Monday, 24 september 2018 | Redacción CEU
Globalization has opened up new business opportunities abroad. As part of a growth strategy, an increasing number of companies have opted to embrace new markets outside their borders. This international expansion is set against a backdrop of constant change, exponential technological development, and a business world which is becoming more and more complex and uncertain. Managing human capital will be a crucial element for these companies to achieve success in their international project. What is the core idea underlying the internationalization of Human Resources? What hurdles do they have to cope with regarding their talent?
There are two variables that are usually present in most processes of contemporary internationalization, and that should be added to this complex and changeable scenario: speed of execution and an increase in business competition. Undertaking a process of internationalization entails a decision that calls for planning, reflection and analysis. Nevertheless, the dynamics of the of the current business world does not support this rhythm: times are reduced, and urgency becomes the norm. On the other hand, the number of companies that decide to bet on this kind of alternatives for horizontal growth is increasing, in a nutshell, competition increases. Against this confusing and hectic background, there is a factor which may prove decisive for the success of the company: sound management of human capital.
Four keys to the internationalization of Human Resources
Drawing up a plan for international expansion that could enable companies to compete in new markets should not be taken lightly. Several aspects must be taken into consideration by managers in their strategic plans. Furthermore, in a VUCA environment like the one we are living in, problems adopt different disguises and behavioral patterns, and thus stand in the way of this mission.
Human capital in an organization can serve as a central supporting point in expanding internationally, and it can even constitute a major competitive advantage over the rest of the brands that are also settling abroad. Undervaluing the importance of human capital is precisely one of the most frequent mistakes when companies go global.
For the purpose of facilitating the tough task taken on by leaders who decide to take part of their business abroad, we provide below a series of core ideas concerning the management of talent and the internationalization of companies:
A carefully designed Mobility Scheme
When it comes to selecting the professionals who will deal with a new destination, it is important to bear in mind and analyze the main points of conflict: the problems related to change of residence, adapting workers to a culture which is different to their own, the lack of experience in situ, the technical difficulties they may come across, the uncertain working future, etc. The professionals who are selected are expected to have soft skills which adapt to these new jobs (flexibility, empathy, ability to adapt…). If they lack these skills, the project may be affected by it.
Additionally, organizations must pay more attention to the full protection of their workers, for instance: by providing information about the destination country, facilitating advice upon arrival, offering assistance and health coverage, considering fiscal and immigration issues, etc. For the smooth performance of their functions it is essential for the expatriate personnel to be in agreement and to feel satisfied, as well as for their migration effort to be rewarded accordingly. This perspective cannot be approached in terms of salary exclusively. As we explained in other articles, compensation of employees should be both economic as well as emotional.