By Brad Schneider, Ph.D.
On a recent trip to Buenos Aires, I was reminded just how flat the world really is. Traveling at night, you board a flight in Chicago, close your eyes, and when you wake up in the morning, you're there. Even the time zone stays constant.
There are, of course, a few notable differences—in climate, language, and culture—but if you adapt to those differences, you can bridge critical gaps, ensure a smooth transition, and even leverage the unique strengths that each region has to offer.
The same strategy holds for organizations looking to expand and strengthen operations across the globe. As economic climates ebb and flow from one country to the next, having the flexibility to conduct business in a variety of countries is not just a strategy for accelerated growth—it's a hedged bet that ensures stability.
The challenge is that operating in new countries presents new issues—and exacerbates a few old ones. How do you ensure your brand is consistent across the globe? How do you ensure the caliber of your offerings and services are of the highest quality, regardless of where you do business?
The answer, of course, is ensuring that your internal processes are consistent across the map. For example, if your business differentiates on customer service, then hire global talent based on their ability to provide superior service to your clients. Ensuring a consistent selection process around the world—using employment testing to assess candidates motivations, skills and capabilities, for example—is the means for getting there.
Although cultural differences must be taken into consideration (e.g., client expectations regarding the effectiveness of employee service behaviors differ by country), pre-employment tests that have been translated and culturally adapted for each region of the world will already take these crucial nuances into account - ensuring that new hires in The Windy City and The City of Fair Winds provide the same brand positive experience to your clients.
Brad Schneider, Ph.D., is a Director of Global Testing Solutions with Development Dimensions International (DDI).