The Middle Manager

Surviving & Thriving as a Leader

Leaving on a jet plane . . .

As you read this, I’m winging my way across the Pacific to Manila in the Philippines.  While my company has had an international presence, I’ve only just joined those ranks by hiring a new team.  I’ve spent the last few months doing interviews by phone and working with the international recruiters to find four new staff members and one manager.  Aside from the often controversial politics of corporate offshoring, the experience of hiring staff outside of the United States was interesting and informative.

What I found most interesting was the cultural differences between the HR approach in the USA and offshore.  Here, we have to be worried about all of the politically correct nonsense and make sure we’re not biased by age, religion, gender, etc.  When I’d get the CV’s from the offshore applicants it was not unusual to see photographs attached, notes indicating date of birth, family affiliations, and even religious preferences.  Putting any of that stuff on a resume here in the State’s would give an HR person a stroke!

Even so, I didn’t really find that it mattered much from a hiring perspective.  I understand why it has to be avoided here because of the risk of litigation.  I thought it was nice to see a photo, especially since the interview had to be done via a conference call.  The rest of the information I mostly ignored.  

I was impressed by the high level of education from all of the applicants.  They all had at least a 4-year degree and some had advanced degrees.  To be clear, it wasn’t that they had an education, it was that they were interested in the job I had posted because it was mostly an entry-level type position.  Despite this fact, and even though the staff would need to work US central time hours (that’s an 11 hour difference, so essentially a graveyard shift for them), there was plenty of excitement about the challenge of the available jobs.

I’m looking forward to expanding my knowledge of doing business in the international space.  In addition to the staff I just hired, I may be opening up some other roles that would be filled either in Manila or in one of our sites in India.  I think it’s great to be able to bring in and understand the diversity of other cultures.

I’ll be sure to write about it as I learn more about working in a multi-national environment!

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