The Carnival of HR – International edition

Carnival of HRToday is a new experience for me, and to say that I am excited to host the Carnival of HR for the first time would be a massive understatement !

The Carnival gives readers a chance to read articles from many different HR writers, all put together in one post.

So when I had the opportunity to participate, I thought I’d suggest my fellow HR bloggers to submit articles on the topic of “international”, given that I am French and based in Dubai… but this theme was not mandatory, and I have received submissions on all sorts of subjects.

So without further ado, let’s go and dive in !

On the great adventure of international HR

Based on her extensive experience in international HR, my friend Jacque shares advice about the roll-out of corporate programs internationally and how applying them without modification may have unexpected effects. She looks at 2 real-life examples : stock plans in the Philippines and incentives in Japan. Don’t forget to read the comments to see examples of other challenges faced by HR folks when rolling out corporate plans internationally.

In a spirit similar to the previous article from Jacque, Chuck highlights one of the traps of “thinking US” when digging into international Compensation & Benefits matters : thinking you are being a great employer because you give “more” to local employees abroad than you would to their peers in the US (for instance, on vacation days)… while in fact you may be merely legally compliant, and in effect un-competitive with local market practice.

In this interesting article, Ian highlights that yes, there are cultural and business differences that impact the role of HR, and HR practices around the world. Yet Ian also deeply believes in our collective power of influence for the greater good – where HR practitioners, no matter what their country is, all can work towards universal principles of fairness, human rights, diversity and corporate social responsibility.

Prasad examines whether moving to international roles always makes sense in an HR career, especially as sometimes, these international positions might feel more “remote” and less able to give an opportunity to have a true impact or influence on the business.

For those who did take international roles, Dorothy examines 8 reasons why “expats talk of “re-entry shock” and feelings of reverse homesickness are very common. Re-assimilation can take anything from six months to five years depending on the length of the overseas assignment and the degree of local integration experienced  in their expat lives”. I have been an expat 6 times in my career and came back to my home country of France a few times in between assignments, and despite the experience, I did experience re-entry shock… and currently I have no plans of going back home except for well-deserved vacations.

In this short article, she lays the ground to hiring your first foreign workers into your headquarters when your company is expanding. “Importing” employees can be as tricky as “exporting” them, as any International Mobility specialist will tell you. These 4 steps will help you get a grasp of what to consider.

Here, Stuart explains how employment in Canada can be almost the same as the (in)famous “at will” approach that is so common in the USA. I loved his intro : “Try explaining the Canadian laws of dismissal to an American business person and she is likely to think we are bleeding heart socialists with ridiculously generous severance packages. (…) Conversely, business people in France and other parts of Europe may see us as near-barbaric because “You can fire someone without any good reason.”” How very true ! Culture does impact what is perceived as appropriate at work or not… including in employment conditions.

On the world of HR in general

Following an event called “Secrets of Succession” that he attended, Dan shares 6 questions that you can ask yourself to assess your succession planning process. These will be useful to identify some areas for improvement, especially if you have an already mature system in place.

Michael examines the difference between talent as we define it when hiring (people who are smart, have the right degrees, and have relevant experience) and the attributes of the most successful people : “the gritty individual stays the course” as they view achievement as a marathon not a sprint.

This is an interview with Leigh Lafever-Ayer the head of HR at Enterprise Rent-a-Car UK. The company has won awards for their diversity approaches, and currently, 43% of their hires are females – particularly impressive in a male-dominated industry. Ms Lafever-Ayer shares what makes their model so successful.

Katie also asked me to share the plans of Changeboard for their Middle East HR Magazine in 2014 and beyond, which should be especially relevant for the readers of my blog as I specialise in “Compensation & Benefits with a Middle East flair” 🙂

Nicole expands on her experience in past M&As. “One of the main problems is that merger and acquisitions are often planned and executed based on perceived cost savings or market synergies; rarely are the “people” and cultural issues considered”.

John discusses a point raised by Dr Deming in Out of the Crisis. His point was that you improve performance going forward by improving the system not blaming people. Some common sense to remember next time you have to review an HR process that “managers and employees don’t get” !

In this post about image consulting, Amit shares 5 tips from his friend Swati Marhia on how to present yourself in a better way – useful when you want your image and how people perceive you, to support your career ambitions in HR.

Naomi shares her top 10 wishes for “the intersection of HRM and IT”. Interesting : most of these wishes are actually not that technical, but more about the behaviours and ethics of the HRIS world, whether internal to corporations or that of the vendors and consultants in that arena. Naomi wants the whole food chain to grow in professionalism – and who could disagree with that ?

Alex highlights the 2 main “agile” strategies that flowed from software development to more mainstream business management : strategic planning and communications. I’d love to read a follow-up that would tie even more closely to how HR functions and improves its own methodologies !

Well, that’s it for today. I hope you enjoyed being exposed to these new voices. Hopefully you have subscribed to a few new blogs :-), and if you are a regular Carnival of HR reader, I hope you will visit my submissions in future Carnivals. The next one will take place on March 26 and will be hosted by Dorothy Dalton at Talent Management Strategy , who participated in today’s Carnival. Wishing her all the best for this interesting experience !

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  1. The HR is going through a big transition is GCC and moving towards better practices.


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