Global Differences and Similarities in HR Practices

Human resources management practices tend to differ from country to country. One long term study helps to illustrate this. Beginning in the 1990s human resources management scholars from 13 countries and regions used the Best international Human Resources management practices surveys to assess human resource management practices around the world , the results provide a snapshot of the differences and similarities in a wide range of countries. We’ll look at some of the next:

Personnel Selection Procedures:

Employers around the world tend to use similar criteria and methods for selecting employees. As in the United States, employers around the world usually rank personal interviews. The person’s ability to perform the technical requirements of the job and proven work experiences in a similar job at or near the top of the criteria or methods they use. The top rankings were the same or similar in the United States. Australia and Latin America for instance, cultural differences did have some impact across countries; however in Mexico having the right connections was a top consideration for being hired. Employee tests were one of the three top selection practices the People’s Republic of China, Indonesia and Korea but not in the United States. And the person’s ability to get along well with others already working there was one of the three personnel selection criteria in Japan and Taiwan but not in other countries.

The Purpose of the performance appraisal

There tends to be more variation in how employers in different countries use performance appraisals.

For example employers in Taiwan, the United States and Canada rank to determine pay as one of the top three reasons for appraising performance, while that purpose is of relatively little significance in Korea and Mexico .Employers in the United States , Taiwan, and Australia emphasize using the appraisal to document the employee’s performance while in Mexico and the People’s Republic of China this purpose is far down the list .To recognize the subordinate was the main purpose for appraisals in Japan and Mexico but nowhere else.

Training and Development Practices

The amount of training that a firm provides varies substantially from country to country. For example, training expenditures per employee range form a low of $241 per employee in Asia (outside Japan) to $359 in Japan and $724 in the United States. Similarly the total hours of training per eligible employees per year ranges from 26 total training hours in Asia up to just over 49 total hours of training per year in Europe.

However, when it comes to the purposes of training there are usually more similarities than differences across countries employers just above everywhere rank to improve technical abilities is the main reason for providing employees with training.

The use of pay incentives

Findings regarding the use of financial incentives were somewhat counterintuitive. Given the People’s Republic of China’s communist roots, and the traditional US emphasis on pay for performance one might have expected US managers to stress incentives more heavily than their Chinese peers. However, that was not the case. Based on this survey in terms of their use, incentives play an only moderate role in US pay packages. In the People’s Republic of China, Japan, and Taiwan incentives play a relatively important role.

Owners of small businesses are not immune to global differences lie these. The When you’re on Your Own feature illustrates this.

How to implement global HR systems

Given such cross cultural differences in human resource management practices, one could reasonably ask- Is it realistic for a company to try to institute a standardized human resource management system in all or most of its facilities around the world. ? A study suggests that the answer is yes. In brief the study‘s results show that employers may have to defer to local managers on some specific human resource management policy issues. However, in general findings also suggest that big inter-country policy differences are often not necessary or even advisable. The important thing is that the employer needs to understand how to install its preferred human resource policies a practice globally.

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