Businesses failing to implement successful cross cultural recruitment programmes

Two thirds of HR professionals think that assessment is integral to the international recruitment process, yet under a fifth (19%) have adopted a multilingual approach to candidate testing and recruitment, according to research by HR Group Penna.   

The research also found that 71% of companies had difficulty implementing a standardised international recruitment and retention strategy – raising real concerns as today’s increasingly global marketplace means employees move between regions more frequently than ever. 

Diana Haddad is Managing Director of Penna International Operations:

“Businesses undertaking cross-border recruitment projects need to ensure that they have processes in place which account for the various lingual and cultural differences between the regions in which they are hiring – otherwise they are at real risk of eliminating top talent from joining their organisations. 

“It is also key to assess international candidate profiles for those capable of adapting both to the local country or region, and the culture of the hiring country.

”To ensure that cross-border recruitment is as seamless as possible, organisations should choose a recruitment partner who can manage their whole international recruitment strategy, whilst at the same time taking a country by country approach incorporating local knowledge and local consultants.”    

Penna’s research also highlighted that 80% of organisations experience issues arising from the different leadership styles often found across regions and cultures, and 33% find it difficult to benchmark candidates from different countries.

This could be due to the lack of a common baseline from which to assess candidates against.   

Adequate candidate assessment can help to identify these styles at the recruitment stage, further highlighting the importance of a robust multilingual assessment programme.  

“Penna provided a consultative approach to executive recruitment, supporting us across Europe with a passionate multicultural team. They successfully captured both local and international specifications in all our countries,” commented Rafael Cabrera, Country Manager, Swedish Orphan International, Spain.

Penna worked with Swedish Orphan which specialises in the development, marketing and distribution of products to treat rare or life-threatening diseases, to recruit a number of senior managers key in developing its business across Europe. 

This research was conducted at the Penna sponsored Strategic HR Network event on Developing and Implementing Effective International HR Strategies in November 2007.

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