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Three Tips for Leading a Multinational Team to Success

The way we work together is changing. Globalisation, expansion into new markets and flexible workplaces require diverse teams of people working together: virtual teams, cross-border teams, matrixed organisations.

Working with people you do not see – or who live in a different time zone, or think, talk, feel or act differently from you – can make even simple tasks difficult.

From my discussions with managers, most see the value of diversity to avoid group think. However, when it comes to working together, it is often easier to see how we are different, rather than how those differences can be harnessed.

With the rapid growth of Asian multinationals, we need leaders for the new workplace – leaders who can connect with a broad range of employees across time zones, locations, cultures and backgrounds.

At Hudson, we have identified the five crucial traits of leadership as: Vision, Action, Impact, Connection and Drive. Of these, to bridge gaps across teams, we emphasise the importance of the leader’s Connection to the team.

This means that leaders need to show social intelligence, embrace and leverage diversity across perspectives and cultures, and foster positive emotions in others.

Here are three tips to harnessing Connection as a leader, despite geographical and cultural barriers.

Build trust with your team

In his book The Speed of Trust, Stephen Covey emphasises the importance of connection between leaders and the people they manage.

“If you think your leaders don’t care about you, you’ll tend not to trust them…If they think you don’t care, they are going to view everything you do with scepticism, suspicion and distrust.”

Typically in Asian culture, trust is built starting with character – a personal level of trust, while in Western culture, trust tends to start with competence – a professional level of trust.

For leaders emerging onto the global scene, you need to start building trust at both levels by looking out for your employee’s personal and professional well-being.

For example, several years ago, my role scope changed from leading Hudson’s TM business in Singapore to leading in Asia. I knew that my new role began with Connection – building personal trust. I needed to understand the diverse people in those businesses: how they thought, what was important to them, how they would communicate with me and how I should communicate with them. Only after establishing personal trust could I then build professional trust and sell the vision ahead.

Seek to understand the cultural differences

The most challenging aspect managing a multinational team can be in understanding just what the cultural differences are.

Often, leaders are aware that there are cultural differences, but have no idea exactly where these differences may lie.

I’ve worked with an American company in China that had this struggle. We helped the company understand where the cultural differences were, and help overlay that with corporate culture (what the company stands for with its customers and employees). Overtime, the phrase ‘this is China and we do things differently here’ became less used, and was eventually removed from the corporate vocabulary.

As you come to know the working culture and dynamics of your various teams, it may be that you will have to utilise different way of engaging with different groups.

Try to find out what each location and team responds to best, as well as their motivations and what they find rewarding.

Unify under a corporate culture identity

While respecting the local culture and contextualising is important, organisations still need a cultural identity that unites employees throughout each location.

At Hudson, despite our multiple locations across Asia Pacific, one of many factors that bring us together is that we have a culture of celebrating each other’s success.

Each quarter we hold an internal awards ceremony where we are able to nominate and cheer on our team members. The winners of these awards also go on to the annual ceremony (where we fly our winners).

This helps us not only celebrate high performers, but creates a culture where we encourage our nominees and award winners to meet and get to know one another.

Having a corporate culture of ‘the way we do things around here’ can help to alleviate tensions with different country cultures.

For example in Chinese culture, a senior manager may be reluctant to approach a junior staff member for a casual conversation, whereas in Australian culture this is far more accepted. If the company culture is one of transparency and openness among all levels of staff, that can help people avoid ‘walking on egg shells’ for fear of misunderstanding the cultural differences.

I know that doing these things are not always easy. It takes time and consistency to build trust. It’s not always simple to understand cultural differences, or to unite those differences under a single organisational culture.

However, as leaders, it’s essential that we make the effort to try – rather than make excuses – so we can improve our Connection skills and ultimately give our teams the best opportunities to work together effectively and achieve our goals.

Find out more about how you can assess and develop leadership capability in your organisation. Contact us

 
 
 

Best Practices in Talent Acquisition Reporting and Metrics

Talent acquisition metrics, analytics and reporting are all crucial to successful recruiting. But for many busy HR professionals, understanding, analyzing and using recruitment metrics to improve their businesses can be overwhelming and more than a little confusing. As a result, many organizations collect and report metrics because they know they should, but they stop short of extracting insights that can improve hiring.

While scores of valuable recruiting metrics exist for specific industries, for C-suite hiring, or for large-scale talent acquisition, there are a few core metrics that benefit all companies. Read on to learn the best practices for these key recruiting metrics:

Time to Hire and Time to Fill – These two important metrics are similar, but not synonymous. Time to fill measures the amount of time between when a position opens and when someone is hired and accepts the role. It is a broader metric that sheds light on how well your overall recruiting operation functions, from job listings to employer brand to the application process. It can also indicate your organization needs to improve its talent pool so you have strong candidates to turn to the moment a job opens.

Time to hire measures the time between when a promising candidate is identified and enters the hiring funnel, and when they accept an offer. Separating out this time period can draw attention to important candidate touchpoints that may be taking too long. For instance, your company can use video interviews to make scheduling faster and easier early in the recruitment funnel. When the hiring process drags on you risk losing the best candidates to other opportunities. Keep in mind, you don’t want to go too far the other way and rush the recruitment process, because then you risk mis-hires.  

The Cost of Open Roles – It varies by position, but daily revenue loss for open roles can add up quickly. Yet often this figure stays out of sight and out of mind. Proactive HR departments calculate the cost to the company of vacancies in most positions and share the information with key players. The metric serves as an important motivator for hiring teams and the decision makers who provide staff and resources for recruiting.

Candidate Loss Rate – Tracking the number of candidates who drop out of the hiring process—and at what point—can show where your company can do better. If large numbers of people begin your online application, but don’t finish, you likely need to streamline the questions and requirements. You may discover your career page has a high bounce rate that indicates your employer brand needs a refresh. Or you may find a drop off of strong candidates between the first and second interview, which could indicate shortcomings in the candidate experience.

New Hire Retention Rates – Similar to the metric above, tracking the number of new hires who leave their roles within weeks or months of starting can reveal problems in the hiring process. It could indicate the day-to-day job didn’t truly match the job description, or your ideal candidate profile was slightly off. It could also indicate a weak onboarding process, which should give new hires the tools and support they need to get off to a strong start.

Recruiting metrics and analytics are powerful tools. When you dive into the data, you’ll actually discover clarity about big and small recruitment changes that will lead to better hiring. 

Need help with your recruiting analytics? Contact Hudson

 
 
 

Job Hopping and Hiring: How to Get Job Hoppers to Stay

Job hopping is when employees change jobs within a year or two, usually more than once. It’s a trend strongly associated with Millennials, and as the demographic recently became the largest in the workforce, job hopping is here to stay. A 2016 Gallup survey found that six in 10 Millennials always have their radar up for new job opportunities.

As a recruiter or hiring manager, it is all too easy to focus on the negatives of job hopping: it can feel as though the majority of your existing employees have a foot out the door, and prospective hires lack the commitment to hang around. But the trend is both more complicated and more positive than at first glance.

Job Hopping Is Not New

While job hopping is most prevalent among Millennial employees, it is because they are young and not because the generation is particularly prone to switching things up in employment. According to the data analysis website FiveThirtyEight, the length of time people in their 20s stay in a job is nearly the same today as it was in the 1980s.1

Also, as Millennials age their interest in job hopping is trending down. According to the 2017 Deloitte Millennial Survey, 38 percent of Millennials plan to leave their current job within two years, compared with 44 percent in 2016, and only 7 percent say they plan to leave their job soon, compared to 17 percent in 2016.

It is logical that these young employees are exploring different jobs, companies, and even geographic areas. Some economists say job hopping is an important phase for young workers that eventually lands them in jobs that are a better fit, higher paying, and that they will stick with.2 Still, Millennial job hopping is expensive for employers, with turnover costs reaching an estimated $30.5 billion each year.3  

How to Attract and Retain Job Hoppers

Contrary to popular belief and pop-culture representations, Millennials need more than bottomless snacks and a gaming room to feel satisfaction at work. They want opportunities to expand their skill set, grow in their workplace responsibilities, and make more money. They also appreciate a job that offers long-term security.

Central to drawing and keeping job-hoppers is offering them, among other things, career mobility and annual pay raises. According to research by survey company Qualtrics and Accel Partners, a venture capital firm, Millennial workers have more in common with Generation X and the Baby Boomers than often assumed. In the survey of almost 1,500 Millennials, only 3 percent said they dislike spending too much time at one job, and 77 percent said they would take a pay cut if they knew they would have long-term job security.4

Communicate with Candidates and New Hires

Millennials also value clear communication and organizational transparency. According to several studies, Millennials want to communicate with managers more frequently than any other generation in the workforce.5 This is a group that prizes being in the loop from day one. According to the Qualtrics-Accel survey, companies are more likely to retain new Millennial employees when they train them thoroughly and when managers clearly invest in their success in the first 90 days.6 More often than not, managers are invested in the success of their workers; they simply need training in how—and how often—to effectively communicate this fact.  

Workplace messaging tools, such as Slack and Yammer, can also help meet Millennials’ need for fast-paced communication and collaboration throughout all levels of an organization.

Create Clear Career Pathways

Almost 60 percent of job changers moved to a new company because they saw better career opportunities there than in their previous role, according to a 2015 survey by LinkedIn.7

To engage and retain the best talent, companies must be upfront about the various pathways to success with both job candidates and established employees. Millennial workers want this information communicated openly and repeatedly, without their having to ask or spend much time researching. It is a good practice to share promotions occurring within the organization on the company career website, as well as internally, so current and prospective employees understand there are future opportunities to work towards.

It’s Time to Engage Job Hoppers

Ignoring job hoppers within and without your organization is outdated and detrimental to your business. Recruiters and hiring managers must be trained to assess job hopping candidates with an open mind that doesn’t equate multiple jobs with a lack of loyalty.

Future-thinking companies are engaging job hoppers by building talent communities in anticipation of upcoming hiring needs. Using social media tools such as private LinkedIn and Facebook groups, recruiters can establish pipelines of talent interested in job alerts and future opportunities.

If your organization still needs a nudge towards fully understanding the job-hopping generation, maybe this will help provide a sense of urgency—Generation Z is now entering the workforce to add another layer to multi-generation hiring.  

Need recruitment assistance? Contact Hudson.

__________________________________
​Sources

1 Casselman, Ben. “Enough Already About the Job Hopping Millennials.” FiveThirtyEight. Web. 5 May 2015, accessed 4 Oct 2017.
2 Thompson, Derek. "Quit Your Job.' The Atlantic. Web. 5 Nov 2014.
3 Millennials: The Job-Hopping Generation. Gallup Business Journal.
4 Overfelt, Maggie. “Millennial Employees are a Lot More Loyal Than Their Job-Hopping Stereotype.” CNBC. Web. 11 May 2017.
5 Benson, Tracy. “Motivating Millennials Takes More than Flexible Work Policies.” Harvard Business Review. Web. 11 Feb 2016.
6 Overfelt, Maggie. “What Millennials Want Most of All When They Start a New Job.” CNBC. Web. 21 April 2017.
7 Zimmerman, Kaytie. "Millennials, Stop Apologizing for Job-Hopping" Forbes. Web. 7 June 2017.

 
 
 

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HUDSON

Hudson is a global talent solutions company. We help transform the workplace and unleash the full potential of organizations and individuals. Our expert team and proprietary tools provide you with unique insights and services that help you maximize your success. Across 20 countries, we deliver a range of recruitment, talent management and recruitment process outsourcing solutions to get you and your business where you want to be.