The Challenges of Onboarding International Executives

Standardization of human resources practices is a key challenge for international executives during onboarding. The current COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit, and other global seismic disruptions have caused organizations and human resources experts to rethink all elements of human resources. The global shortage of qualified personnel is another issue for recruiters, as companies strive to find candidates with the necessary experience to meet the changing demands of the labor market. McKinsey's recent global survey of the future needs of the workforce revealed that 43% of companies currently have skills gaps, and data analysis is considered to be the business area that needs the most attention to address potential skill gaps.

Allianz Global has published a report on an INSEAD study that indicates that failure rates range from 10 to 50%, and that expatriates sent to emerging economies have higher failure rates than those who move to developed countries. Managing human resources is always a challenge, and adding an international level only increases the complexity of operations, from maintaining compliance with legislation to overcoming cultural barriers typical of a diverse team. It's critical to be informed about the challenges of managing a global workforce before hiring international staff for the first time. One of the most common onboarding challenges is lack of preparation, which can lead to confusion, frustration, and waste of time. To avoid this, organizations should plan ahead and create a clear and comprehensive onboarding checklist that covers all essential tasks and activities, such as paperwork, orientation, training, equipment, access, feedback, and objectives.

Assigning an onboarding manager or a specialized friend who can guide and support the new employee throughout the process and answer any questions they may have is also important. Implementing an agile set of human resources technology ensures business continuity and allows staff to effectively communicate and collaborate across time zones and distances. Communication technology such as Zoom, Teams, Slack, email, a project management system, payroll solutions, and a human resources platform can save time, automate repetitive human resources processes, and boost retention with personalized experiences for employees around the world. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), employee turnover can reach 50% in the first four months for hourly workers and 50% in the first 18 months for high-level external employees. Therefore, international human resource managers must work with senior managers to define the organization's code of ethics and consider how to promote consistent standards of behavior in international offices, regardless of different laws. The online master's degree in international human resource management from Manchester Metropolitan University has been designed to provide human resource professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to face the contemporary challenges of international human resource management and manage a global workforce.

Damian Clarke
Damian Clarke

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