and Change. New York: Sage Publications.

Holbeche, L (1999), Aligning Human Resources and Business Strategy, Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann.

Holden, N.J (2002), Cross-Cultural Management. A Knowledge Management Perspective, London: Prentice Hall.

Jeannet, J.P (2000), Managing with a Global Mindset, London: Prentice Hall.

Kirton, G and Greene, A. (2000), the Dynamics of Managing Diversity, Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann.

Leitner, K. (2008,), Cultural diversity: Making staff differences work. NZ Business, 22(4), 16-17.

Lewis, R D (1999), When Cultures Collide – Managing Successfully Across Cultures, London, UK: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

Marx, E (1999), Breaking Through Culture Shock, London, UK: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

Mathis, R.L and Jackson, H.J. 2008. Human Resource Management. 12th ed. USA: Cengage learning.

Reynolds, S and Valentine, D (2004), Guide to Cross-Cultural Communication,2nd ed, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Roberts, G. 1997. Recruitment and Selection: A Competency Approach. Britain: CIPD publishing.

Schneider; S.C & Barsoux, J (2003), Managing Across Cultures, London: Prentice Hall.

Warner, M & Joynt, P (Eds) (2002), Managing across Cultures: Issues and Perspectives, 2nd Ed, London: Thomson Learning.

Wetherell, M. (2008), Identity, Ethnicity, Diversity and Community Cohesion. New York: Sage Publications.