In the article Designing and Implementing Global Staffing Systems: Part I Leaders in Global Staffing, Wiechmann, Ryan, and Hemingway propose several components of global staffing systems and also provide us with similarities and differences among the global staffing situations at several MNC’s. They analyze six multinationals—Agilent Technologies, Dow Chemical, IBM, Motorola, Proctor and Gamble, and Shell Oil. One thing common to nearly all the companies is the use of recruitment software.
Additionally, an interview is an integral part of the hiring process. Other companies use tests as a measure of employee aptitude and one company even uses a training program to train candidates for the interview. What makes these successful is the global nature of both recruitment and hiring. Agilent uses universal questions that are asked of all candidates as part of the pre-screening process. They also post jobs internally at the same time as posting externally.
If two candidates present with the same qualifications, and one is internal, and the other external, then the internal candidate is hired. Dow Chemical uses a model that provides training for the applicants. Additionally, like Agilent, Dow uses an internal hiring practice that allows employees from all but the highest management to self-nominate for jobs within the company. Dow also uses a standardized testing procedure that requires that the test administrators receive testing prior to administering the test.
IBM uses an aptitude test to select entry level technical applicants. The test is multi-lingual, and a testing guide is created to help interpret the test results. Motorola also uses a standardized testing procedure that has been validated over 11 countries and five years. Proctor and Gamble uses a scorable application, but then also utilize an English proficiency test. Shell Oil uses an English-only approach to testing, as they use English in all their business dealings.
As noted, most of these companies do utilize an interview strategy in their hiring practices. There are similarities that have been noted in the practices of the companies in their hiring practices. The use of assessment tools and interviews in hiring is common to all the companies. In terms of differences, the use of English-only tests as indicated by Shell Oil show that some companies are interested in maintaining a global language for business. Others give their assessments in the native language.
Additionally, the use of employee recruitment software is sporadic, but used within the constraints of the company. What can be learned from this? We can learn that MNC’s learn about employees not just through the traditional face to face interview, but through assessment tools that are objective and adjusted for the cultural norms of the society in which they are administered. We can also learn that companies exhibit due diligence when they hire, and to that end they tend to get a better quality of hire and that improves the overall efficacy of the company.