Wednesday, April 15, 2009

International Staffing Decision

Human resource planning having been done, the international human resource manager must proceed with the job of hiring the right number of people of the right type.
The international human resource manager must not only select people with skills, but also employees who can jell with the organisation's culture. ;so it wants to hire employees whose styles, beliefs, and value systems are consistent with those of the firm.

Approaches of Staffing

International businesses are said to adopt three approaches to staffing:
(1) Ethnocentric,
(2) Polycentric, and
(3) Geocentric.

Ethnocentric Approach In this approach, all key management positions are held by parent-country nationals. This strategy may be appropriate during the early phases of international business, because fums at that stage are concerned with transplanting a part of the business that has worked in their home country.

This practice was widespread at one time. Firms such as P & G, Philips NY, and Matsushita originally followed the ethnocentric approach.

Reasons :
• Perceived lack of qualified host country nationals;
• Understanding that a united corporate culture can be maintained; and
• Need to maintain good communication, coordination, and control links with headquarters.


• Denial of promotional opportunities to host-country nationals, leading to reduced productivity and increased turnover.
• The adaptation of expatriate managers to host countries takes a long time during which home-country nationals make poor decisions and commit mistakes.
• For many expatriates a key international posting means new status, authority, and increased standard of living. The changes may affect expatriates' sensitivity to the needs and expectations of their host country subordinates.

Polycentric Approach
The polycentric staffing policy requires host-country nationals to be hired to
manage subsidiaries, while parent-country nationals occupy key positions at corporate headquarters. Although top management positions are filled by home-country personnel, this is not always the case.
For example, many US MNCs use home-country managers to get the operations started, then hand it over to the host-country managers. Hindustan Lever Ltd, (HLL), the Indian subsidiary of Unilever, has locals as its chiefs.

The Geocentric Approach This staffing philosophy seeks the best people for key jobs throughout the organisation, regardless of nationality. Seeking the best person for the job, irrespective of nationally is most consistent with the underlying philosophy of a global corporation.
Colgate Palmolive is an example of a company that follows the geocentric approach. It has been operating internationally for more than 50 years, and its products are household names in more than 170 countries. 60 per cent of the company's expatriates are from countries other than the US. All the top executives speak atleast two languages, and important meetings routinely take place all over the globe.

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