14 Globalization


Internationalization of hr

Mariano de las Heras

Globalization has transformed the business world, causing an increased number of Business opportunities. Organizations should not let these opportunities go to waste; rather, they should determine the strategies necessary to join and participate in these new international markets.

Companies will need to manage and adapt to constant changes brought on by these new struggles and challenges.

Contexts with a high level of Uncertainty and Competitiveness.

What could be referred to as: a VUCA Environment (a term used by the U.S. Army in the nineties, to define a complex, hostile situation), and which has been re-purposed for the business world.

VUCA is an acronym of the initials: (V) volatility, (U) uncertainty, (C) complexity, and (A) ambiguity.

Currently, organizations are maneuvering in VUCA environments, which will affect all types of sectors and companies.

INTERNATIONALIZATION is no longer is a strategic alternative for businesses, IT IS AN OBLIGATION, whether those businesses are large, mid-sized, or SMBs.

Transformation and adaptation processes that compel the creation of specific Strategic Business and/or International Expansion Plans, with which businesses will be able to compete in new geographical markets and face these new challenges.

An increasing number of business opportunities are arising in the markets of emerging countries with developing economies, which are located across different continents.

According to the UN, there are some 193 emerging countries spread over five continents that, due to their potential for growth, represent a business opportunity. (Expansion 01/17/2018).

Internationalization Projects connected to Business, which should rely upon the company’s Human Factor, will undoubtedly be essential to project success.

PROFESSIONALS who will be the impetus of INTERNATIONALIZATION for their Organizations.

To drive company internationalization, the development of what would be called the International Mobility Program will be essential, creating an indispensable dichotomy in order to attain and successfully achieve each Internationalization Project.

Programs that should be delineated by the areas of GLOBAL MOBILITY and HR, and considered Centers of Excellence and Strategic Issues for all Internationalization Projects, with the following objectives:

  • Identify the most suitable profiles, Strategic Talent Management.
  • Analyze, plan, and develop all the necessary aspects and requirements which permit assurance of the effective management of the persons displaced in the different PHASES of the Mobility Project:

                           BEFORE/ DURING / AFTER

And which should take into account, on the one hand, the appearance of new concepts, which will directly affect the program:

  • As a result of the last crisis, MI projects will be characterized by a marked Strategic Costs Management, Low Cost optimization. ROI will be essential to each Project.
  • Data Analytics, Data, & Information. The ability to analyze and obtain information in a preventative manner. Bring about an improvement of Processes. Allow for the Anticipation and Making of Decisions.
  • Impact of new Technologies in terms of communicative tools and solutions and geolocation.
  • Evolution of new profiles for Expatriates who will coexist with the singularity of each Project. Faced with the traditional concept of an expatriate, characterized by a long-term project, in which the whole family was displaced with an attractive and generous social benefits package, a new concept appears, based on the current generational profiles (millennials): characterized by a proactive impulse of their international career, in different destinations, with new challenges, aligned to a project that can be completed, and introduced to another in a new country, in limited period of time, where the type of project will be more important than the compensation.


And, on the other hand, another series of aspects qualified as strategic:


Identify the best profiles: recruitment, development, and retention, which will have nothing to do with conventional formats, given that this is a position in which internationally-based competencies are added and identified for the most part in the Person’s emotional component, such as: Intercultural intelligence and Adaptation skills, Change management, Flexibility, Adversity management, Stress management, Empathy, Leadership, Business culture, Brand Ambassadorship…

To do so, defining and elaborating effective management of these profiles will be essential in achieving a competitive edge and differential advantage in their sector: Relevant professionals with marked experience, global competencies, and the ability to transfer knowledge to the organization.

DUTY OF CARE (Duty of Protection)

Protect workers displaced to other countries comprehensively, making available to them all the means that are at their disposal (obligation and collected by the area of Occupational Risk Prevention)

  • Inform the expatriate before travel, counsel with them daily during their stay in that country, and, in the event of an incident, provide them with your assistance, either with your own means, or through partnerships
  • Rank the countries in which the company is present or will be present by levels of risk and arrange preventative measures for each country.
  • Comprehensive management of health risks. Welfare coverages.
  • Implementation of self-protection measures (reports, geolocation, communication resources, etc.).

CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE (Adaptation) Cross-Cultural

The ability to work efficiently in any country or cultural environment.

Development of: abilities or competencies that help the displaced person/s to relate and work well in different cultural areas and obtain benefits:

  • Capacity to make decisions in complex, unpredictable environments.
  • Ability to analyze problems from the point of view of the interlocutor.
  • Ability to modify their behavior, adapting it to the current cultural context.
  • Capacity to avoid so-called Culture Shock.


Work-related, fiscal, migratory, and Social Security situations and issues that must be defined and specified before departure. Specific and different in each destination.

Necessary planning with the objective of handling questions, such as:

  • Definition of mobility: expatriation (displaced worker) or location vs. “local +”.
  • Migratory implications: use of and procedures for residence permit, rights and obligations, administrative procedure (origin-based or based directly on destination). PROCEDURE
  • Work implications: letter of assignment or local contract + contractual suspension.
  • Social Security (SS) Implications: existence of Bilateral SS Agreements, subscription to Special SS Agreement or double professional relationship, and contribution to Social Security System
  • Fiscal implications: Resident or Non-Resident Tax, tax rates vs. retentions. TAX PAYMENTS
  • Relocation Management. ……


  • Guarantee of the processing of personal data– Directly related to the recent European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).……..

With the Objective of

Ensuring that all relocated workers have the necessary safeguards so that the displaced persons can perform and develop their work without concern.

To Avoid cases such as the following

More than 30% of International Assignments, in decision-making and/or technical profiles, fail due to:

  • Professionals in disagreement with the position’s destination
  • Little International experience
  • Limited Intercultural Education
  • Uncertainty of the Target Country’s situation
  • Ignorance and assessment of the Risk/Country/Project.
  • Poor Planning of professional careers abroad
  • Professional and/or Family Adaptation

(Data as of October 2017)

Mariano de las Heras

Mariano de las Heras

Professor at Master in Human Resources Management

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