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Development of a Multinational Personnel Selection System

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1. Strength and weakness Analysis (SWOT Analysis) imposed on company. 2. Long term implication do the weakness impose on the company. 3. What would be recommendation as a consultant to project team? 4. What influence do Kochi’s attitude and behavior have on the work atmosphere and coordination of his cross culture team? 5. What would you recommend to improvement of cross culture team?

1. Strength and weakness Analysis (SWOT Analysis) imposed on company.

The development of a uniform multi-national personnel selection system at ComInTec AG & Co. -the company operates in diverse cultural conditions and developing a uniform system for recruitment to key managerial positions in these locations is the challenge. SWOT:

1. Planning team has a diverse representation across cultures. 2. The team members are of very good educational backgrounds. 3. Experts from different fields like psychology, economics, etc were readily available.

1. Lack of consistent procedures which was applicable cross-nationally and cross-regionally. 2. Less support from higher management as in case of Koenig and Koch.

1. A uniform selection system may be able to simplify recruitment procedures. 2. Asian job markets were increasingly becoming familiar with European recruiting procedures, eg., the referral practice was being adopted in Asian countries also.

1. The threat of job cuts due to the transfer of the project to consultants loomed over the planning team. 2. The educational systems and social backgrounds in the different operating regions are so different that applying a uniform system may not be feasible.

Long term implication of the weakness imposed on the company In order to understand long term implications we need to see the whole scenario from political, economic, social and cultural point of view. So following is analysis emphasizing on long term implications.

Political: Political factors play a major role in any organization. In the given case, external political scenario is not particularly mentioned.

Economic: The Company had 23000 employees and made more than 5.8 billion euro in sales. The company had survived the economic downturn of 2003-2006.The company is going for its global restructuring. For that a new regional management team had to be formed. With the sales roaring the salary was decided between 40000 Euros to 150000 Euros.

Social: These factors are most important factors governing this case. The new middle management team was a cross cultural team with managers from all the continents of the world. The managers from the varied backgrounds were to be selected for representing the APAC regional managers for various departments of the company. The HR tem which was given the task of recruiting the team also belonged to different countries from German to Chinese. Koch had the responsibility of managing the idiosyncrasies of his subordinates while following the orders of Mr. Koenig.

Cultural: The recruiting team belonged to different countries as well as totally different cultures. From highly aggressive German Ms.Weitmann to quite submissive Ms. Yue Yu. Even the education backgrounds were not consistent throughout the team. Economist Andreas Mueller had a totally different view on the problem than the in house psychologist Ms. Sabine Weitmann as well as the strategic Human resource Graduate Dai Wei. The unity of the Chinese against the aggressive stubbornness of some of the German colleges created an interesting cultural mix in the recruitment team. Legal: A few years back, during the downturn the company made some staffing cutbacks. The company did not pay any termination pay to the lay off staff members. The company had a hard time managing the legal actions taken by the staff members against the company seeking claims for the damages and compensation. Koch was worried that the company might get into another legal trouble with the attitude of Mr. Koenig.

Overall implications and Critical Factors
1. Cultural Diversity across the Operating Geographies :
This factor is the most crucial element that determines the success/failure of the new recruitment system. The company operates in geographies with diverse cultural backgrounds. Hence what is regarded as desirable in one region may be condemned in the other. Hence the new system needs to address these sensitivities and failure in doing so will result in the selection of unfit individuals. 2. Adequate Cultural Representation in the Top Management :

The level of sensitivity and accommodative mentality of the top management at ComInTec can significantly determine the success of the system. How the top management weighs the suggestions coming from the different sources in the organisation will be a key factor in determining the success. How the management understands the cultural differences among the planning team itself is a crucial factor. 3. Dimensions Covered in the Recruitment Process :

This is nothing but the crux of the process itself. This determines how the challenges faced by the system are overcome by a robust recruitment process. The overall success of the recruitment procedure depends on how accommodating and efficient this process is.

What would be recommendation as a consultant to project team.

Personnel selection is the process used to hire (or, promote) individuals. Although the term can apply to all aspects of the process (recruitment, selection, hiring, acculturation, etc.) the most common meaning focuses on the selection of workers. In this respect, selected prospects are separated from rejected applicants with the intention of choosing the person who will be the most successful and make the most valuable contributions to the organization. Job performance constitutes all measurable work behaviors relevant to organizational goals and within the individual’s control. Job performance is complex, dynamic, and multidimensional, and consequently personnel selection systems might predict individual differences for several types of job performance (e.g. task proficiency and leadership behaviors). Correlations between ability, conscientiousness (predictors), individual task performance, and organizational citizenship (criteria) illustrate how validity can vary greatly depending on criterion weights.

What would you recommend to improvement of cross culture team Cross-Cultural Selection Issues
With their expanding global markets, culturally diverse work teams, and expatriate work assignments, international and multinational organizations place new demands on selection processes and measurement tools. Validities of domestic selection instruments may not generalize to international sites, because different predictor and criterion constructs may be relevant, or, if the constructs are the same, the behavioral indicators may differ. Interpersonal skill, open-mindedness, and adaptability are important factors for expatriate success, and family situation is the most commonly cited reason for failure. The vast majority of companies base their expatriate selection decisions on technical competence alone so finding a very high failure rate among expatriates is unsurprising.


Possible Solutions:
One size fit-all policy cannot be suitable for each country. Therefore, there has to be a separate recruitment policy for different geographies.

Koch should intervene with the attitude management for the German employees as it is interfering with the overall employee morale (read Chinese employees). A training program for these German employees should be held wherein they need to be educated about the overall attitude management when working with a diverse set of colleagues.

Constraints that are needed to be taken care :
Different people coming in from diverse backgrounds come with a pre-conceived notion regarding the organizational culture; hence it is very difficult to mould them together to ensure overall employee productivity. The organizational culture is highly centralized. It stifles the employee and little freedom is given to the executives to put forth their ideas and take them to the level of execution. The management at times seem to become autocratic as in the case of Koch being given strict guidelines and hence employee satisfaction goes down.

What influence do Kochi’s attitude and behavior have on the work atmosphere and coordination of his cross culture team? The owner of a company with production plants in various regions in the world wants to standardize the methods of personnel selection for the Asian-Pacific region (APAC). A new system of personnel selection has to be developed for middle management positions in APAC. The owner delegates this task to a cross-functional, multinational project team that operates in Hong Kong headed by human resources (HR) executive and expatriate from Germany. In terms of the new personnel’s election system, he has two opposing goals in mind: the new personnel selection system should be highly specific for a particular country and simultaneously valid for different countries.

A series of issues must be resolved in order for the project to be successful. Some of these issues are related to the personnel selection system; the job requirements to be assessed, the modules it must include, the stages and methods of each module and the implementation of the system across countries in APAC. Other issues are interpersonal, such as the cultural differences and the heterogeneous perspectives that exist among the team members, and a conflict between the HR executive and the owner.

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