Cultural differences in recruitment and performance management Europe

All companies share the common goal of attracting (recruiting) and retaining (performance management) top talent. Success hinges on making global goals a local business. In this blog, HR Consultant Carolyn Braaksma, explains how and why American companies can benefit by adapting their style of recruiting and performance management to fit the non-US culture.

Europe consists of 40 countries, each with their own, unique culture and employment laws. Presently, 28 of these countries belong to the European Union (EU), which allows residents to travel and work freely. However, the cultural and labor market differences between these 28 countries is significant, even between neighboring countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands.

While the goal of recruiting is largely the same around the world, there are observable differences in candidates from different countries. For example, a healthy work-life balance is valued for job candidates in western European countries, such as Austria and Germany, more than elsewhere. By adapting to regional and cultural differences between job candidates, employers are more likely to appeal to and find the most competitive candidates.

Cultural dimensions of organizational behavior reveal more of a hierarchy in southern and eastern European countries. Job titles are important in these regions. There is also a dress code, more formality, and a greater reliance of employees on their manager’s instructions. By contrast, in the Netherlands and Sweden, frequently the workplace atmosphere is more informal. In countries with more hierarchy, such as Germany and eastern Europe, job applicants are unlikely to say no or give their opinion. The Dutch, however, are much more open. The recruiter needs to note these cultural differences. If candidates are more reserved, the recruiter will have to ask more questions. EuroDev can provide this specialty in recruiting across Europe.

When hiring an international candidate, modern leadership and progressive HR management are necessary to quickly bridge any cultural differences. Knowing and understanding your job candidate increases the likelihood of a successful hire.

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Performance Management
The Western concept of evaluating performance management is more scientific with a specific process that is valid, reliable, and rational. Around the world, while management and assessment of performance have always been done, it is typically completed more intuitively and organically.

Before utilizing a performance management process from one country to another, organizations should determine whether their global corporate culture is strong enough to enable the performance management process to work across different cultures. This requires HR staff with global expertise to adapt practices as appropriate, which the HRO team at EuroDev can provide.

Independent of culture, the main objective of any performance management process is to make sure employees know what the company expects of them and how well they are meeting expectations. Organizations may, however, have to tailor and adapt processes in order to make them culturally comfortable for optimal performance from their global employees.

American companies benefit greatly by adapting their style of recruiting and performance management to fit the non-US culture. EuroDev’s HR Outsourcing consultants can provide Recruiting, HR Consulting, and Payroll services for each of these countries. As the employer of record, EuroDev allows North American clients to focus on what they do best, run their operations.

More information

If you want to know more about HR in Europe, please do not hesitate to contact Monique Ramondt-Sanders - VP of Human Resource Outsourcing. More information on our services can be found on our website and blogs

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About EuroDev

EuroDev, established in 1996 with offices in The Netherlands and France, has a single, defined purpose to help mid-sized North American companies expand their business in Europe. We have created a proven, successful business development model and since our founding, have partnered with over 300 companies to help them define and meet their European business goals. Services provided include Sales Outsourcing, HR Outsourcing and Digital Marketing.

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