Office teamwork

Handling HR in a new country

Moving to a new country can be difficult. However, millions of people move to different countries for one reason or another. This could be for a job, to give their family a better life or simply for a change of scenery.

One of the most difficult parts of moving somewhere new comes down to employment. Not only can finding a job be tough, but the rules, expectations and culture can be vastly different. This is particularly true with HR. HR trends are always changing the space and new innovations or practices are common.

For example, the use of applicant tracking systems for HR is becoming popular, but can greatly change the application and hiring process. This can be different for employees unfamiliar with them. (ATS software explained here in case you’d like to learn more)

Dealing with these new and different HR rules and trends can be tough for someone new to the country to grasp. With that in mind, this article is going to try and help as we look at a few tips to help you handle HR in a new country.

Do your research ahead of time

One of the single best ways to handle HR in a new country you are moving to is to do your research ahead of time. Spending a couple hours searching the internet about HR practices and expectations in your new country can be incredibly fruitful. You will learn about the hiring process, how interviews are often done, how to successfully speak to HR personnel with complaints and so much more.

In addition to knowing some of the best practices and rules of HR, be sure to do your research on the laws. You want to know your rights as an employee in your new country, to make sure you aren’t taken advantage of. If you don’t investigate this ahead of time, everything will be an unexpected shock to you, which can make everything more difficult to handle and get a grasp of.

Be aware of cultural differences and expectations

One of the biggest hurdles for employees new to a country comes down to cultural differences. This can be especially true in regards to HR at a new company. This isn’t so much worrying about religious beliefs or anything like that, and more about how people work. In some areas, people work very differently, adopt different styles and simply a different sense of urgency.

Also, some countries work far less hours or shorter days than others. Everywhere is different and in order to keep a job and in your employers good graces, you should know what is expected out of employees in your new country. Just be aware that what was normal to you for so long, may no longer be the norm in your new country. 

While you shouldn’t abandon your old culture and simply do what everyone else does in your new country, knowing about what they do and expect can be a good idea to keep your HR-related interactions going smoothly. Companies are getting much better at managing all of this as the world is becoming more multicultural and people of all backgrounds are working together frequently.

Have conversations

HR is all about communication. Organizational communication is incredibly important for companies, and HR is often in the middle of that conversation. If you have any questions or concerns relating to your company or HR itself, be sure to feel comfortable offering that feedback. Your company should be open to your feedback and concerns, and should respond quite quickly in most cases.

So, if you are unsure about how to handle something HR-related or would like some clarification, don’t be afraid to ask. There are several great resources out there (both online and otherwise), to help new residents with employment-related concerns. There is no need to handle it along and struggle with your concerns, as HR is all about feedback, both ways. In conclusion, this article and the information inside of it will be able to help you handle HR when you move to a new country. Moving to a new and unfamiliar country and company can be stressful, but can be incredibly rewarding at the same time.

Header Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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