Approaches for recruiting senior personnel by multinational corporations in Kenya
The study was designed to investigate the recruitment approaches in multinational corporations operating in Kenya. Global management strategies in multinational companies vary greatly. The processes, practices, systems and structures developed to implement those strategies also vary. Developing global strategies can be difficult, given the conflicting demands the global environment places on MNCs. The conflicting demands often arise as MNCs attempt to maximize their abilities to respond to the needs of the host countries (local responsiveness), while trying to maintain their controlled corporate structure worldwide (global integration). MNC are faced with the challenge of unfamiliar business environment and unfriendly laws. Understanding how they cope with these challenges is what the researcher had in mind while under taking this study. In a traditional hierarchical organization the role of hiring and leading people was relatively straightforward. Today, the picture is entirely different. Companies recognize they are actors in large, complex systems and need to interact in a web of relations with different stakeholder groups. Realizing corporate success requires a delicate balance of dialogue and action with groups and individuals inside and outside the organization. Recruiting a formidable workforce is now about balancing competing. In the literature review the researcher sought to understand what other writers say about the various recruitment approaches, recruitment channels and the management approaches that MNCs would adopt while conducting their recruitment process. This paper provides construct validation for the Heenan and Perlmutter classifications (ethnocentric, polycentric, regiocentric and geocentric) from a human resources perspective. It describes and then empirically demonstrates which HR practices are consistent with Heenan and perlmutter’s global management strategies. A descriptive survey was undertaken on multinational corporations operating in Kenya. The target population was all the MNCs operating in Kenya , the study used stratified and purposive random sampling to select the companies and respondents involved in the study. The study targeted multinationals operating in eight sectors- financial services, oil, industrial manufacturing, pharmaceutical, ICT, tourism and hospitality, agriculture and construction. Sixty four questionnaires were administered to employees in the human resource departments of these firms. Fifty two questionnaires were satisfactorily filled and the information analysed using descriptive statistics. The findings were presented in form of tables and figures. The study found that the firms have adopted varied human resource management approaches with polycentric being the most preferred. Other approaches include regiocentric, ethnocentric and geocentric.The study also found that various parties were involved in the recruitment process including representatives from parent companies, human resource personnel as well as consultants. The study found that the local print media as a source was the preferred media in the recruitment process. The study also found that the recruitment process encounters challenges such as local culture, restrictive level of autonomy given to subsidiary by parent and interference from parent company. The study recommends building up case studies documenting the recruitment practices in multinational corporations to enhance establishment of benchmarks and best practices.The study also recommends that there is need for the MNCs to rely on successful case studies in the HRM in the countries they want to start operations. There is also need to conduct a satisfaction surveys across the MNCs on aspects such as culture and relation with the parent company.