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Checkpoint: International Staffing

When a company expands globally, it is generally the responsibility of the HR managers to ensure that operations are staffed. International staffing has many unique challenges. Among these challenges are cultural differences, which are inherent in global business as well as the geographical obstacles of home office and remote locations being in different countries.

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Cultural differences such as religion, customs, language, etc. can be very challenging. More factors have to be considered when selecting host country nationals.

Most host country nationals are already familiar with the culture of the host country but might still need training. In the case of the home country and third country nationals more training would be needed, for example new language(s) to be learnt, communication skills, knowledge of and tolerance and respect for religion, customs, rituals, etc. of host country. Cultural differences can prove to be very difficult to overcome. When recruiting internationally, HR departments must be particularly responsive to the cultural and other environments both domestically and abroad.

Managing operations and people in many different countries is also challenging to global companies. A global company can send home country nationals to staff its international operations, which means relocation of these home country nationals to foreign countries known or unknown. The company has to keep track of the whereabouts and safety of these employees and even their families who might have relocated with them. Sending home country expatriates to establish activities, particularly in less developed countries and to work with local governments is generally very expensive.

Challenges also have to be met when hiring third country nationals who are natives of a country other than the home country or the host country. These employees also have to relocate and accommodation(s) must be provided for them. There are laws and regulations, which have to be adhered to when employing them. Reference Bohlander, G. W. & Snell, S. A (2007). Managing human resources (14th ed. ). Florence, KY: Thompson Leaning Higher Education.