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Selecting International Assignees

Friday, June 16, 2006
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Multinational firms today compete on the effectiveness and competence of their core human talent around the world.

Increasingly, these core individuals are being required to operate effectively across a variety of national borders and in a greater number of cross-national job assignments -- filling critical staffing needs, managing key projects, working on multinational teams, transferring knowledge and corporate culture across geography, and performing many other critical tasks for their firms.

While immersed in new cultural environments, international assignees are out of their own comfort zones and are susceptible to a variety of challenges such as the inability to speak the host national language, the inability to cope with the stress of culture shock, the inability to interact effectively with host nationals, and the like.

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Past research suggests that individuals who are not predisposed or prepared to confront these challenges may perform poorly, be maladjusted, etc. This research paper examines these issues and proposes remedies and strategies HR leaders might want to consider in order to improve the likelihood of success among their organization?s expatriates.

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