Selection  of employees for International Assignments - Managing Remote Employees - How to Onboard and Support Foreign Employees Remotely

The selection process for an international assignment should provide a realistic picture of the life, work, and culture to which the employee may be sent. HR managers should prepare a comprehensive description of the job to be done. This description especially should note responsibilities that would be unusual in the home nation, including negotiating with public officials; interpreting local work codes; and responding to ethical, moral, and personal issues such as religious prohibitions and personal freedoms. Figure shows the most frequently cited key competencies for expatriates. Most of these competencies can be categorized as either cultural adaptability or communication skills. The following discussion examines those ideas.




COMMUNICATION SKILLS
One of the most basic skills needed by expatriate employees is the ability to communicate orally and in writing in the host-country language. Inability to communicate adequately in the language may significantly inhibit the success of an expatriate. Numerous firms with international
operations select individuals based on their technical and managerial capabilities and then have the selected individuals take foreign language training. Intensive 10-day courses offered by Berlitz and other schools teach basic foreign language skills.

But in any language there is more to communication than simply vocabulary. Greetings, gestures, pace, and proximity all are different in various countries. Basic values about other people and interacting with them are at least as important as speaking the language.

FAMILY FACTORS
The preferences and attitudes of spouses and other family members also are major staffing considerations. Two of the most common reasons for turning down international assignments are family considerations and spouses’ careers. Nearly three-fourths of expatriates are married, and most are male. Of the expatriates who are married, only about 13% are not accompanied on overseas assignments by their spouse.

With the growth in dual-career couples, the difficulty of transferring international employees is likely to increase, particularly given  work-permit restrictions common in many countries. Some international firms have begun career services to assist spouses in getting jobs with other international firms.

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY (EEO) CONCERNS

The assignment of women and members of racial/ethnic minorities to international posts involves legal issues, because these individuals may be protected by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) regulations. Many U.S. firms operating internationally have limited assignments of women and other protected-class individuals in deference to cultural concerns. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 extended coverage of EEO laws and regulations to U.S. citizens working internationally for U.S.- controlled companies. However, the act states that if laws in a foreign country require actions that conflict with U.S. EEO laws, the foreign laws will apply. If no laws exist, only customs or cultural considerations, then the U.S. EEO laws will apply.

In a related area, some foreign firms in the United States, particularly those owned by Japan, have “reserved” top-level positions for those from the home  country. Consequently, EEO charges have been brought against these firms. Previous court decisions have ruled that because of a treaty between Japan and the United States, Japanese subsidiaries can give preference to Japanese over U.S. citizens.

However, it should be noted that most other EEO regulations and laws do apply to foreign-owned firms. In a closely related area, women have brought sexual harassment charges against foreign managers, and other protected-class individuals have brought EEO charges for refusal to hire or promote them.34 In those cases, courts have treated the foreign-owned firms just as they would U.S.-owned employers.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requires larger employers to file an EEO-1 report each year, which provides a breakdown of the employer's work force by race, sex, and national origin. Employers with fewer than 100 employees and federal contractors with fewer than 50 employees and contracts under $50,000 are exempt from this requirement.

Facts [+] United kingdom

90 percent British firms have no women bosses

LONDON: Around 90 percent of Britain's top companies have no women bosses, according to a parliament report.

A parliament written answer obtained by former Treasury spokesman Matthew Oakeshott said there was no woman executive director in 310 of the top 350 companies in the country, The Sun reported.

Only 43 women are working in other senior roles.

Oakeshott, a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords, said: "Britain's big businesses are an old boys' club."
16 Jan, 2012, The Economic Times

Managing Remote Employees


How to Onboard and Support Foreign Employees Remotely or Managing Remote Employees

Remote work and managing remote employees are  crucial elements of the new Millenium. In a study by Buffer, 99% of the 2,500 participants involved stated that they would prefer to work remotely at least part-time. The new generation of workers, mostly millennials, wants to travel, work from home, and have a flexible schedule.

Moreover, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the stay-at-home employee percentage increased significantly, and many businesses switched to a permanent long-distance work plan. Companies can benefit enormously from the new work dynamic: increased employee productivity, fewer maintenance costs, and international employment. Firms hire the best staff without relying on the local workforce. However, the manager needs to assist new foreign workers and should know managing remote employees. Here’s some advice on how to on-board and support foreign employees remotely.

Recruitment

The first step before employing a new person to your company is recruitment. Whatever employment agency or website you may use for hiring a new worker, make sure they are certified and reliable. Then, once you pick a candidate, check the authenticity of their identity and certifications.

Present a structured working schedule with specific roles, tasks, mandatory hours, objectives. Don’t forget to give insight into your company’s approach, work ethic, and standard protocols.

Human Resources Protocols

After recruiting a new employee, you need to take care of the paperwork and legal protocols that can be quite time-consuming. However, documents validate the working relationship from a legal standpoint.

When it comes to international employment, paperwork is more complicated because the laws of your company’s state can differ from the ones of your employee’s state. For that reason, you need a capable human resources team, or if you choose to do it yourself, you need to get informed.

Pre-Hiring Activities Online

Before you officially hire someone, you need to complete some screenings and forms. If your company relies on Applicant Tracking System (ATS), you need to integrate that into your HR protocol. More so, you can use online services, such as Cisive, to drug test your employees remotely. The online drug testing firm has different physical sites that your candidate can reach. The results are quick, and you can save the documents in your applicant’s folder, or you can print them.

As mentioned before, your company needs to know if their candidate is truthful about their identity and certification. For this purpose, you can also use certified online services that can verify IDs and other documents with the help of a broad international database. The software behind these websites compares government identification with a self-taken picture of the applicant. The verification is over within minutes.

Compensation

Next, you need to confirm that the payment service used is legit. You can settle for the most common and safest payment services such as Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, etc.

Although payment verification is essential, settling on a legal, fair salary is more urgent. The compensation arrangement in your country may be different from the ones in your employee’s state. For example, in France, social security takes up to 50% of the salary while in Australia, employers must contribute to the pension fund.

Immigration

Remote work sometimes means moving an employee from a country to another. This new work dynamic requires additional documents. For example, moving to the US demands a work visa while moving from a European Union country to another EU state doesn’t involve a permit. Canada and the US may have additional specific licenses, and this is valid for non-EU workers entering the EU.

Statutory Compliance

Last but not least, you need to define the annual leave, maternity leave, sick leave, and health insurance for your employee.

For example, in India, maternity leave is of 12 to 26 weeks with a full salary. Meanwhile, in Singapore, maternity leave is of 12 to 16 weeks with a full salary paid by the government and the company.

Vacation leave, in some countries, is standard for everyone. In contrast, in other countries, such as China, the number of days is correlated to the years of service: five days per year for the first ten years of service. In Italy or France, annual leave is of an entire month, and the whole company takes a break. So even if you just started working for a week, around August, you’ll have a vacation leave.

Termination is also an essential aspect of the contract. Make sure that you are aware of the local legal constraints regarding termination notice, employee liquidation, etc. For example, Germany has a unique system to calculate notice, while France has a three months mandatory period.

Finding an agreement can be quite a challenge. Nevertheless, you need to take care of it before you employ a new person.

Technology

Technology is a quintessential part of the work remote experience. Make sure that you have the best online tools to help you organize your documents and solve any problem. Hire someone with digital skills who can apply first-level troubleshooting.

Additionally, before you decide to employ someone, make sure that they have everything they need to operate:
  • A laptop/PC. Whether your employees are social media managers, professional essay writers, or travel agents, a PC is an essential tool. Of course, you can send emails from your phone, but bank transactions and sending documents can be challenging.
  • A phone. A personal mobile device is crucial for receiving emails, phone calls, chat messages, and alerts even when your employee isn’t at their desk.
  • A working space. You want your employee to deliver quality content, so make sure they have a designated working space.
  • A good Wifi connection. If your employees can’t send in the project you assigned them to do, it’s as if they haven’t done it. Help them find the right internet provider.
  •  Specific requirement tools. Maybe they need an extra monitor, a webcam, a microphone.
If they are missing specific elements, provide for them. Once your contract settles, invest in your employee’s tools. Having advanced technology helps communication, productivity, and quality.

In addition to hardware and Wifi, you need to provide the necessary software and virtual tools such as:
  • Your business’ email and phone number;
  • Office365;
  • Payroll services;
  • HR contacts;
  • Cloud storage apps;
  • Specific software;
  • Communication apps.
As an employer, you can provide a pack of essential software and tools that motivates the new employee to get involved in their work.

Preparation

On the first day of work, introduce your team to the new employee and assign them a partner. Studies show that working in pairs or small groups can boost productivity. Their partner can help your new worker perform more efficiently by sharing details, tips, and tricks with them.
Additionally, include your new personnel to meetings and projects. Don’t forget to have a one-on-one video conference for the first few days and give constant feedback.

Conclusion

If you want to support your foreign employee remotely, remember to get informed about the laws in their country. Verify their identity and payment accounts. Provide all essential tools and make sure that their visa or work permit is up to date. Lastly, try to include them in the agency’s life by assigning them a team or a mentor.

Leon Collier is a skilled freelance writer from the UK. He became employed to the best writing paper service by answering to a pop-up add with “write my research paper .” Follow him on twitter @LeonCollier12.


Tips for Managers: Supervising Remote Workers or Managing Remote employees

With huge numbers of the UK workforce now working from home, businesses all over the country have had to quickly implement and maintain remote-work policies. But even the most well-prepared managers are finding that maintaining productivity while staying compassionate and flexible is easier said than done. Here are some practical tips for making it all work and managing remote employees.

Prioritise employees’ health and wellbeing


It will simply not work to ignore or downplay the very real challenges and sometimes quite sensitive issues that employees are likely experiencing due to COVID-19. Instead, be extra diligent about nurturing open lines of communication and make sure that workers know that they have your support – and not just to ensure they are being productive!

Keep employees properly equipped

Even if you don’t rely heavily on technology and communications tools, you need to ensure that remote employees have the tools they need to stay in touch. You may need to train employees on the use of certain platforms and tools, make sure everyone has the right software, or even consider switching to business broadband so that the line is not shared by too many other broadband connections.

Resist micromanaging

It’s crucial to trust your employees. It can be difficult for managers to relinquish control and be less visible to their employees, but compensating with micromanaging is likely to backfire. Provide support and be crystal clear on organizational protocols, but have faith that employees can meet targets on their own schedule. Employees can respond to the feeling of being monitored by becoming more obtuse and uncooperative, whereas your engagement will be more welcome if it’s framed as an authentic attempt to maintain a mutually respectful relationship.

Use objectives to bring some clarity

Many employees are going to be stressed, unsettled and distracted with a host of other issues on their plates, such as working around vulnerable family members or juggling childcare. Many will feel anxious about money or job security. Role boundaries can start to shift, and work hours become less defined. For your own peace of mind and managing remote employees, find ways to communicate the most fundamental company goals, so your employees can feel more confident in achieving that goal, and better able to focus.

Think outcome and not process

It may be uncomfortable or a little counter-intuitive, but times have changed, and workflows are unavoidably more casual. Avoid creating tension with unrealistic expectations and simply focus on whether what needs to get done is getting done. Be more collaborative and task-oriented with employees. It may be that foregoing previous formalities, such as unnecessary meetings or long-winded approval processes, will actually increase productivity.

Show your appreciation

Managing remote employees In these disruptive times, employees may need much more from management in terms of feedback, recognition and genuine appreciation for the work they do. Financial rewards are great, but employees will also respond to public approval, perks, tokens of gratitude or the opportunity to train or develop with an eye to upskilling after the corona virus crisis settles down. Use surveys and questionnaires to get a sense of where your employees are and become curious about the barriers they are experiencing in their work. Employees can feel quite isolated and out of the loop when working from home, so make a point of acknowledging and sharing accomplishments to build team morale and cohesion.

Reward innovation

It’s natural that employees and businesses alike are feeling risk-averse in the wake of the pandemic and global lockdown. But breaking constraints now can inspire employees to try something new and connect more deeply with their work at a time when engagement is rather low. See if you can identify particularly promising employees who would benefit from having the opportunity to run with their own ideas. Ask questions and really listen – you may tap into a previously unappreciated source of innovative thinking.

Emphasise company values

Your employees are key stakeholders in your business, no matter its size or niche. Your employees will feel more compelled to invest time and energy into your company vision if they feel that they are reciprocally cared for. Conscientious employees will appreciate a genuine affirmation of company codes of ethics and will feel as though they work for a business that cares about more than the bottom line.

Some employees are resisting returning to work, while others are uncertain about their role after being furloughed, and others will be pushing for more flexibility, or even resigning. In such cases you should focus on managing remote employees.  Whatever your workforce’s challenges, however, you can weather the crisis and emerge intact if you can adopt a compassionate, responsive and realistic attitude with your team.