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HR Magazine, December 2004 - Perfect Strangers

HR Magazine, December 2004

December 2004

Vol. 49, No. 12

Perfect Strangers

Tools for Success

By DeeDee Doke

Feature article : Perfect Strangers

December 2004 HR Magazine

"HR truly has to partner with its company's operations people on international assignments," says Barry Kozloff, president of Selection Research International in St. Louis. "This is a necessary step of managing cost and risk for the company."

Other experts offer the following guidelines to ensure that the experience is successful-for the expatriate and for the organization:

  • Consider international assignments an essential element of organizational development, as opposed to simply career development.

  • Analyze the job that needs to be done abroad, and the skill sets and strengths required to fill the position's needs.

  • Look at the current organizational climate: Is this a merger/acquisition situation, for instance, or is a new product being launched? How are the needs of the open position linked to that climate? What impact does the climate have on the position?

  • Consider the business climate of the overseas location as well as the living conditions.

  • Interview candidates and their families to ensure that they can adapt to the conditions of the assignment.

  • Provide the expatriate with a mentor or buddy with experience in the host country.

  • Watch for signs of intercultural conflicts and be prepared to address them, for example, by initiating forums and discussions.

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