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International Human Resource Management Policies and Practices for Multinational Enterprises”

In Briscoe, Schuler and Claus’ article “Global Talent Management and Staffing,” the author explored the key roles of IHRM in staffing. They placed particular interest in global workforce planning, recruitment and selection of international assignees.

The authors explain how global workforce planning is crucial for multinational organizations, as it helps to determine the employment needs and to come up with strategies on how to address these needs. This is particularly crucial for enterprises with global operations, which employs a diverse staff from diverse locations with diverse cultures, to recruit staff and deploy them effectively. However, global workforce planning faced some obstacles like lack of accurate data regarding the labor force in various countries. To this end, they need to acquire such information from companies with experience in the target location.

Briscoe, Schuler and Claus further point out that among the most contagious labor force issues that developed countries face is the reality of an aging population and a possible shortage in labor force in future. On the other hand, developing nations have to contend with the reality of a large yet young and inexperienced labor force. For companies that look forward to operate in emerging markets, the role of the IHRM would be to ensure that a company recruits a good local workforce by researching on the cost of local workforce, legal requirements, and local cultures. To this end, the IHRM has to serve the critical role of mitigating labor force problems for an MNE.

Briscoe, Schuler, and Claus also write about increased labor force diversity. In their view, globalization had brought about increased diversification of labor, in terms of age, cultures, marital status, sex, religion, and disability. MNEs have to cope with this trend. It has also increased the level of brain drain, which has reduced the level of experience expected from local workforce, particularly in developing economies. However, IHRM can carry out global labor force forecasts, and planning to enable effective staffing and recruiting.

Shen et al. (238) agrees that rapid globalization and internationalization has augmented the intensity of workforce diversity. According to Shen et al (237-8), workforce diversity recognizes the idea that individual employees would always differ in terms of age, gender, personality, marital status, disability, religion, culture, and social status. At the same time, country has different diversity issues, including local languages, national cultures, and economic status. Therefore, IHRM can be used to implement diversity management in order to offer a legally defensible stance against any forms of discrimination in the workplace, and to ensure faster adaptability of the workforce to new environments.

Briscoe, Schuler, and Claus also write about the aspect of Staffing in MNEs. They argue that for MNEs, staffing essentially involves recruiting at the local level both at home and abroad. For staffing purposes, MNEs may use polycentric, ethnocentric, regiocentric or geocentric staffing methods. MNEs also have to contend with the reality of expatriates and repatriates.

They comment that although many MNEs use expatriates in their international operations, several issues have come up, including mistakes in selecting the right employees for foreign operations, high cost of employing expatriates and a desire by local firms to employ local people. Hence, in using IHRM, many MNEs have considered use of local nationals, domestic internationalists, international assignees, frequent business trips, international commuters, and in some cases retirees.

According to Briscoe, Schuler and Claus, when the high costs associated with deploying or retaining remain unresolved companies may have to depend large on short-term assignments. Overall, the IHRM should serve to assist in the situation by providing the expertise and supporting the company to make sure that the diverse set of employees or global managers grow in their international competences. Companies may have to opt to developing more lead-time for managing their international assignee process by developing a pool of potential candidates. The strategies for this, as Briscoe, Schuler, and Claus suggest, may include self-identification, early assessment, cultural training, language training, and international business training.

On the other hand, selecting the right international assignees is crucial, as errors may negatively affect the success of an MNE’s international operations. Therefore, an effective job analysis is critical. Selection of the right international assigners depends on their level of maturity, knowledge of local languages and cultures and possession of desirable personal attributes, including adaptability (Briscoe, Schuler and Claus 173).

Tiwari (357) agrees that selecting the right candidate is in itself a strategy for mitigating the risks of premature turnover or return of the expatriate in addition avoiding possible complications that may arise due to misalignment with the local cultures or business situations. To this end, Tiwari (357) suggested several attributes for successful selection. These include relational dimensions, language skills, job factors, family situation, and motivational state. In Tiwari’s (357) view, the factors can help decide the suitability of an expatriate or international assignee. However, training of the international assignees is a crucial success factor for an MNE’s subsidiary. Briscoe, Schuler and Claus agree with this idea. As they discussed, the criteria for selecting international assignees include cultural adaptability, job suitability, and passion for international assignments. The selection methods for selecting international assignees include interviews, formal assignments, career planning, committee decision, and self-selection.

At any rate, an IHRM may carry out an effective recruitment exercise. However, international assignees may succeed or fail depending on factors like brownout, dropout and turnover on repatriation. Indeed, this three form the basis for failure of international assignees. Technically, successful repatriation can be defined in terms of the completed foreign assignments, ability to adjust effectively in cross-cultural settings, and effective job performance

The costly international assignee in addition to their likely failures in foreign assignments influence MNEs to consider using local managers, as they have experience in the local market. However, local managers may also lack adequate knowledge of the parent office’s organizational culture. For international assignees, it is significant that the IHR managers conform to the local cultures, as well as local immigration laws and local policies. AS found, among the issues of significant interest for MNEs in managing their international assignees is aligning them to the organizational interests, the IHRM interests and their families’ interests.

Briscoe, Schuler, and Claus conclude that effective IHRM can enable MNEs to experience greater success in their international operations.

Works Cited

Shen, Jie, Ashok Chandaa, Brian D’Nettob and Manjit Mongaa. “Managing diversity through human resource management: an international perspective and conceptual framework.» The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 20.2 (2009): 235–251

Tiwari, Neha. «Managing Human Resources in International Organizations.» Global Journal of Management and Business Studies, 3.4 (2013): 355-360