Human Resource (HR) departments have a very important role to play in the company’s global and domestic expansion. They must oversee human resources while keeping in line with the company’s strategies for global expansion. They need to balance the perspective of the company’s management together with that of the expatriates. These two perspectives will be elaborated upon in this article.
The HR department of a globalizing company should understand the company’s strategies and the types of roles required to achieve it. For example, the human resource to assign will greatly differ depending on whether the purpose of overseas assignment is simply for the transfer of skills, or for the setting up and consolidation of overseas subsidiaries.
In order to successfully and greatly contribute to global expansion, HR departments should work closely with the management to understand its strategies, so that HR departments are clear of what types of people to look out for. It is the responsibility of the HR department to select staff for overseas assignment according to the company’s management strategy, train them before sending the employees overseas, follow-up on their progress, and finally follow-up with them after they have returned.
From the perspective of the management, the HR department needs to train employees before they are transferred abroad. Aside from trainings on language, safety management, intercultural understanding and health management, it is also important to include the transfer of skills and experiences by the previous expatriate as part of the training. In addition, set aside time to acquire local personnel and to hone their labor management skills.
From the perspective of the expatriate, stress-related mental health management, , emergency procedures, taxation, social security aspects, and taking care of their family members back home is important. The expatriate should be kept up to date on the health, housing, education and mental health of their family at home so that they can feel at ease. It is also good to set up a community system for expatriates that are going to be sent overseas to contact and discuss about various issues with those that have came back from overseas assignment.
From the perspective of the company’s management, it would be good assign a returned expatriate to a department where they can fully utilize their skills and experience acquired overseas. Preparing a system with follow-ups for returned expatriates will contribute to the success of overseas assignments.
From the expatriate’s perspective, if they can work in a position that can make good use of the skills and experience they gain from overseas, it will make them feel secured and thus lead to an increase in motivation. It would be good to inform the expatriates of their new post six months before the return date to allow them to prepare for it. This also gives them time to prepare for handing over to the next expatriate, which is essential. It is important to have a system where the know-how gained can be passed on to the next expatriate.
In managing a company, globalization is one of the elements that is required for companies to survive in this competitive market. For the employee, it is an opportunity for a career move. Human Resources departments should consider the management strategy carefully and be clear on the purpose of sending staff overseas so that overseas assignments can be successful. It is important for them to select the appropriate personnel, spend time training employees before sending them overseas, provide support to them during the assignment and offer them a suitable role upon their return. With this, it can be concluded that by considering things from both the company and HR’s perspective, HR will be able to perform their important role in the company.