Human Resource Challenges in the Global Environment In the next decade, international issues will become more important to human resource (hereafter referred to as HR) professionals in the United States as a growing number of businesses participate in the global marketplace. Indeed, nearly 17 percent of U.S. corporate assets are invested overseas. Through early awareness of emerging international trends, HR professionals can help their companies respond to the international environment in the way best suited to their organizations. Compiling a complete laundry list of topics for the HR professional to monitor would in itself encompass an individuals career. The scope of this paper is limited to three issues that HR professionals should closely monitor in the expanding global market. First, management must be aware of the host country workforce framework and structure. HR professionals must provide these services to the company by developing sound approaches. Second, the growing importance of international labor standards has fueled the need to understand apply these standards overseas.
Finally, with a growing reliance on computers in relation to HR programs, HR professional must be aware of HR integration during development of company intranets.
U.S companies must be aware of the host country workforce framework and structure. Russia provides an excellent example as a big country with big needs-millions of potential consumers eager for goods and services denied them under communism. Since the fall of that system, a new market economy has grown quickly. Foreign businesses (an estimated 35,000 registered enterprises, not including joint ventures) now compete with each other and with Russian startups for market share.
Today, most U.S. companies are looking to replace expatriate employees with Russians at all organizational levels. Cost is a big part of the answer, primarily because Russian salaries in U.S. firms average 20 to 30 percent below U.S. employees'...