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Apple’s HR 7

Executive Summary

Businesses are facing challenging when pursuing the international markets because of human resource requirements. Apple aims to expand its market in China, but there are numerous staffing challenges. The basic considerations and strategies of HR Apple include resource allocation, tax and employment regulations, socio-cultural requirements, human resource development and Apple’s culture. In addressing the staffing requirements, Apple should integrate numerous processes including employing expatriates, locals with a concentration on knowledge transfer and appreciation of diversity. The recommendations include encouraging a learning organization, training and developing the employees and transferring the employees to appreciate the uniqueness of the working environments.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary 2

41.0 Introduction

4Basic Considerations and Strategies of HR Apple 2.0

4Resource Allocation 2.1

5Tax and Employment Regulations 2.2

5Socio-Cultural Requirements 2.3

6Apple Internal Culture 2.4

6Human Resource Development 2.5

7Staffing Strategies 3.0

7Using Recruitment Services/Organizations 3.1

7Employing Locals and Training 3.2

8“Exporting” Employees from USA to China 3.3

8Balancing “Exports” with Locals 3.4

8Conclusion 4.0

9Recommendations 5.0

9Employ both the locals and expatriates 5.1

9Employing locals and training these locals on Apple culture 5.2

9Create a learning organization 5.3


1.0 Introduction

When it comes to expansion into international markets, challenges exist including hiring new employees, especially in China where the language, regulations, and culture are different compared to the USA. Hiring the right employees and ensuring the employees understand the culture and other applicable regulations are important in the successful expansion. Apple aim to expand to China market is faced with numerous challenges, and the most evident are the human resource requirements. Most of the Apple’s retail stores in China speak Mandarin and other Chinese local dialects, which creates additional challenges for seeking the right employees. The decision to “export” employees to China is appropriate, but there are numerous problems including the compensation framework, human resource management, and addressing socioeconomic requirements and occupational health and safety of the employees. Fiscal policies and instability of regulations affect the compensation framework, which may force the Apple employees to be paid more compared with employees with similar experience and in a similar position in the USA retails. The paper discusses the basic strategies and considerations of HR Apple in expanding, staffing strategies available and recommending the appropriate staffing recommendations.

  1. Basic Considerations and Strategies of HR Apple

In understanding the requirements of HR Apple, numerous factors have to be considered. Some of the basic considerations include resource allocation, tax and employment regulations, socio-cultural requirements, Apple internal culture and human resource development.

    1. Resource Allocation

Resource allocation is an important component in considering the strategies that Apple has to implement (Lengnick-Hall et al. 2009, 66). In hiring and recruiting employees, resources have to be allocated to address Apple’s human resource requirements. It includes balancing the financial requirements, compensation aims, and choosing entities that can recruit appropriate human resource. Balancing the resources among the different departments creates additional challenges, and the balancing strategy of resources is crucial. Without balancing the resources, other areas such as recruitment can have more resources compared with research and development.

Apart from the departmental resources, the needs of the employees should be considered. For example, funding occupational health and safety is important while creating motivational modalities are also important. Hence, financing the human resource is important, but the allocation should balance with other strategic requirements of Apple.

    1. Tax and Employment Regulations

Different countries across the world have different tax and employment regulations. The tax requirements come in different forms and understanding the requirements of these taxes enable effective decision making. For example, different in income tax and VAT taxes are common and sometimes affects the employees (Chew and Christopher 2008, 517). Reviewing the numerous policies in China and understanding employment tax requirements is challenging. However, Apple cannot operate without understanding the taxes, and seeking to understand the taxes is important in determining remuneration and other employment requirements.

Employment regulations also differ. Aspects of free speech and employee care are crucial in China and also understanding the limits of employment regulations, policies and legislations are crucial (Renwick, Tom and Stuart 2013, 8). For example, the working hours and minimum pay are some issues, which should be understood. Other policies exist that dictates the treatment of employees including the conflict resolution mechanisms and employment equity and equality (Bartram and Peter 2013, 3033). Hence, Apple has to understand these different regulations and legislations in determining the internal human resource policies.

    1. Socio-Cultural Requirements

The society and cultural environment dictate the behavior of the employees, employers, and the operation requirements. The culture of Chinese in general is different from USA culture. The social-cultural behaviors, beliefs, norms and traditions differ. In employing and assigning duties, it is important for Apple to understand the challenges of societal obligations and cultural dimension (Castrogiovanni, David and Joaquín 2011, 42). For example, engaging the consumers require effective communication, and the underlying factor in communication is the language in use. The language usage also raises problems because of dialects and connotations of the language. Understanding the language requirements is important and having persons who are able to communicate in different languages is important to fulfilling the marketing obligations.

Cultural dimension when it comes to diversity and consumer behavior plays an important role in making decisions. The employees should appreciate diverse cultures and fulfill the different expectations of the customers (Farndale, Hugh and Paul 2010, 163). For example, different dialects exist, and these dialects may be linked with different cultures and behaviors. In addition, aspects of collectivism vs. individualism, and the role of society in making purchase decisions also influence the behavior of the consumers. Hence, employing and positioning individuals with credentials that understand these different requirements is important in advancing the requirements of Apple.

    1. Apple Internal Culture

The success of Apple business activities is directly linked with internal culture. Customer care and understanding the requirements of the customers is important and Apple continuous to develop models and frameworks to address these requirements of the consumers. The employment strategy should incorporate the internal culture into the operations of the employees (Kuvaas 2008, 13). The employees ought to understand the requirements of the culture of innovation and creativity. The uniqueness of product offering requires a strong culture, and the employees have to appreciate the cultural requirements and continue fulfilling its strategic obligations.

    1. Human Resource Development

Productivity and performance are important and frequent reviews, and analyzes are crucial. The human resource development strategy ought to embrace productivity and performance, which can be achieved through creating a learning organization (Tarique and Randall 2010, 125). A learning organization enables employees to embrace different views and apply the views based on the operational requirements. Such organization also continuously seeks external information and utilizes the information to improve the internal processes. It also enables transfer of knowledge and experience in which the managers lead other employees in developing unique products premised on performance and productivity (Chuang and Liao 2010, 157). This different facet that makes up a learning organization enables the employees to understand the core values and seek to improve the operational requirements. Human resource development incorporates training and development of the employees, and these requirements have to be integrated into the operational requirements of the company.

  1. Staffing Strategies

Numerous staffing strategies exist that Apple can utilize in recruiting the employees. Some of the strategies discussed include using recruitment organizations, employing locals and training these locals, “exporting” employees from the USA to China and balancing “experts” with locals.

    1. Using Recruitment Services/Organizations

Organizations and companies exist that provides staffing services. The organizations hire and recruitment the employees based on the requirements and expectations of the employers. The employer, for example, Apple, creates a guideline and requests a company to advertise, interview and engage the prospective employees. In addition, the recruitment services can poach employees from other companies, which have the credentials to fill specified opportunities (Alfes et al. 2013, 334). The appropriateness of the strategy is sourcing the staffing requirements, which increases the chances of engaging the right employees. The shortcoming is the cost and lack of understanding the underlying Apple culture.

    1. Employing Locals and Training

Another staffing strategy is targeting the individuals with appropriate credentials but lacks the culture of Apple. Apple then trains and develops these employees and positions them to the respective retail outlets (Li et al. 2008, 339). Through the process, persons who understand the Chinese culture are employed and can speak the different dialects in China. In addition, the costs of administration, salaries and other benefits are minimized because financial obligations such as allowance and hardship compensation will not exist (Birdi et al. 2008, 480). The shortcoming of the strategy is the prospective employees been unable to understand Apple’s cultural requirements and also to address customer care requirements.

    1. “Exporting” Employees from the USA to China

The strategy is taking the employees who work in the USA and allowed to work in China. Already based on the case study, around 200 employees are ready to work in China. However, the financial obligations and human resource requirements create challenges because of the costs (Buller and Glenn 2012, 51). In addition, the currency exchanges and related factors affect the final salary and benefits offered. The benefit of the strategy is an instant impact of positive customer care because the employees understand Apple’s culture (Jiang et al. 2012, 1272). Even though the employees are transferred, it becomes a challenge when it comes to social and cultural requirements. The employees may face communication challenges, and the cultural environment may negate the effectiveness of the employees. Culture shock and other problems will occur, which will also need additional human resource development to appreciate the challenges and address the challenges.

    1. Balancing “Exports” with Locals

Balancing the “experts” with the locals is bringing employees from USA, who will hold the managerial positions, and employ the locals to address the sales requirements (Kang and Scott 2009, 67). The strategy is the managerial employees train the locals on Apple’s culture and with time, the managerial positions are transferred to the locals, and the USA employees are returned to their countries. Within one year, it is possible to promote the locals to managerial levels, which would translate in reduce costs of human resource (Collings and Kamel 2009, 307). The appropriateness of the process is championing diversity and also allowing knowledge transfer.

  1. Conclusion

In conclusion, Apple is facing staffing challenges because of the different requirements of culture, internal process, and international obligations. Apple decision to take employees to China is appropriate but can be expensive in a long run while training and development of the employees is an alternative strategy. Some of the considerations include the regulatory environment, employee motivation, knowledge transfer, and diversity. The solution is creating a balanced situation in which the locals and expatriates are paired resulting in sharing of knowledge and understanding of the different cultures. In fulfilling these different processes, it is crucial to note the significance of the employees, which includes collecting the views of the employees in strategic decisions.

  1. Recommendations

    1. Employ both the locals and expatriates

The strategy is bringing the USA employees to work together with the locals and enable transfer of knowledge. With time, the local employees will understand the culture and be allowed to hold the managerial positions. The strategy is expensive to start but with time; the cost will decrease. Moreover, the trained employees can be transferred to other retail outlets, which would also enable knowledge transfer.

    1. Employing locals and training these locals on Apple culture

Another strategy is employing the locals and trains these locals on Apple culture. It may include taking the locals to the USA for a period of four or five months and trained in Apple’s culture. The strategy enables knowledge transfer and reducing the costs of transferring the employees from the USA to China because the transfer of employees from the USA to China may be a longer term strategy compared with the transfer of employees from China to the USA.

    1. Create a learning organization

Creating a learning organization enables balancing the different strategies. Employees are taken from the USA to China while others are brought from China to the USA. The employees are allowed to work for one year, and the change is done again. The employees will be able to learn and embrace diversity because of exposure to the different worlds. The internal processes and staffing requirements will also be done internal through rewarding the employees. The strategy will motivate the employees in understanding the respective obligations and expectations.


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