Recruitment and Selection in IHRM


Thesis statement

Recruitment and selection in IHRM is a very important element that influences the hiring process of new personnel in multinational organizations.

  • Recruitment and selection in IHRM is the process of hiring new employees or staffing an organization.
  • Recruitment involves searching for and obtaining the right job candidates in large numbers and quality while selection entails systematic gathering of information about job applicants for purposes of performing proper evaluation and decision-making on the suitable candidate whose is fit for the job.
  • Multinational organizations must ask 3 vital questions before starting the process of recruitment and selection. They must establish the country to recruit from, the answer the question about the technique to be used and the question on whether to decentralize and centralize the process.
  • They must also consider various factors that include cultural differences, cost implication of the process, political effects, legal requires or obligations, organizational cycle and technological advancements.
  • Recruitment must be based on a clear plan of action to guarantee the selection and hiring of qualified professionals with immense technical competence, relational skills, family support and ability to operate with flexibility.
  • When recruiting, the organization should first identify the skill gap, then advertise the positions, receive applications, sort the applications, shortlist, interview and hire.


This paper provides comprehensive information on recruitment and selection in International Human Resource Management (IHRM). The information is meant to create awareness and enlightens multinational companies on how to conduct effective international employee recruitment. It is a timely information since many companies are currently expanding their business networks courtesy of globalization that has opened up the business world. Globalization has introduced a new paradigm shift on how companies manage their affairs including staffing. It is clear from the study that multinational organizations must know why they need to recruit more employees first.

They must perform employee and task audit to establish the existing gaps to be filed. Then they are under obligation to answer the 3 most fundamental questions that include the nations from which they should recruit, the recruitment techniques that are appropriate and whether to centralize or decentralize the process. Subsequently, the multinational organizations must understand the cultural, legal, political, technological and social dynamics given that the factors influence international hiring so much. It is prudent that they know and understand the legal and cost implications of the entire process to guarantee success.


Recruitment and selection is a fundamental process that is undertaken to boost the human resource capacity to aid quality service delivery. The idea behind the process in most organizations is to improve efficiency and effectiveness with which services are delivered. Likewise, the process helps in matching necessary or relevant talent with the existing tasks that in turn promote organizational outcomes such as high revenue and productivity level. According to Dowling, Festing & Engle (2008), no organization can operate without conducting recruitment and selection at any given time. Companies that seeks to perform well, expand and embrace innovation including creativity must consider bringing fresh blood into the system. They must seek for exemplary talents locally or internationally to enable them to realize the best results.

The aspect is imperative given that recruitment and selection process creates a valuable interlink between the HR and the organization. Thoo (2013) defined recruitment as the elaborate process of searching for and getting qualified job candidates in large numbers to allow for a credible selection of the appropriate people who are the best fit for the available opportunities. The process must be executed professionally and be guided by a well-laid plan of action to ensure that the right candidates are attracted (Thoo, 2013). It is critical since its success influences the credibility of the process. However, selection involves gathering reliable information about the candidates for purposes of executing a detailed evaluation of each applicant and in turn deciding on the best person to be employed or the person who qualifies for the job. Both processes are integral for local organizations and multinational companies. They give clear directions that ensure sanity from the early stages of recruitment to the end. Particularly, they assist companies to set the right tone of recruitment.

This paper provides comprehensive analysis or information about recruitment and selection in International Human Resource Management (IHRM). The information is vital as it seeks to enlighten international corporations such as Coca cola on how to perform recruitment and selection of new staff. It must be recognized that globalization has brought about new paradigms in the way organizations operate and recruit or source for employees (Thoo, 2013). Globalization has pushed many companies to expand their networks globally, and the element is encouraging international sourcing of employees. The practice is noble;, however, it must be conducted under a clear plan of action, transparently and procedurally.

Recruitment and selection in IHRM

Indeed, globalization has facilitated the expansion of organizational networks and how they perform employee recruitment and selection. Multinational organizations are being forced to adopt international staffing strategies to enable them to synchronize talents, cultures and work ethics that is essential for quality performance (Thoo, 2013). Work ethics, standards, and best practices are performance drivers that must be instilled in all business units of a company. However, this is achievable when there employee synchronization is done. Therefore, the study of the recruitment and selection in IHRM is critical for multinational organizations including local ones. The corporations are under obligation to have a better understanding of how to execute unbiased international employee recruitment (Dowling, Festing & Engle, 2008). For instance, they should understand how to start the process, factors to consider, staffing orientation parameters, fundamental questions that must be asked and the appropriate approach.

The first important step in the recruitment and selection process is the company managers to perform an extensive human resource and operations audit. The audit is to establish the skill set that is missing within the value chain and the tasks that are not completed due to the insufficient number of employees. The facts must be established in both head offices and the subsidiary offices across the world. As noted by Collings & Scullion (2015), the audit gives a better understanding and creates an excellent platform for the company to know the number of employees to recruit, the nature of skills needed and the social background of the employees. It will also give them the opportunity to diagnose the positions and establish whether the best fit are candidates with experience or not and if the experience is needed, how many years are appropriate.

The next step is to understand the dynamics that characterizes international employee recruitment. That is the managers of the company must know the cost implications of the entire process, legal requirements in the respective nations where the employees are to be posted, regulations of hiring expatriates from other nations, cultural differences and transport logistics involved (Dowling, Festing & Engle, 2008). The elements are important given that they the capacity of determining the kind of staff that a company is likely to get. They also affect the company directly based on the resources involved because the process must be funded.

Once the dynamics are understood, it is prudent to highlight that the recruitment and selection process cannot start without the company ability to answer the following 3 questions. The first question that must be asked is that from which country we should recruit. The question is to help the managers to advertise the available vacancies to a selection of nations or have it open to the whole world or all the nations. The decision on the matter assists the company to plan on how to approach the process and project the number of applicants to handle.

For instance, when the advert or applications are welcomed from selected nations then cost implications, and other expenses would be lower as compared to when it is open to potential candidates globally. The next question revolves around the technique to be used when perfuming recruitment and selection processes. The company must know the technique in prior to ensure that everything is done rightfully (Dowling, Festing & Engle, 2008). Similarly, the company must ask itself whether to centralize or decentralize the recruitment process. The question is good since some companies prefer having or conducting the recruitment processes at their headquarters while others prefer regional or local branches. According to Thoo (2013), the questions must be answered adequately to give a perfect indication of whether the recruitment will be done locally, internationally or in a selected nations, the technique to be used and whether the process is to be centralized or decentralized.

To ensure that all the processes run smoothly, the questions are answered adequately, and the recruitment is done without hitches, the recruiting company must choose a viable IHRM approach. The company must choose a plan that gives a holistic framework of staffing. The realistic and recommended framework is one that aids the understanding of various factors. The first factor is the political and legal concerns. Human resource deployment is based on particular policies and bet practices. The guidelines vary in every nation given the environmental, legal and economic dynamics. For instance, there are remuneration standards that are set in some nations that employers must adhere to include educational standards. Various nations also have rigid employment policies that do not allow for expatriate importation or impose several legal requirements before any deal is struck.

For instance, Germany has its own employment policy framework that stipulates the responsibilities of employees and employers. Employers are expected to pay employees fairly; they should subject workers to favorable working conditions, register them to pension schemes and remit payments. Employees are equally expected to work diligently and perform as expected. The law is flexible on the transfer of human personnel. It provides a framework of importing and exporting human personnel. Particularly, the law requires one who is interested in working in Germany or deployed in the nation to have an expatriate work permit. The work permit is a must for foreigners, and it can be obtained by the employer on the employees’ behalf. The law also stipulates the kind of experts or human personnel who should be imported or deployed. They include top level managers, accountants, and others with special skills who are identified to help a company enhance its competitiveness. The importation of low cadre employees is discouraged immensely.

The level of development in the foreign country forms the next factor in the IHRM hierarchy. Recruiting companies should always know the level of development in the nations where they seek to recruit from. They should establish the education standards, the international ranking of its experts in the particular field of interest, economic stability, culture and social dynamics. In Germany, these factors are fundamental. The system has been designed in such a way that international recruitments are based on the expatriate gaps. Only individuals with exceptional performance record, education standards, relevant fields and those from homogeneous cultural societies are accepted easily. The idea is to promote understanding, information sharing, and reduction of personal problems. The other factor that must be put in consideration is technology and nature of the product (Thoo, 2013). Effective international recruitment should be based on the technology that the company operates and the nature of products. It is justifiable and required that companies should employ individuals with skills that facilitate the operationalization of the machines. They should also be able to understand the nature of the products that are manufactured to promote value addition. In Germany, this factor is considered as the law requires that the recruited personnel should be technologically-oriented.

The other factor that informs the best approach to IHRM is the understanding of the organizational life cycle and cultural differences. The organizational life cycle is the stage of performance that the company is at the moment of recruitment. Understanding of this aspect is vital since it determines whether to recruit or not depending on the performance assessment (Dickmann, Brewster & Sparow, 2016). In most cases, companies are not advised to recruit at the lower stages of their life cycle because of limited cash inflows. They should consider recruitment when they are nearing the end of growth stage and when at the peak of performance when they can sustain operational costs. It is pointless for accompany that is running huge losses or overburdened by expenditure to recruit more employees. Cultural differences of the employees or potential recruits must also be evaluated (Dickmann, Brewster & Sparow, 2016). A multinational company is under obligation to formulate proper ways of managing cultural differences among employees to ensure that performance is not affected. The differences can be used positively to help others learn new practices and ways of life that in turn enhance their ability to work anywhere in the world. This is achievable when the employees interact affectively. In Germany, cultural differences is not a hindering factor for foreign employees’ acceptance (Dickmann, Brewster & Sparow, 2016). The nation allows and accepts employees from different parts of the world non-discriminatively.

Based on the facts presented, the honors is to the multinational companies that must design the best approach to IHRM to enable them to realize optimal performance levels.

Employee selection and recruitment procedure/criteria in the context of global business

International staffing remains a fundamental performance determinant that must be undertaken transparently and in adherence to a well-structured system. The IHRM recruitment process should not be strenuous but inclusive. The first task in the process should be to identify the existing opportunities or gaps to be filled in the organization including all its branches (Collings & Scullion, 2015). It would enable managers to know the number of employees needed and plan on how to do the recruitment effectively. Once the existing gaps are established, the advertisement for the positions should then follow. The advert is to call for qualified candidates to make or submit applications. It is one of the major steps that determines the success of the process given that it influences the level of response.

Due to this, it must be conducted on popular media platforms to ensure that the information is widely conveyed. For multinational organizations, this can be done through international journals, media stations, and newspapers. The next step involves sorting of the applications received to have the best for shortlisting (Collings & Scullion, 2015). Shortlisting is then done, and the qualified candidates are called for interviews that can be oral, written or both. The purpose of the interview is to have one on one encounter with the applicants with the aim of establishing their potentials regarding communication, intelligence, and perspective to life including other factors. Successful candidates from the process are hired to begin work at the designated workstations.

According to Collings & Scullion (2015), the selection process should be based on diverse issues that multinational organizations must observe to ensure success. The issues or factors include staffing orientation, linking of the staffing plans with the evolution of MNC and managing expatriate to ensure that they deliver and the possible causes of failures are eliminated. The linking of employees involves setting up the host unit and having the right employee in the right department to execute the appropriate task. It also entails the establishment of the required technology to aid the performance of core operations successfully (Dickmann, Brewster & Sparow, 2016). Staffing orientation is the other factor that cannot be ignored during the selection process. Its importance is attributable to the fact that multinational organizations adopt staffing approaches that at times requires expatriates to work in particular locations or regions they are not familiar to socially, culturally and politically.

The orientation is normally done in 3 major ways that include ethnocentric, region-centric and polycentric. They present different impact to organizations and are applied differently based on the prevailing conditions or operation. A preferable orientation technique is ethnocentric (Sengupta & Bhattacharya, 2007). It is appropriate to many institutions because of the ability to enable employees to adjust in their family set ups and receive maximum support that is a motivator towards quality performance. The orientation techniques also help employees to address cultural issues and personality problems to advance their capability of avoiding failure. Subsequently, the process give the opportunity to gain acceptance, and social liberation since the right attitude that helps them to enjoy local entertainment, develop vibrant local relationships and communication with the local people is instilled in them (Sengupta & Bhattacharya, 2007). Dealing with the expatriate issues is very important for the MNCs as indicated in various empirical studies. The selection process must consider this factor to enable the recruiting organization to have a clear plan on how to perform employee support development, prepare and execute planning and training, conduct reassignment and re-adjustments and pre-departure orientation and training. The diagram below shows the orientation process of expatriates.

Recruitment and Selection in IHRM


It is prudent to conclude that adherence to the international human resource management standards, guidelines and best practices is vital for performing quality international staffing. The guidelines must be embraced to avert mistakes that may lead to huge failures and loses. Managers are under obligation to lay down a proper recruitment and selection procedure that must be in line to the legal requirements as set out the constitutional provisions in each nation where operations takes place. Particularly, the managers should first establish the missing skills set to ensure that staffing is based on the idea of promoting performance through innovation and creativity.


Collings, D & Scullion, H. (2015). Global Staffing. Rutledge Global Human Resource Management Series.

Dowling, P., Festing, M., & Engle, A. D. (2008). International human resource management: Managing people in a multinational context. South Melbourne, Vic: Thomson.

Dickmann, M., Brewster, C & Sparow, P. (2016). International Human Resource Management: Contemporary HR Issues in Europe. New York: Routledge

Edwards, V. & Shen, J. (2008). International Human Resource Management in Chinese Multinationals. New York: Routledge.

Thoo, L. 2013). International HR Assignment in recruiting and Selecting: Challenges, Failures and Best Practices. International Journal of Human Resource Studies. Vol. 3 no (4): p 1-98.

Sengupta, N., & Bhattacharya, M. S. (2007). International human resource management. New Delhi: Excel Books.