What Are the Major Challenges in the International Job Market?


Creating a recruitment strategy, developing workplace policies and making employment decisions are some of the biggest challenges for employers in an international job market. Prospective employees also encounter challenges when they decide to enter the international job market. Educate yourself about these challenges so they do not become obstacles as you navigate the international job market.


For job seekers exploring the international job market, finding lucrative, legitimate and interesting jobs can be difficult, despite the availability of Internet resources. Job seekers relying on job postings must filter through pages of brief descriptions and hope that their qualifications are well-received by potential overseas employers.

For U.S.-based employers, recruiting job candidates from overseas isn't the most difficult task -- there are thousands of professionals seeking careers with U.S. companies. A bigger challenge for U.S. companies is identifying candidates for international assignments, either from its existing workforce or from the host countries.

HR Practices

Multinational corporations face the challenge of developing human resources initiatives for countries whose employment laws and social practices differ from U.S. laws and social considerations. For instance, U.S. labor and employment laws pertaining to collective bargaining rights differ from similar regulations in European nations. This means companies operating in international markets require human resource professionals who possess knowledge and expertise in employment practices for a number of overseas locations. This may require recruiting human resources experts from those countries to assist U.S. companies with developing fair employment policies and understanding the cultural norms and social practices of international workers.


Expatriate employees -- referred to as "expats" -- are those who leave their home country to work abroad. Expatriation is the process of preparing employees for relocating to another country. An expat agreement addresses matters not usually covered by a typical employment contract. For instance, an employer may require that employees model company ethics and philosophy to preserve the employer's global business reputation. In addition, an expatriate agreement sets forth conditions of employment such as term length, compensation, incentive and other international expenses.


When U.S. workers accept career opportunities in another country, the human resources department constructs agreements for the safe and efficient relocation and transfer of employees and families. If foreign language skills are a job requirement, the company may provide the resources for such education. Housing accommodations, spousal employment, dependent education and household goods shipments are some of the challenges of international relocation handled by a human resources staff member.


Repatriation begins when an expatriate employee completes her assignment and returns to her home country. Often, employees need help readjusting to life at home. Depending on the length of the assignment, employees may have to be re-integrated to the workplace. If an expat has sold his home and uprooted his family, the employer generally absorbs the expenses of these repatriation steps to enable a smooth transition into the workplace. Repatriation can present a challenge in terms of funding the process.

Work Visas

Sponsoring work visas for international workers can be one of the most difficult challenges in the international job market for political and logistical reasons. Work visas can be costly and extremely time-consuming because of the amount of paperwork necessary, the limited number of visas available and the lottery-type processes for obtaining visas for prospective employees from other countries. Companies also may have to deal with the negative implications of hiring workers from outside the country. Guaranteeing job security based on work visas can be perceived as innovative or unsettling, depending on how effective global corporations are at managing international employment.

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