INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT Introduction Due to globalization, companies are expanding rapidly and doing business in many parts of the world. Business activities are affected by the globalization and so are the changing roles of human resource management in order to keep up with the trend. Nike, Inc is the largest seller of athletic footwear and athletic apparel in the world with its headquarters near Beaverton, Oregon in the United States of America (Nike, 2010). Its subsidiaries include; Cole Haan, Converse Inc, Hurley International LLC, Bauer Hockey and Umbro and Exeter Brands Group.
It also has contracted factories worldwide to manufacture Nike products but do not operate the factories directly rather the factories are foreign owned and operated. It has a labor force of over 30,000 employees in over 160 countries and 770, 000 workers in over 680 Nike contracted factories. Before Nike, Inc was invented, the company was known as Blue Ribbon Sports and was distributor of Japanese shoe maker. The company has thus evolved tremendously into a multinational company. Its main goal is innovation, product quality and improved labor conditions in order to increase productivity.
The conduct of supply chains is thus of great importance to the company’s success. The human resource managers are of equal importance if any achievements are to be made as human resources are the back bone of a company. Success or failure is determined by how well a company handles its workforce. The paper is a critique of international human resource management policies of a multinational company. Nature of Human Resource Management Human resource management in multinational companies is very complex. As the company diversifies, it faces global challenges such as competition from the industry players and the need for multi-cultural and cross-cultural diversity.
It therefore needs to strategically plan its activities so as to continue being the leader in the industry and for competitive advantage. The company thus needs to align its human resource functions with its strategic objectives. Besides the usual functions of staffing, performance appraisal, maintaining employee records, benefits and compensation as well as formulating personnel policies, human resource managers are currently involved in training and development of employees and formulate policies and practices in line with organization strategic goals.
They also need to acquire knowledge on international human resource issues that affect the business and advice the management accordingly (Scribd, 2008). Nike is also practicing lean manufacturing techniques which involve elimination of waste by reducing costs and capacity building (Nike, 2010). Human resource management plays a crucial role in realization of this objective. Policies developed should ensure waste is eliminated by ensuring productivity of workforce. This is achieved by ensuring labor conditions are maintained through proper wages, minimizing overtime, good working conditions, good reward systems thus worker satisfaction and consequently productivity.
Nike also ensures that the contract factories treat workers properly by enforcing a code of conduct which they follow. Human resource managers thus have knowledge of labor practices of contract factories and the labor laws of the countries where the factories are located. There used to be grievances over unfair labor practices by Asian firms but Nike has managed to weed out the vice by monitoring the factories and placing compliance specialists to ensure compliance with Nike standards (Nike, 2010). Nike also believes in cultural diversity and inclusion hence management policies designed in line with this objective.
Workers are also trained on multi-skilling as opposed to performing a single task hence the task of developing training programs for employees. Human resource managers also deal with issues concerning visas and foreign taxes and management of international assignees (Briscoe & Schuler, 2004). Nike does not operate the contract factories but places quality control staff in those factories as well as compliance staff. It controls the factories indirectly by ensuring compliance with labor standards of the country of operation.
The supply chain efficiency is thus achieved through human resource management. Recruitment and Selection International assignees play an important role in skills and knowledge transfer between the parent company and the subsidiaries. Through experience, they gain useful knowledge which can be transferred through expatriation, repatriation and inpatriation (Briscoe & Schuler, 2004). Recruitment of international assignees has a great impact on overseas operations hence should be done cautiously as a simple mistake can lead to failure. Different organization cultures are encountered hence the assignees should be prepared. Different cultures, employment laws and language are important human resource issues in recruitment.
The competencies of the assignee are also crucial as his/her skills should match job requirement. Nike engages in E-recruitment of staff (Scribd, 2010). The Active Recruiter handles the recruitment process of employees. Job request is received from employing department and discussed with central resourcing team then posted on the system and applicants invited. The recruiter also searches the database for earlier applications and interviews are scheduled. The system produces shortlist for successful candidates. Other applications are kept for future reference.
The selection of assignee is based on knowledge, skills, competencies, experience and qualification. The person should also portray good knowledge of foreign language, be emotionally stable and have desire for the assignment. The interviewees are of different cultural background and gender to enhance diversity and inclusion. Employee networks also assist in recruitment of diverse professionals. Personal characteristics as well as technical expertise determine the selection of the right person. Family issues are also of concern as the assignment involves immigration to another country. The person should be able to adapt to new environment and relate well with the natives of the country as well as the management.
Conclusion International human resource management is very complex and challenging to human resource professionals as they deal with global issues and strive to achieve company objectives. The company’s strategic plan goes hand in hand with best personnel practices which make the role of the personnel complex. Managing diverse workforce with different cultural affiliations is a task personnel officers have to cope with as the company goes global. Human resource managers are also required to acquire knowledge and skills relevant in international arena and help the management to sustain the business in different environments. References Briscoe, D & Schuler, R.
(2004) International Human Resource Management: Policy and Practice for the Global Enterprise. 2ed. London: Routledge. Scribd. (2008) “Human Resource Policies of Nike: Assignment of Human Resource Management on Human Resource (Company: Nike)”. Retrieved May 10, 2010, from http: //www. scribd. com/doc/33973637/Human-Resource-Policies-of-Nike. Nike. (2010) www. nikebiz. com