Part 1: Recruiting from a culturally diverse talent poolChapter 1Introduction: What are cultural differences?Key points to be made in this chapter:âX People attempt to achieve the same objectives in different ways depending on their cultural backgrounds.âX In most cases, immigrants were successful in their home countries, so they attempt to apply the same approaches in North America as they would use back home. When they come from countries that are very different from the USA and Canada, this does not yield the desired results.âX Cultural differences can be described as an iceberg. In most cases, people notice visible differences in dress code, food, etc. As they work more frequently with culturally different people, Canadians and Americans start to notice differences in the sense of hierarchy, male-female relationships, communication styles, etc. Few notice differences in teamwork approaches.âX The recruiting process is particularly prone to cross-cultural misunderstanding because it involves interactions between people who have never met before and who therefore rely on their cultural programming to interpret the otherÂ¡Â¦s behaviour. Recruiters identify best candidates based on their responses to specific questions or their behaviours in specific situations. Candidates try to demonstrate that they are the best for the job by displaying the behaviours or saying the words that they anticipate to be expected by recruiters. Unfortunately, when candidates and recruiters come from different cultural backgrounds, they use different grids of interpretation of behaviours and words; as a result, recruiters misinterpret the actions and words of culturally-different candidates and reject them for reasons that have nothing to do with their ability to do the job.âX Awareness is 50% of the solution: Readers are encouraged to suspend judgement and to try and interpret the meaning of candidatesÂ¡Â¦ behaviours and words from the candidatesÂ¡Â¦ perspectives.Chapter 2Screening resumesKey points to be covered in this chapter:Issues commonly encountered when screening piles of resumesâX Keyword screeningâX Website accessâX Â¡Â§Jack of all trades, master of noneÂ¡Â¨âX Resume sent to the wrong organizationâX Candidates who have Â¡Â§jumped aroundÂ¡Â¨âX Assessing correctly their level of qualification:Â¡V Over-qualifiedÂ¡V Under-qualifiedÂ¡V AverageâX Inappropriate cover lettersâX Resume sent to the wrong personAction steps that organizations can take to solve these issues:âX Explain in extensive details, using many examples, the recruiting process used in your organization.âX Look for transferable skills and experienceâX DonÂ¡Â¦t reject resumes because they only describe responsibilitiesâX Focus on progression in the U.S. or Canada, not on the level at which they are right nowâX Select culturally different candidates who are slightly over-qualifiedâX Overlook frequent changes of positions after and immediately before the time they immigratedâX Look for evaluation of academic credentials by World Education Services, universities, etc.âX Creating clear and specific position descriptions by identifying, listing and clearly differentiating Â¡Â§must haveÂ¡Â¨ and Â¡Â§nice to haveÂ¡Â¨ skillsâX Check for bona fide requirements (skills and physical abilities)âX Check for actual communication skill requirements of the jobChapter 3Screening candidatesKey points to be covered in this chapter:âX Telephone screening interviewsâX Face-to-face interviewsÂ¡V Different verbal / non-verbal communication stylesÂ¡V Excessive deference (hierarchy)Â¡V No or downplayed accomplishmentÂ¡V No personal accomplishmentÂ¡V Emphasis on points of limited importanceÂ¡V Sense of timeÂ¡V Lack of knowledge of American / Canadian system (laws, regulations, rules, etc.)Action steps that organizations can take to solve these issues:âX Avoid rejecting ESL candidates based on telephone interviewsâX Include HR / diverse people in recruiting teamâX Look past communication style differencesâX Focus on transferable skillsâX Create situations that test candidates in real-life conditionsâX Hire diverse candidates who need to learn more about the American / Canadian system at the low end of the pay scale and put them in developmental positions with managers who know how to handle such situationsâX Use short-term contracts to test candidatesâX Use internships and/or volunteer/shadow positions to build candidatesâX Determine upfront specific candidate-ranking criteriaâX Use behavioral interview styleâX Email questions to candidates 48 hours before interview and ask them to respond in writing by emailâX Describe recruiting process on organizationÂ¡Â¦s website, including sample interview questionsChapter 4Probation periodKey points to be covered in this chapter:âX Lack of initiativeâX Poor working relationships with their direct managerâX Aggressive work styleâX Different approaches to problem solving and to decision makingâX Involvement in areas unrelated to their role and responsibilitiesAction steps that organizations can take to solve these issues:âX Provide extensive orientation to culturally diverse new hires Â¡V 1 day is often insufficientâX Provide coaching and/or mentoring to culturally diverse new hiresâX Prepare and support the managers of culturally diverse new hiresâX Schedule monthly meeting to discuss cultural integration within organizationChapter 5Job search advice for immigrants and non-profit organizations that help them find employment in Canada and the U.S.Key points to be covered in this chapterâX Immigrants need to learn a new set of unwritten rules in order to get a job that makes use of their expertise and experienceâX They need to learn to think of themselves as specialists rather than generalists and to organize their job search accordingly.âX They need to learn how to create a resume that conveys concisely and accurately their experience, skills and competencies to recruiters and line managers.âX They need to learn how to network effectively.âX They need to learn how to handle interviews the American / Canadian way. In particular, they need to learn to describe the projects they worked and their individual accomplishments the way Canadians or Americans would.This chapter will provide:âX Specific tips on how to do this by oneself (for immigrants) or to help immigrants do it (for employees of non-profit organizations).âX Tools and approaches to make the job searches of immigrants more effective.Chapter 6Cross-cultural communication issuesKey points to be covered in this chapter:Cross-cultural communication issues may arise from a wide range of non-verbal and verbal communication style differences.âX Non-verbal communication style differencesÂ¡V SpaceÂ¡V GesturesÂ¡V Body languageÂ¡V Tone of voice / emotionsÂ¡V HumorÂ¡V Dress codeâX Verbal communication style differencesÂ¡V English as a Second LanguageÂ¡V SilenceÂ¡V Underlying language assumptionsÂ¡V Background noiseÂ¡V Speaking face-to-face versus side-by-sideÂ¡V AccentsÂ¡V Acronyms / abbreviationsÂ¡V Context / direct versus indirectÂ¡V Different versions of EnglishÂ¡V Sports EnglishÂ¡V ConnotationsÂ¡V Â¡Â§YesÂ¡Â¨Â¡V Â¡Â§TomorrowÂ¡Â¨Â¡V Chit-chatÂ¡V Â¡Â§The medium is the messageÂ¡Â¨Action steps:âX There are many action steps that can be taken both individually and collectively; these will be examined here in details.Â¡V Steps that individual employees and managers can take to communicate more effectively with othersÂ¡V Steps that organizations can take to improve cross-cultural communication within the organization and with the outside.âX One important point is that effective cross-cultural communication comes from doing a lot of little things well.Part 2: Retaining and promoting culturally different employeesChapter 7Introduction: Retention and promotion issues resulting from cultural differences Key points to be made in this chapter:âX Many of the points made in the introduction of the first book continue to apply after culturally different people have been hired. In particular, most immigrants want to move up in organizations and they attempt to do so by working hard the way they would have worked back home. This approach does not always yield the desired results because of cultural differences.âX Failures to retain culturally different employees has a negative impact on organizations for several reasons:Â¡V They miss their Affirmative Action targets or fail to make progress on their Employment Equity numbersÂ¡V Culturally different employees who leave because they feel that their skills are not fully used eventually leave, taking their skills away to a competitor or they end up creating competing organizationsChapter 8Manager-employee relationshipsKey points to be made in this chapter:âX Getting along and understanding what your manager wants from you are critical to the success of any employee. When an employee comes from a cultural background that is different from his or her manager, employee and manager may have completely different ideas of what being a good employee and being a good manager mean. As a result, they may work very poorly together, even though each is convinced that he or she is doing a great job. Unfortunately, they are using different yardsticks to measure their performances because they have different senses of hierarchy.âX Differences in hierarchy have a major impact on the following:Â¡V Titles and protocolÂ¡V CompensationÂ¡V Making decisionsÂ¡V Delegation of tasks and responsibilitiesÂ¡V Promotion processÂ¡V Performance evaluationâX Giving and receiving feedback is an integral part of progress in an organization. When we give feedback to people who come from different cultural backgrounds, the message may be received in a completely different way than it was meant.Action steps:âX At the individual level:Â¡V Discuss with your manager / employees who should make what decisionsÂ¡V Determine whether your manager employees are more or less hierarchical than you are and adapt to their styleÂ¡V Adapt your feedback style to their sensitivityâX At the organizational level:Â¡V Train managers to manage culturally different reportsÂ¡V Train employeesÂ¡V Provide coaching and/or mentoringÂ¡V Adapt high potential programsChapter 9TeamworkKey points to be made in this chapter:âX Being a good team player is essential to the success of individual employees. People coming from different cultural backgrounds have different ideas of what being a good team player means and their definitions may be incompatible because they have a different sense of individualism.âX Differences in individualism have a major impact on the following:Â¡V Office lay-outÂ¡V VacationsÂ¡V TeamworkÂ¡V Decision-makingÂ¡V CompensationÂ¡V Promotion processâX Risk tolerance varies significantly from one culture to the next. In the workplace, risk tolerance translates into how much information people need to make a decision and be comfortable that they are making the right decision. When members of a team have different levels of risk tolerance, teams can easily and quickly fall apart.âX Difference in risk tolerance have a major impact on the following:Â¡V Problem-solvingÂ¡V PresentationsÂ¡V Decision-makingÂ¡V Career planningÂ¡V CompensationÂ¡V Project planningAction steps:âX At the individual levelâX At the organizational levelChapter 10Promotion processKey points to be covered in this chapter:âX Hierarchical versus non-hierarchical promotion processâX Collective versus individualistic promotion processâX Glass ceilingAction steps:âX Helping culturally different employees move up through:Â¡V High potential programsÂ¡V Special / developmental assignmentsÂ¡V MentorshipÂ¡V Internal / external coachingâX Changing the organizational culture through:Â¡V TrainingÂ¡V Recruiting (internships, shadow positions, etc.)Â¡V Supporting the managers of culturally diverse employees through training, mentorship, coaching, and foreign assignmentsChapter 11Conclusion: Benefits of cultural diversityKey points to be covered in this chapter:âX Cultural differences are a source of both challenges and opportunities. In most cases, the challenges come first, the opportunities later, when culturally diverse people have learned to work together effectively.âX Creating a corporate culture where cultural diversity is valued can be a significant competitive advantage, because it is very difficult to duplicate.âX Culturally diverse people create synergies and innovate by approaching the same problem from very different angles and by bringing different experiences to the solution.âX Culturally diverse organizations can expand into cultural / ethnic / foreign marketsAppendixDemographics of immigrants in the USA and Canada.