Global marketplace calls for technical whizz kids

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The globalisation of business is making international recruitment and selection a growth area, according to a guide just published by the Institute of Personnel and Development.

"The need for international exposure is being extended beyond general managers," says Professor Paul Sparrow, author of the guide, which was published at the IPD's annual recruitment and selection conference last week. "More junior employee groups and technical specialists may now be required to work in an international setting."

The reason is that more organisations are "internationalising their operations, through joint ventures and strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, and overseas expansion".

The report - The IPD Guide on International Recruitment, Selection and Assessment - draws upon case studies that were developed on the basis of interviews with organisations ranging from manufacturers and utility companies to retailers and service providers.

"Many personnel functions are now operating in an environment in which many of the functions associated with the international recruitment and selection process [such as headhunting, psychometric testing and arranging work permits] continue to be outsourced," he said. "Personnel managers need to be aware of the latest thinking to ensure that effective relationships and strategic partnerships with service providers are maintained."

The theme is echoed by the IPD's Fran Wilson. "The UK-based high flier may not necessarily be the right person to send to a very different work environment on the other side of the world.

"A wider range of people are now travelling to work in different parts of the globe and this requires the highest levels of knowledge and skill on the part of the people who select and recruit them."