Hiring Challenges in Multinational Companies

Whether your goal is to onboard international remote workers or add personnel in specific foreign territories, you need to perform relevant outreach. While job sites like Indeed or Monster have an international presence, this is something of a broad method. Posting vacancies to job boards is just one tactic in recruitment, and without nuance, you will attract unrefined candidates. Summarizing global business taxation in a few paragraphs is impossible, but knowing global compliance tax challenges to watch for as you grow is a little more workable. MNCs should be aware of the possible challenges as they internationalise and should equally be aware that though they may build a synergy (a blend of workable headquarters and subsidiary HRM), the final product will continue to favour headquarters’ HRM policies and practices.

The development of work-life initiatives can be traced to the entry of women and particularly mothers into the workforce and professional careers in developed nations, such as the US (Moen & Roehling, 2005; Williams, 1999); work-life initiatives facilitated the retention of these women. Internationally, with the exception of Africa, it is also true that women’s labor force participation grew faster than men’s in recent decades (Lim, 2002). However, rates of women’s labor force participation vary substantially across individual nations, altering the context for MNE work-life initiatives across nations. HR platforms, such as PeopleSpheres, can boost communication, collaboration, and self-reliance amongst international teams. With this new human resources management, you can consolidate your data into one platform to optimize your time and eliminate data re-entry. From payroll to the simplification of the hiring process, you can add your information to the cloud, get rid of all HR-related paperwork and all HR processes that are redundant.

  1. The nonprofit Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) recently placed the United States highly on their workplace equality study, but not quite at the top.
  2. Just as you need to take great care and attention to determining legislation in a new area of business, you should also determine what kind of compliance software is available there, and if it’s compatible with international business heading towards the U.S. (most are).
  3. He saw in me a potential to manage the Talent of the company, and to help them to learn and grow.
  4. Some, for example, are shaped by the ways employees in different locations can expect the office to function.

Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, engage, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce. Oyster lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expense. Both formats offer their own set of benefits and challenges, so companies may also consider implementing a hybrid model. Offering different methods of training can cater to a diverse range of learning styles. Regardless, training programs should be interactive and engaging to be the most effective.

What made you interested in taking a Human Resources role? Do you enjoy the position?

Lack of awareness can damage your organization’s reputation and relations overseas, so it is imperative to train all employees on international business ethics. Your organization should strive to dedicate time to team building, host annual events for teams to meet, encourage participation, and listen to the needs of your employees. Remember who is the base of your business, respect and treat employees hr challenges in multinational companies well and they will do the same to your organization and its clients. Managing domestic teams can already be difficult but adding the challenge of time zones and cultural differences can make an unprepared team unable to thrive. This can lead to an increase in turnover rate and inconsistent employer branding which will hurt your organization in the long run and decrease talent acquisition.

“The challenges and accountability that come from setting (and revising) one’s own goals are an integral part of inclusion work,” she said. Managing these very different — and often unwritten and unspoken — expectations and codes of behavior is where it pays for global HR departments to be proactive. Laying the foundation for cross-cultural understanding can be immensely useful for a diverse workforce in keeping teams working together smoothly. If compliance is the only box you have checked in your business plan to expand internationally, it’s probably not quite time to do so. However, understanding compliance relative to global expansion is a necessity that can save your company considerable time and money.

This logic suggests that substantive tensions will arise in MNEs attempting to implement global work-life programs. For example, work-life balance remains an unfamiliar concept for HR managers in China (Xiao & Cooke, 2012), and language barriers/nuances can add to difficulties in communicating work-life policy in a global organizational structure (Van den Born & Peltokorpi, 2010). Multinational companies hire staff from different countries and even employees from the host country likely have global experience or speak multiple languages. Hiring a diverse workforce seems to be getting easier now that the world has learned (or at least, is learning) how to sucessfully work from home -wherever your home might be. However, recruiting worldwide means you need to learn how to manage diversity and inclusion in the workplace (easier said than done!).


By adopting a geographic lens to evaluate data, companies can proactively address disparities in employee training and engagement. Even in a remote work environment, many companies choose to bring team members together during retreats or conferences. Depending on the size and geographic distribution of your company, this could include everyone or be team- or region-specific. Providing the opportunity for ongoing training and skill development can increase employee retention. It can also attract top talent that are able to adapt to an evolving remote work environment. Companies need to leverage their resources and technologies to overcome time zone differences, foster relationships, and offer consistent professional development opportunities to unite their global workforce.


An organization’s ability to respond to work-family issues is also related to institutional forces that vary across nations (see Milliken, Martins, & Morgan, 1998; Wood & De Menezes, 2010), creating tensions that are unique to global work-life initiatives in MNEs. However, international human resource management departments must overcome several cultural challenges for companies to reap these benefits. HR managers must consider a company’s policies in the context of all the cultures represented by its personnel. Handling human resource management is always challenging, and adding an international layer only increases the complexity of operations—from maintaining legal compliance to navigating cultural barriers of a diverse team.

Differently, flexibility might only be made available to high-level employees or rising stars, which is a form of spatial separation which may respond to tension between strategic and operational concerns, but could cause demoralization among front-line employees. Legislative differences may in part reflect cultural differences, and those differences could similarly drive a wedge between the effectiveness of any specific work-life policy or practice across nations. As companies expand overseas, new employees will most likely be in a time zone far from yours and may communicate in another language. Both of these matters can lead to the largest HR international challenge, communication problems. As the world moves to remote work, you may not have the chance to meet your team in person for months. Some key international ethical issues to look out for may surround the topics of data, privacy, and compensation.

This is why it’s so crucial to make education about the variety of different cultural perspectives a priority. For example, technology has  accelerated the recruiting process, with candidates’ CVs readily available on the internet. This allows HR to be more of a business partner, as a lot of the time taken up with administrative tasks, has been reduced. KnowledgeCity can help your expansion two-fold, as we are a global company ourselves, and provide robust training https://adprun.net/ to other companies on topics all over the HR map, including those relative to global growth. Some areas of the globe don’t have anti-discrimination laws in place, but hiring in these areas does have the potential for backlash, especially if lower wages are also part of the conversation. Lowering your own company standards is rarely a good move from an image standpoint, and a tainted reputation can often cause even more damage than a noncompliance fine.

Multinational companies offer diverse workplaces that create the conditions for innovation and creativity. They provide employees with international work experience, opportunities, and networks that can take their career to the next level. When recruiting and trying to acquire international talent, ensure that your recruiters know how to find international candidates and the cultural awareness needed to recruit new hires with the right qualifications for years to come. This talent management, will ensure that new candidates aren’t discouraged and have a good onboarding process. Cultural differences in the workplace can refer to the ways different mindsets, beliefs, and values inform the way members of a given region, nationality, or group approach work, their workplaces, and often, the ways in which they relate to their colleagues.

Different cultural perspectives can also make it harder to build a set of shared norms and values. In this article, you’ll learn about the top challenges that international human resource managers can expect and the best strategies to address them. In terms of limitations, it is possible that I have overstated the value of the tensions approach. Perhaps most obviously, efforts to search for broad principles (RQ1) could result in overly amorphous, ambiguous and perhaps even operationally meaningless initiatives. Finally, it is debatable whether a tensions approach is necessary to believe that monitoring of global work-life program effectiveness is valuable (RQ4), as managers may simply believe that any new practice or procedure should be monitored. There are at least two potential sources of bias which may relate to both managers and researchers from Western cultures.

Martin, Gollan, and Grigg (2011) provide an example of how these tensions intersect in the context of employer branding of MNEs. They argue that branding creates an inherent tension between differentiating the organization and making it fit in or be similar to others. That is, even if local input is valuable in terms of addressing the tension between centralization and decentralization, there remains a tension between contextual/institutional factors and organizational factors. One of the most well-documented issues for MNEs is the tensions caused by the degrees of centralization and decentralization of decision making that result from managing employees across multiple geographic locations (Brewster, Sparrow, & Harris, 2005; Lucio, 2008). Dowling (2009) observed that 20 years ago most MNEs ran their headquarters’ HR as silos with little day to day oversight of workplace level HR. The focus of national/regional HR is often to generate routine employment contracts and policies, whereas headquarters’ HR will often transmit a whole new layer of global HR initiatives to national/regional HR and employees worldwide.

One source may emerge in cases where Western notions of progress yield an inaccurate projection of future cultural movement in non-Western societies such that temporal separation may seem reasonable when in fact spatial separation is more appropriate. Another potential source of bias lies in the possibility that some readers, perhaps including some managers, will tend to respond most favorably to the synthesis strategy. In Poole and Van de Ven’s (1989) article, synthesis is presented last, and arguably includes some of the most innovative and interesting practices, which involve “new concepts or a new perspective” (p. 567).

Culture and Values

The paper uses the dilemma theory (involving two opposing values which doing one without the other creates a disadvantage but both cannot be done together) as the main analytical tool and reviews scholarly literature on MNCs’ HRM transfers for the assessment of the transfer challenges. Whether you stumbled across an amazing developer based in Argentina, or you’ve had your eyes set on building a fully distributed team all along, Oyster makes it easy to go global your way. During the first few weeks, companies should make sure all new hires are aligned on the company’s values, vision, and goals. One of the top perks employees go after is the chance to keep growing in their role, both professionally and personally. It is hard to determine what your employees will appreciate and how to pitch what you think is valuable.

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