International Assignments

International Assignments

1. Determine four to six (4-6) components that the pre-departure training will need to cover. Provide a rationale for the use of using the training components in question.
The four components that pre-departure training will need to cover are cultural awareness training, preliminary visits, language instruction, and assistance with practical, day to day matters. A well-designed cultural awareness training program seeks to foster an appreciation of the host country’s culture so that expatriates can behave accordingly, or at least develop appropriate coping patterns. A preliminary trip to the host country provides a preview to assess their suitability for and interest in the assignment and country. It helps to encourage more informed external stakeholders as well as host-country nationals.

Language skills are a critical component in assignment performance and a gauge on ability to adapt and perform on assignment. Hiring of language competent staff to increase the “language pool” and up-to-date information on language skills is important and critical. Practical assistance helps provide guidance and assistance with relocation to the host country. Having one fend for themselves in a new country can result in a negative response towards the host country so any assistance from relocation specialists is of value to the candidate/employee (Dowling & Festing, 2009). 2. Propose three (3) criteria that management will use to assess the performance of expatriates working abroad. Support your proposal with examples of the fundamental ways in which these performance requirements have improved performance.

An assessment of an expatriate employee’s performance is critical to the success of an international assignment. Issues such as the criteria and timing of performance reviews, raises, and bonuses should be discussed and agreed on before the employees are selected and placed on international assignments. Each international office should use a different appraisal system. Employers should not use a performance appraisal system that was used for domestic employees and try to modify it for use with expatriate employees because many variables need to be understood and taken into consideration.

Performance criteria and goals are best established by combining the values and norms of each local environment with the home-office’s performance standards. An individual country profile should be developed and should take into account the foreign subsidiary’s environment. This profile should be used to review any factors that may have an effect on the expatriate employee’s performance. Such factors include language, culture, politics, labor relations, economy, government, control, and communication. 3. Recommend the recruiting and selection strategy that you believe your firm should use when offering international assignments. Provide a rationale for your recommendation.

International assignments, or the act of sending employees to different countries on project assignments, are a growing trend. Because international assignments are typically very expensive, failure can have big impacts on the business. It is imperative to hire more reliable and effective international assignees. The following are criteria that should be used to select the appropriate candidate: 1-Use of a selection panel which consists of a manager from the function being recruited for, staff who have detailed knowledge of living working and conducting business in the intended assignment destination, HR staff from home and host country and international HR. 2- Choose candidates that have successfully completed similar international assignments. Candidates should have previously succeeded in the target country or in a similar culture setting.

Consideration should also be taken for those who have studied abroad or performed some other role in the country. 3-Prioritize candidates who are fluent in the language of the assignment destination. 4- Use of intercultural adaptability assessment tools potential of candidates to innovate, lead, manage, collaborate and socialize in different cultures. 5- Candidates should be provided with a realistic job assignment preview so that they know both the good and bad aspects of the assignment. 6- Allow candidates a reconnaissance trip after an offer has been made so that they see if they are a good match for the work and life in the host country, pending budget plans. If these criteria are taken into consideration, then the assignment has a greater chance of succeeding (Ladimeji, 2012). 4. Compare and contrast two (2) staffing alternatives for foreign operations at your multinational firm. Select the staffing alternative that you believe to be the best fit for your scenario and provide a rationale for your selection.

Two staffing alternatives are ethnocentric and polycentric staffing approach. The ethnocentric staffing approach involves the Parent-country nationals, or people from the home country of the corporation who are employed to fill key managerial positions because they are familiar with the goals, policies and procedures, technology and products of the parent company. They are in a much better position to report to the company, especially where there is an inadequacy of managerial skills at the local level. It is the preferred method with a centralized approach to globalization. The second approach is the polycentric and uses HCNs to fill key positions. This is more effective when a company wants to act “local.” It is also usually less expensive to hire locals, however, there could be difficulty in the areas of coordinating goals between the main and regional offices. 5. Analyze the importance of providing a high-quality mentoring system for international assignees. Provide one (1) example of a high-quality mentoring system for international assignees to support your analysis.

A successful mentoring system can only succeed if the following are taken: Commitment from senior management, creation of a program that has some flexibility and not too much formality, training for mentors that helps them to support rather than teach assignees, understanding that mentoring needs to fit in with senior employees’ heavy workloads. Just like any job, there needs to be guidance and instruction and a good mentorship will aid the candidate in their international assignment (Cowell, 2004). 6. Suggest the manner in which you plan to measure return on investment (ROI) for international assignments. Provide a rationale for your decision.

The best evaluation for ROI investment assignments is to set expectations for several baseline competencies that will be gained from the international experience. The creation of new networks in the host countries as well as new hires or development of intercultural skills.


Cowell, P (2004, November 8). Mentoring: a step towards successful repatriationRetrieved August 15, 2014.–10573.html Dowling, P. & Festing, M. (2009). International human resource management: Managing people
in a multinational context (5th ed.). Mason, OH: Thomson/South-Western. Ladimeji, K. (2012, August 31). How To Pick the Right People for International Assignments. Retrieved August 15, 2014. Major Alternative Staffing Approaches for international operations. (2004, July 19). In Retrieved 15 August, 2014, from

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