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Global Human Resources Professional

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As economies become more globally focused, companies are finding it necessary to send some of their employees overseas. This cross regional operation has facilitated the creation of new employment opportunities for human resource managers who wish to travel overseas. In line with the current trends, global HR jobs will continue to rise and qualified managers will be in demand.

Global HR Professionals

Many companies that have branches in other countries have employed global human resources professionals who manage and advise on the human resource requirements of the firms. Global HR professionals play an important role in helping employees who have been sent to foreign countries to have a smooth transition into the country. They take care of visa issues of the employee, offer advice on tax requirements, provide housing assistance and may provide cross-cultural training. Some large firms may have their in-house human resources department take care of this, while some prefer to hire global relocation companies that help the employees settle down.

Global HR professionals may also be in charge of posting vacancies, setting up interviews, and screening resumes of job applicants in foreign countries. They provide guidance and advise the team abroad and report on progress to the chief executive office at the firm’s global headquarters.

Global HR careers are challenging in nature, and job seekers of these positions must be well-rounded individuals who can take a lot of pressure at work. It may involve relocation, and job seekers should be willing to travel to other regions where the climate may not be conducive and the population may be unwelcoming. Some of the challenges that Global HR professionals face include searching of labor through outsourcing. Companies may require cheap labor offered by the local population and it is the work of the global HR professional to source for this labor. Getting the right candidates who are qualified in the job may be a big challenge due to language or cultural barriers.

Another challenge of global HR jobs is ensuring that the employees abroad can use the same technology as the local staff. This may include working with tools such as the Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) which may be a challenge. Some countries are backward in technology and it may be difficult to disseminate the technological requirements of the firm to the employees abroad. Another major challenge of global HR careers involve the understanding of the local immigration and employment laws as well as management of employees as stipulated by local labor laws. These laws might be different from those in the United States and may present frequent challenges to a global HR professional who is not well versed with them. The global HR manager should keep abreast with these laws though this may present a big challenge.

Education and Training

An undergraduate degree in HR is paramount for job seekers who desire to be global HR professionals. Many employers prefer applicants with previous experience for global HR careers. Some of the courses one might study include employment law, employee relations, compensation, HR strategies, negotiations, labor relations, workforce planning and staffing, safety and security, global/international HR, and human resource development among others.

At the graduate level, students have a better understanding of which part of HR they want to specialize in, and it may be wise to take courses in international HR at this point. If a working human resource manager wishes to advance his skills, it is always prudent to be keen on any offers that your company might have regarding reimbursement of tuition fees or partial scholarships for employees. For those considering global HR careers, it is important to have been awarded the Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) certificate which stipulates that you are an expert in global strategies, international project and assignment management, and international HR operations. It is also a boost for candidates that seek global HR jobs in the United States.

Other Skills

Apart from educational qualifications, global HR jobs require applicants who have good organizational and time management skills. The virtues of patience, perseverance, and good interpersonal skills are also desirable. Since the global HR professional will be dealing with a lot of paperwork regarding leases and visas and often in foreign languages, they should possess strong attention to detail in order to cope with the unfamiliar bureaucracies in other countries. Although not a requirement, knowledge of a foreign language may be an asset to the global HR professional and it may make work a lot easier in the territories where they may be posted.

Opportunities for Advancement

Global HR jobs provide numerous opportunities for career advancement. Global HR professionals with knowledge about specific territory requirements might act as consultants to other firms that wish to enter the country. In addition, these professionals may be put in charge of bigger responsibilities in foreign countries and may be promoted to higher ranks within the corporation as overseas administrators and directors.

Some of the international positions that the global HR professional may be qualified for include compensation and benefits manager, learning and development specialist, international recruitment consultant, regional HR director, and human capital executive. If employed as compensation and benefits manager, the global HR professional will be in charge of managing employee claims and benefits. Learning and development specialists are in charge of educating the employees on the technologies or policies used in the company, while the regional HR director may have a number of HR managers in the region reporting to them. The human capital executive works in collaboration with the international recruitment consultant to screen and select candidates to be employed by the firm and make recommendations on their posting to different regions of the world.

Job Outlook

Employment in global HR jobs is growing faster and is expected to keep up with this trend in the coming years. Companies that are opening branches in foreign countries will require global HR professionals to manage the human resources at their firms. College graduates have better chances of landing global HR jobs and those who are certified are better placed to assume the position.


With more companies going global, the demand for global HR professionals is set to rise as companies seek professionals to manage their international labor force. It is an industry that requires one to have some experience in HR management, and candidates with a master’s degree and other HR certifications like Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) have better employment chances.
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