International Recruitment -Ethnocentric approach- Polycentric approach- Regiocentric approach- Geocentric approach




While recruiting people for international operations, the international HR managers must identify the global competitiveness of the potential applicants at the time of the recruiting process. It is essential that the workforce of an international organization is aware of the nuances of international business. Understandably, the company must keep international knowledge and experience as criteria in the recruitment and selection process.12 Besides, the international HR department must have a fairly good idea about the skills and availability of human resources in different labour markets in the world. The HR department must have the capacity to foresee the changes in these markets and exploit those changes productively. A truly international HR department would insist on hiring people from all over the world and place them throughout the international business operations of the organization.

Approaches to Recruitment in IHRM Though the general aim of any recruitment policy is to select the right people for the right task at the right time, the HR department of international companies may adopt one of the following three specific approaches available for recruiting employees for global operations.

Facts [+]
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The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) bars employers from hiring individuals who are not legally entitled to work in the U.S. Employers must verify work eligibility by completing Form I-9 along with required supporting documents. IRCA also prohibits employers from discriminating in hiring, firing, recruiting, or referring on the basis of national origin or citizenship status.

H-1B workers may be employed temporarily in a specialty occupation or as a fashion model of distinguished ability. 
A specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge along with at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. An H-1B alien may work for any petitioning U.S. employer for a maximum period of six years.


Ethnocentric approach
When a company follows the strategy of choosing only from the citizens of the parent country to work in host nations, it is called anethnocentric approach. Normally, higher-level foreign positions are filled with expatriate employees from the parent country. The general rationale behind the ethnocentric approach is that the staff from the parent country would represent the interests of the headquarters effectively and link well with the parent country. The recruitment process in this method involves four stages: self-selection, creating a candidate pool, technical skills assessment, and making a mutual decision. Self-selection involves the decision by the employee about his future course of action in the international arena. In the next stage, the employee database is prepared according to the manpower requirement of the company for international operations. Then the database is analysed for choosing the best and most suitable persons for global assignments and this process is called technical skills assessment. Finally, the best candidate is identified for foreign assignment and sent abroad with his consent.


The ethnocentric approach places natives of the home country of a business in key positions at home and abroad. In this example, the U.S. parent company places natives from the United States in key positions in both the United States and Mexico.

Polycentric approach
When a company adopts the strategy of limiting recruitment to the nationals of the host country (local people), it is called a polycentric approach. The purpose of adopting this approach is to reduce the cost of foreign operations gradually. Even those organizations which initially adopt the ethnocentric approach may eventually switch over lo the polycentric approach. The primary purpose of handing over the management to the local people is to ensure that the company understands the local market conditions, political scenario, cultural and legal requirements better. The companies that adopt this method normally have a localized HR department, which manages the human resources of the company in that country. Many international companies operating their branches in advanced countries like Britain and Japan predominantly adopt this approach for recruiting executives lo manage the branches."



The polycenlric approach uses natives of the host country to manage operations in their country and natives of the parent country to manage in the home office. In this example, the Australian parent company uses natives of India to manage operations at the Indian subsidiary. Natives of Australia manage the home office.

Facts [+]

2012, July: Indian Information Technology companies supported nearly 2.8 lakh jobs in America in the year 2011 by way of foreign direct investment through acquisitions of IT companies. India invested nearly $ 5 billion in foreign direct investment. Top Indian IT companies like TATA, HCL technologies India's fourth largest software export, Infosys and Wipro stepped in United States to set up their subsidiaries and recruited American nationals from colleges and experienced professionals who had the local knowledge and domain expertise. local employees have the requisite knowledge and understanding of culture, people and were in a particular region.


Geocentric approach

When a company adopts the strategy of recruiting the most suitable persons for the positions available in it, irrespective of their nationalities, it is called a geocentric approach. Companies that are truly global in nature adopt this approach since it utilizes a globally integrated business strategy. Since the HR operations are constrained by several factors like political and ethnical factors and government laws, it is difficult to adopt this approach. However, large international companies generally adopt the geocentric strategy with considerable success.
For international recruitment, especially on foreign soil, organizations generally use manpower agencies or consultants with international connections and repute to source candidates, in addition to the conventional sources. For an effective utilization of the internal source of recruitment, global companies need to develop an internal database of employees and an effective tracking system to identify the most suitable persons for global postings.



The geocentric approach uses Ihe best available managers for a business without regard for their country of origin. In this example, the UK parent company uses natives of many countries at company headquarters and at the U.S. subsidiary.


Regiocentric Approach

Company's international business is divided into international geographic regions. The regiocentric approach uses managers from various countries within the geographic regions of business. Although the managers operate relatively independently in the region, they are not normally moved to the company headquarters.
The regiocentric approach is adaptable to the company and product strategies. When regional expertise is needed, natives of the region are hired. If product knowledge is crucial, then parent-country nationals, who have ready access to corporate sources of information, can be brought in.

One shortcoming of the regiocentric approach is that managers from the region may not understand the view of the managers at headquarters. Also, corporate headquarters may not employ enough managers with international experience.



The regiocentric approach places managers from various countries within geographic regions of a business. In this example, the U.S. parent company uses natives of the United States at company headquarters. Natives of European countries are used to manage the Italian subsidiary.


International Selection

Even though cultural differences influence the selection procedure to some extent, organizations tend to follow similar criteria and methods worldwide. This is due to the fact that the end objective of any selection process is to choose the most capable persons for the job. The selection criteria for international jobs usually revolve around the five core areas of behaviour, attitudes, skills, motivation and personality. More specifically, the focus of selection for international operations normally includes cultural adaptability, strong communication skills, technical competence, professional or technical expertise, global experience, country-specific experience, interpersonal skills, language skills, and family flexibility. Employers around the world usually rank personal interviews, technical competency and work experience in similar jobs as important criteria for selection.  International firms, while choosing employees for overseas operations, usually prefer people with
  • highly developed technical skills
  • good language and communication skills
  • tolerance towards other culture, race, creed, colour, habits, and values
  • high level of motivation
  • stress resistance
  • goal-oriented behaviour
Finally, at the time of selection for international assignments, an organization should consider the previous overseas experience, family circumstances and cultural-adaptability level of the candidates aspiring for the global jobs.



28% employees In India willing to relocate overseas: Survey

NEW DELHI: More than a quarter (28%) of employees in India are willing to take up a full-time job opportunity overseas for two to three years with at least a 10% increase in pay increase, said a study conducted by research company Ipsos.

Asked about their willingness to relocate within India, about three in ten Indian employees expressed that they are 'very likely' to relocate to another city in India if they were offered a full-time job opportunity in the near future, for a minimum of two years with at least a 10% pay raise and all moving expenses covered, while another 48% said they are 'somewhat likely' to consider the option.

Globally, two in ten (19%) employees across 24 countries said they are 'very likely' to take a full-time job in another country for two to three years with a minimum 10% pay rise. Those most likely to say they would relocate internationally were from Mexico (34%), Brazil (32%), Russia (31%), Turkey (31%) and India (28%).

"Employees from developing economies like Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Turkey and India are willing to relocate to developed countries," said Biswarup Banerjee, head of marketing communications, Ipsos in India. On the other hand, employees from developed countries like Sweden (6%), USA (9%), Australia (10%), Canada (10%), Belgium (11%), Germany (11%) and Japan (11%) are less likely to relocate overseas.