Globalization has influenced business so much that even small businesses have global concerns. Businesses can exploit markets worldwide fairly easily in terms of marketing, but the human resources they need on the ground in various countries can present challenges. The human resources department must learn to recruit and retain talent on a global scale. This presents a number of new challenges.

Supply and Demand

When viewed from a global perspective, the demand for employees exceeds the supply. This can be especially true for highly skilled jobs, or positions that require specialized knowledge. HR must not only find qualified candidates, it must find them in locales across the globe. If your company has a need for a specific type of employee that you are used to finding locally, you may be surprised that such employees don’t exist in remote locations where you need them. Your HR department must devise strategies to relocate or train employees to suit company needs.


HR may have to persuade employees to work abroad for extended periods. That means HR must provide for housing, orientation to new customs and even new language skills. HR also must be prepared to provide such services to entire families, because employees with families cannot be expected to spend extensive time abroad without their spouses and children.


Though the Internet has made global communication simpler, time zones have not. HR must devise ways to communicate vital information in a timely manner, without expecting remote employees to be available at odd times, such as midnight or the early morning hours. HR departments can meet this challenge by limiting same-time communication to emergencies only, and setting up email alerts that arrive at the beginning of the remote employee’s work day.


HR must devise ways to deliver training to employees abroad who cannot attend live sessions in the company’s home country. Solutions may include self-paced training, virtual training that is live but conducted through Internet connections, and teleconferences. If the nature of the training is such that personal contact is essential, HR must find ways to either send trainers abroad or bring remote employees to the home country temporarily.