Operating human resources across geographic and cultural boundaries can often prove difficult for small-business owners and managers. Nonetheless, with the widespread use of technology, the ability to communicate with anyone around the world and access to new and varied markets, international HR issues are important to grasp.
Compliance and International HRM Issues
As businesses begin to expand into the global marketplace or as they hire employees from diverse geographic and cultural backgrounds, they may have to adapt to new labor laws and tax liabilities. Doing business in Europe, for example, will require the business to pay value added tax. Hiring employees who are non-naturalized US citizens might require HR to apply for work visas and report economic data to the federal government. Compliance with international law can be an issue for the under-educated business owner or HR manager, because these laws tend to be complex and sometimes difficult to implement. Keeping well-informed of the legal requirements for the business’s operations can help alleviate some of this complexity and lessen the chances of landing in legal trouble.
Scope of Human Resource Management
With an increasing number of busineses operating on an international scale, the impact of globalization on hr can be tricky to navigate. Globalization means various laws, cultures and norms have to be taken into consideration when onboarding and crafting HR regulations. Some countries are more forward thinking where gender is concerned than others, and this distinction can lead to misunderstandings or worse, the loss of key personnel. It really would not be that hard to have a male manager handle the day-to-day operations in an area where female managers are frowned upon, just in case. Understanding the mechanism that makes each culture tick and implementing as little or as much needed so create balance is something to strive for.
Cultural Diversity and Global HR Issues
A salient issue in international HR is understanding and maintaining cultural diversity. Working with people from different locations or from different cultural backgrounds mean adapting the business’s work style to new ideas, new ways of communicating and unfamiliar social practices. If you hire an employee from England, for example, the employee might have different ideas about how to manage employees or on how to run technology processes based on her experiences back home. Being open to new work styles and cultural differences is the hallmark of cultural diversity in HR.
Benefits and Compensation
Benefits and compensation are the backbone of any HR strategy, but in international HR, benefits and compensation are even more important in focusing on the work-life balance of employees. The idea behind work-life balance is to provide employees with programs and initiatives that improve both their personal and professional lives. This is considered part of international HR, because many multinational companies have already implemented programs such as flexible working time, paternity leave, extended holidays and on-site childcare. In fact, many nations around the world, including much of Europe, mandate these programs by law. Implementing them on the local scale is one of the challenges and, ultimately, rewards of international HR.
Training and Development
Related to the idea of benefits and compensation in international HR are training and professional development programs. Training programs typically encompass in-house seminars and meetings designed to give employees on-the-job knowledge of skills that are important to doing business globally. HR might offer language classes, for example. Professional development encompasses the “extra” training that HR provides to its employees, such as allowing them to attend networking events and conferences, global training seminars and other specific competency-based programs. Professional development helps employees to hone their skills in global marketing, international business development and finance trends.