University Canada West Journe

case study Journey to International Human Resources Management – written by Sandra Slopinski

Rihanna Hernandez was so excited to have landed the Human Resources Consultant job at a top well known Global company!  The interview process had been rigorous and took four rounds of interviews and testing to finally have the offer of employment from the Fiction Inc. division in Vancouver!  The head office was located in Hollywood, California and they had locations in Texas, and New York, as well as Japan, and Australia.  This new job would transition Rihanna from Domestic Human Resources Management, from which she had four years of experience, into International Human Resources Management.  She knew this job would be far more complex and challenging working in a multinational context. 

Rihanna reported to work at the head office extra early before 8:00 am to ensure she was not late on her first day.  She had taken the public transportation earlier last week to make sure she knew how to get to the office building in Vancouver.  She was looking very forward to meeting her colleagues and getting to know everyone.  She had done her research about the business online before her interviews started and knew some of the key public things about Fiction Inc. which is a movie production company specializing in animation films. 

Two months later Rihanna was run off her feet with the workload and all of the learning at a new company.  Another project just landed on her desk that involved hiring production assistants who would work in Paris at MOWE Animation.  Fiction had just signed an International Joint Venture with MOW Animation.  Fiction Inc. was really expanding and had just acquired a movie company in  Scotland called HOPSCOTCH Films in Glasgow as well.  She needed to hire three new assistants for Paris and five for Scotland.  She knew of about two employees at the Vancouver location that would be really interested in getting a global assignment.  Perhaps some staff members would want the opportunity for a promotion to production assistant as well.

Rihanna went to get a coffee in the staff lounge and her colleague Brian could see she was looking a bit stressed.  “What is going on?”, Brian asked. 

Rihanna explained the situation with the new human resources projects. 

“I think Kyle would be great for the Paris production assistant job!  He has that same job here already and does such good work.” Brian said, supporting Kyle for this international assignment. 

“Right, I know Kyle,” Rihanna said, “his kids go to school with my daughter and I know his wife.”

“I will have to contact Kyle.” Rihanna thanked Brian for his help and walked back to her desk and felt slightly better with some ideas for international staffing brewing in her mind.  She sat down and took a sip of her coffee and looked out the window.  At least she had a window in her office, she thought.

Rihanna was required to have “boots on the ground”, the new production assistants in place and on site by September 1st.  That meant she had a month and a half to get going on this project, and in the middle of a heat wave in British Columbia.  She had a lot to think about and refresh her mind on IHRM and international staffing, recruitment, and selection.  She knew that sometimes the expatriate assignments fail and leave the employee and the company in a rough spot that can get expensive.  Rihanna remembered a memo from the Vice President about the need to have more women in the production positions as well.   She had also heard that there was a shortage of qualified animation production assistants in Scotland when the news of the acquisition was shared with her which was well after the start of the acquisition process.  Right now, HOPSCOTCH Films focused on television, documentaries, and feature films.  She wondered how to staff for those roles after the acquisition of that company.  She wondered what approach to staffing she should take and what types of international assignments should be used.  She knew that she had to avoid the expatriate staffing failures as she was still new to this job herself and needed to be successful.  She knew she had to prove herself to her new boss.

Rihanna needed to come up with a plan, and fast. 

Explain what Rihanna should do between now and the end of September to make sure everything runs smoothly for herself, the company, and the eight new production assistants.  Include what Rihanna will need to ensure she does for International Human Resources Management and International Staffing and Selection.  Also include some of the disadvantage and issues she will want to be aware of and ensure that they are avoided so she can be successful on this project.

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