Global Human Capital


I watch and listened. Industry Leader Yasir Abdulrahman was sharing with my undergraduate class an overview of cross cultural interests as it relates to operating a business in the Middle East. Yasir explained how some managers from the U.S. had gone abroad without understanding cultural sensitivity.  It was a fatal mistake.  

Companies cannot afford to make these kinds of errors in a global environment.  After Yasir’s dynamic presentations, I knew that emerging U.S. leaders would need a broader global perspective in order to achieve future business success. 

Across the world, there is a search for talented and gifted employees.  Some companies hope they may hire the next Steve Jobs of Apple. In fact, having the right management strategy can elevate a country’s financial well-being. India and China flecks their mighty muscle due to the dominance of their outsourcing efforts.  

Countries attempt to invest more in their own educational system in order to better manage their own talented management system.  Countries seek to find strategic gaps. For example, foreign countries now hold more than $12 trillion in U.S. assets, including stocks, bonds, real estate, and more financial elements.[1] 

In fact, Japan and China are very motivated to support the American dollar so that Americans will continue to buy their goods, thus keeping their citizens working.  At a low scale, companies attempt to search for this talent with a lens of also attracting more cheap labor.

Peter Cappelli, author of Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs, explains that even with over 23 million people unemployed, companies argue they cannot find qualified workers.  According to the Manpower Group analysis, 52% of U.S. employers state they have a difficult time filling positions because of the talent shortage.[2] 

Cappelli suggest that employers are making unrealistic expectations in the process:  “Many people, especially pundits in the business press, seem to have what we might call a Home Depot view of the hiring process, in which filling a job vacancy is seen as akin to replacing a part in a washing machine….Like a replacement part, job requirements have very precise specifications. Job candidates must fit them perfectly or the job won’t be filled and the business can’t operate.”[3]

However, people aren’t machine. They aren’t perfect.  Yet, organizations maintain this Home Depot mentality and allow job positions to be unfilled until the arrival of that perfect candidate.

Human Resource Management (HRM) requires that organizations manage their workforce strategically.  Charles Hill, author of International Business, explains, “Irrespective of the desire of managers in many multinationals to build a truly global enterprise with a global workforce, the reality is the HRM practices still have to be modified.”[4]

With the significant differences between countries in labor markets, economic systems, legal systems, and other perimeters, managers must adapt their operations with an international perspective.  Consequently, staffing policies must be adjusted in order to select the right employees for the jobs that best fits the specific countries, whether a domestic employee who is being transferred or by hiring locally. 

In both cases, organizations must seek to ingrain their corporate culture even on foreign soil. John Wiedemer, Robert Wiedemer, and Cindy Spitzer, author of America’s Bubble Economy, sees an opportunity for individuals who understand the economic climate: “The fall of America’s Bubble Economy will shake up many industries, drive businesses into bankruptcy, derail countless careers, and force dramatic numbers of workers into temporary unemployment. It will also create thousands of successful companies that don’t currently exist, lead all sorts of people to rethink their life’s work, and make many, many alert entrepreneurs and investors fabulously wealthy.”[5] Therefore, organizations that can effectively recruit, manage, and retain a global workforce will have a clear advantage in the marketplace.

What does talent management mean in a global environment? How do individuals capitalize on the global trend for talent? 

© 2012 by Daryl D. Green                                    

[1] America’s Bubble Economy by John Wedemer, Robert Wedemer, and Cindy Spitzer

[2] Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs by Peter Cappelli

[3] Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs by Peter Cappelli

[4] International Business by Charles Hills

[5] America’s Bubble Economy by John Wedemer, Robert Wedemer, and Cindy Spitzer

6 thoughts on “Global Human Capital

  1. Talent management is important but it’s not the only piece of the puzzle for success. More emphasis needs to be put into training and preparing global leaders for the role they have ahead of them. While most learn what they need to on the job, perhaps more effort should be put into immersing employees into the culture of the other countries before they go there. If the company is not willing to provide the opportunity, do it as an individual. Global leadership is the big picture here, and talent management is merely one function of a group of departments that make global leadership effective. It would be in the best interest of the organization if these departments worked together. Hogan (2009) says, “One such opportunity exists in the many, typically disparate, functions in the organization responsible for some facet of global leadership development. HR (with mobility as a subset), diversity, global talent management, and learning (L) and OD each have an important piece of the global leadership development puzzle and yet, in most organizations, labor independently and unaware of one another’s great works.”
    Reference: Hogan, T. (February, 2009). Global talent management and global mobility. Retrieved from:

    • I agree that there are many “pieces to the puzzle” when discussing traits that allow people to be competitive in a global market. Shimutwikeni (2011) “Culture is a major element of international business negotiations. It is often compared to an iceberg; there is more to it than meets the eye. These hidden elements, if not understood, can make or break an international business transaction. It is thus important to be aware of cultural influences on negotiations”. In my opinion, this quote really discusses the importance of having particular skills in order to be successful. If a person looses a bid or job due to their ignorance of culture, then this could easily cause them to loose their job.

      Shimutwikeni, N. (2011) The Impact of Culture in International Business Negotiations: Special Reference to China and United States of America. Retrieved from:

  2. Not only are job positions getting more competitive, but also companies. We all know that with the rapid changes with globalization, the economy and many other factors companies are required to make important decisions in order to better the company. Hiring a new employee is an extremely important decision. If they were to hire someone who does not fit the position, then the company has lost money and time. In order to be more qualified for more positions, a person should obtain as many skill sets as possible. Not only is a college degree important, but also taking non-credit courses which are an excellent way to stand out to potential employers. Wall (2012) suggests, “One of the top concerns he hears among employers looking to expand to new areas is about the availability of a skilled workforce. Employers are having a much more difficult time finding prospective employees with essential skills, from computer experience to trade expertise”. It is not only degrees and education but also skills that will help a person be more competitive in the job market today.

    Wall, K. (2012) Education Is Necessary to Stay in the Job Market. Retrieved from:

      • There are many different skills that can help individuals compete globally. A few that seem to be the most useful include technological literacy, productivity and accountability, creativity and innovation, and communication and collaboration skills. (Kamehamaha 2010) All of these skill sets would greatly assist an individual when attempting to compete global and being successful. Technology would probably be the most important because it is such a huge part of almost all work environments today. Innovation is also an important skill that can give the company a competitive edge. Without innovation, it would be difficult for the company to compete.

        Resource: Kamehameha Schools Research & Evaluation Division. (2010). 21st Century Skills for Students and Teachers. Retrieved from:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s