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Global HRM at Colgate-Palmolive Co.

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Colgate-Palmolive is a $6 billion a year personal products giant which earns two-thirds of its revenues outside the United States. In the early 1980’s Colgate realized that if it were to be successful in the rapidly changing international business environment, it would have to develop a more transnational orientation. Colgate wanted to become transnational and develop an international cadre of executive managers. In 1987, the Human Resources Division had to develop a plan to recruit college graduates and put them through an intensive international training program. The typical recruit holds an MBA from a United States university, speaks at least one foreign language, has lived outside the US, and has strong computer skills with business experience.

Training Program

As part of Colgate’s global team, one can experience:

路Global career opportunities

路Personal and professional growth

路Challenging and exciting work

路Being a part of a dedicated and innovative team

路Outstanding rewards and recognition

Colgate provides challenging and rewarding careers for those interested in a truly global opportunity. The company seeks for people who:

路Are team players

路Have the drive and determination to achieve aggressive business objectives

路Have the ability to motivate, develop, and empower others

路Respect all people and value their differences

路Want to surround themselves with top quality people

路Would like to share in our success

路Want to be part of the best truly global consumer products company

The recruits spend 24 months in a US program, learning global business development secrets of Colgate toothpaste, compiling a guide for introducing a new product or revamping an existing one in various national markets. They also receive additional language instruction and take international business trips. As soon as the program is completed, participants become associate program managers in the United States or abroad. Unlike most US companies, Colgate does not send foreign-born trainees to their native countries for their initial jobs.

Improving Economic Performance

The international training program can improve its economic performance by minimizing the amount of time spent on each trainee; make the program an 18 months program versus 24 months. With these economic times, the company can save money by not offering such a generous compensation package and instead offer some incentives for completing the program, such as a new car, or an all expense paid vacation. This way, the company will spend some money in the beginning, and will ultimately come out ahead due to the long-term range of saved compensation and benefits.

Potential Problems

As with any global company, there are problems and risks involved when it comes to Human Resource management. Colgate is more likely to send a French national to the United States, a US national will be sent to Germany, and a聽British national will go to Spain. These managers are offered the same expatriate compensation packages the Americans receive even though some are sent to their own countries. The extra pay has created resentment among locally hired managers because the position is initially the same but the compensation is not.

Colgate Training Program Today

Colgate-Palmolive’s Global Marketing Development Program is approximately fifteen to eighteen months in duration. It is designed to develop the talents of global marketing professionals who have a strong commitment to an international career abroad. Recruits will begin the rotation in US sales, followed by rotations in Product Management, Global Business Development and in an International Division overseas. They will also learn about market research, technology, advertising, and finance. Subsequent assignments will include managing a portion of Colgate’s business with broad responsibilities designed to develop general management skills.

The first assignments will generally last between two and four years. Then, they rotate assignments around the Colgate world — enhancing all skills and competencies and bringing added value to Colgate’s global organization.

Training Program Requirements

There’s a truly exciting global career waiting at Colgate. If the person:

路Have earned an MBA in Marketing or Management

路Possess prior experience in marketing

路Are fluent in a foreign language

路Have substantial experience living in a foreign culture.

Although the training program is still based on the same concepts and聽training, the program has become shorter than 24 months. The recruits are now on a rotation so that they may learn a variety of skills to become better project managers for the company. Colgate-Palmolive has a great way of recruiting individuals, by attending Universities and offering summer internships it has become one of the best companies to work for both within the US and overseas.

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