As assistant director of HR for Interpol, you might imagine that Jean-Francois Gadeceau is in charge of trench-coated detectives lurking in dark alleys around the world as they attempt to track down criminal masterminds and their minions. But that's not exactly the case.
Most of the 500 people who work for Interpol - the world's largest international police organisation, whose mission is to prevent or combat international crime - are based at its General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France, with another 50 staff based at its five regional bureaus in Harare (Zimbabwe), Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Nairobi (Kenya), Buenos Aires (Argentina) and San Salvador (El Salvador), plus a liaison office in Bangkok (Thailand).
In addition, Interpol has 182 member countries and each has a National Central Bureau with its own staff of national law enforcement officials.
Interpol employees come from 72 different countries, and therein lies the greatest challenge for Gadeceau and his 12-strong HR team - communication.
"In some countries you have to be explicit. In other cultures people understand each other with fewer words," he explained.
The organisation has four official languages: English, French, Spanish and Arabic. However, all are expected to be able to work in English, although the levels of English vary.
"This creates difficulties in meetings," said Gadeceau. "With some cultures it's not easy to ensure that everyone fully agrees to a proposition. They may agree for appearance sake to be polite. We must pay attention to details to see their true position."
Interpol, which operates around the clock, 365 days a year, facilitates cross-border police co-operation by providing member countries with a network to exchange and store data and information on police matters, including access to its criminal database. One third of those working in Lyon are police officers from around the world, while the other two-thirds are employed in support services, such as IT, translation, secretarial, administrative, financial and legal areas.
As HR chief, Gadeceau, 45, who has been with Interpol since 1999, is especially concerned with recruitment.
"Our job market is the world," he said. "We get applicants from everywhere and we are very happy when we can select a candidate from a country not yet represented in our staff." In the past year the number of nationalities represented increased from 68 to 72, and Gadeceau sees the trend