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1. Based on your reading of the textbook chapter what strengths and what shortcomings do you see in the newly developed multinational personnel selection system?
The newly developed multinational personnel selection system seems to be okay at first glance. It is great that the system is two-tiered, with the first tier consisting of three modules: viewing the applicants’ resume, an unstructured phone interview with the applicants, and three references from former employees. These three modules from the first tier are mostly related to background research of the applicant.
Through the application documentations of the candidates, it is possible to screen out candidates with obvious mismatches related to the job and also screen through some important aspects like past experience and related skills.
Next, by doing a phone interview, interviewers would be able to figure out some basic characteristics and impressions about the applicant.
The last procedure of the first tier, references, will be very important because it would be to best source of information about the applicant. As stated in the textbook, references can provide “(1) education and employment history, (2) character and interpersonal competence, (3) ability to perform the job, and (4) the willingness of the past or current employer to rehire the applicant.”
The second of the selection process consists of a panel interview, a biography oriented in-depth interview, a simulated group exercise, and a test. These modules will allow the interviewees to figure out competencies of the applicants and the validity of those skills and also some in-depth information. The in-depth biography oriented interview will most likely provide valid data about the candidates.
The testing procedures will the test the candidate for “general intelligence” and the “big five.” Overall, the new procedure seems like it is able to take in to account most of the information that is mentioned in the textbook. However, there still are some blind spots to be used on a global level.
To start with, the reference procedure may cause some unexpected problems. The staff members assumed that getting references from former employers and colleges would let them screen out cheaters and imposters. This may be true in western culture, however, considering Asian culture this may not be the case. As generally accepted, Asians tend to try to be in harmony with others and care a lot about what others will think about them. If this is true, there is possibility that the former employees will leave out negative remarks in the recommendation due to these reasons, especially if the applicants are able to see the references.
Next, although the biography-oriented in-depth interview will provide much important data about the applicant, the interview should be oriented towards job requirements. If it is too general, the information will become more of a general explanation or impression of the applicant and may not be able to provide valid data. This way it will also be possible to reduce the chance of faking.
Third of all, the simulated group interview seems to be insufficient. It is stated in the article that the candidate will have a group discussion with three other role-players. Although this may let the observers evaluate certain aspects, I believe that having role-players may diminish the applicant’s potential. Let’s say that the interviewee is good at brainstorming or developing new ideas. He/she may not be able to fully show his/her potential due to the fact that the other members in the group are just playing their role; they will not be convinced by the new ideas or provide improvements to raw ideas. This may not let the observers know the full potential of the interviewee’s abilities. Therefore I think that a leaderless group interview would be better in order to evaluate the candidate.
Last, and most importantly, there is no mention about how the procedures will be adapted and implemented in different countries. Considering that this was a new procedure for a multinational personnel selection system, it seems like the staff has left out the most important part. Without any adaptation among different cultures, the new procedure would not be that different compared to any other local hiring procedure.
To conclude, the new multinational personnel selection system seems to cover most of the important aspects that are mentioned in the textbook and the procedures seem mostly valid. However, unless there is a adaptation system that may work globally, the new system does not seem so ‘new’ compared to other hiring procedures.
2. If you were asked to consult with the project team, what would you recommend to them?
The most important recommendation would be that the members should consider some cultural differences while in discussion. Throughout the meeting the staff members show typical characteristics of Asians and westerns. The Chinese employees have a hard time standing up to others and feel embarrassed when opposed. On the other hand the members from overseas, especially Mueller, show typical western character. They are strong in their opinion and openly disprove of others opinions if they think it is wrong.
Even the leader of the team, Koch, seems to be part of this situation. In fact, he is irritated by the Chinese employees behavior and does not understand how serious it is. Under these kinds of circumstances it seems impossible to have a productive meeting. What the team should do first is try to understand and consider each other’s culture. This would be the first step to properly come up with system for multinational hiring. How would they make be able to make a system that considers different cultures if they don’t even understand their own team members?
The next recommendation would be that the members should listen and respect what the others are saying. While reading through the article, it seemed like most of the members were just trying to appeal that their ideas are the best. Everyone opposed each other’s idea and backed their own suggestions. It was an endless stream of interruption. Unless they learn to listen and respect others’ opinions, the meeting would never be productive.
Another recommendation would be to Koch. I would like to tell him to be in control of the situation. It is the leader’s role in a meeting the control the members. If Koch had been more involved in the meeting and was able to control the situation, the meeting would not have lasted that long. It would also have been more productive as there would not have been lengthy arguments. I believe that the leader’s role is very crucial in this kind of situation. He/she should be in charge of the meeting and not let it stray from its topic.
The previous recommendations were related to the meeting. Now I would like to make recommendations about the new system. Although a new system that may be used globally sounds very tempting, it sounds almost impossible to make. The cultures of different countries are very diverse and some are extremely different from others. I would recommend making 2~3 systems for Asian and Western regions with similar cultures. This would be more efficient rather then trying to make one system that can be applied to everyone.
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