People doing business on the international stage are aware that business is conducted differently in every country. If international business is to be successful, it is critical to develop a thorough understanding of the culture, values, and interpersonal norms that impact the workplaces of foreign colleagues. This same level of thought needs to be applied to assessment solutions used to identify and manage talent in different countries.
Although a job role may have the same title and similar objectives across the globe, the ways in which people achieve results in different localities can vary. The critical behaviors and competencies measured by an assessment needs to account for those differences. For instance, the type of sales approach that works well in the United States may be too aggressive for cultural norms in other parts of the world. If an assessment based on US sales behaviors is transported to a different part of the world without due consideration of these differences, the people hired abroad will not deliver the expected results.
When using assessments in different countries, key considerations include:
Avoid Assumptions – As mentioned above, do not assume that jobs are the same everywhere. Also, do not make assumptions about differences based on country stereotypes. Instead, follow best practices for assessments and analyze the job itself. Treating a new location as a new job will provide detailed information so that the assessment can be designed to measure the critical behaviors for top talent.
Utilize Local Resources – Identify subject matter experts who are part of the local culture and knowledgeable about how businesses operate. These experts will have first-hand insights and can help successfully design and implement appropriate assessments.
Use the Right Language – Translating an assessment into the local language may seem like an obvious step, but it must be done correctly. To ensure the quality of the assessment is preserved, a precise methodology of translation should be followed. Mistranslation and colloquialisms can impact the reliability and validity of an assessment, leading to poor conclusions and loss of ROI.
Choosing solutions that help objectively identify and manage talent are important no matter where business is conducted. Applying a knowledgeable understanding of differences that impacts assessments will ensure that talent measures are aligned to achieve business objectives in all areas of the world.