Overseas Assignments: A Poor Fit for Introverts?
A new study from Florida Atlantic University suggests that
if you’re an expatriate on an overseas assignment, being an
introvert may work against you.
The study found that expatriates who did well with foreign
assignments tended to be extroverts who were both emotionally
stable and open to new experiences. Such individuals, says study
co-author and Florida Atlantic University assistant professor
Michael Harari, are better at forming larger and denser social
networks, which help provide the emotional and informational
support key to succeeding on an overseas assignment.
Harari suggests employees interested in an expat assignment
should evaluate their own personalities to determine how they
might fare, while HR should consider personality assessments as
part of expat-selection systems to cut down on employee turnover.
However, introverts should hardly count themselves out. After
all, as author Susan Cain notes in her book, Quiet: The Power of
Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, introverts often
possess good listening skills and an eye for detail that would seem
to be especially important to have in an overseas assignment.
—Andrew R. McIlvaine
Say Goodbye to Salary-History Questions
A new survey suggests dropping salary-history questions from
the job-interview process is just as easy as dropping a pencil.
Worldat Work, a nonprofit total-rewards association, found that
44 percent of employers surveyed that implemented a ban on
asking job candidates about their salary history reported doing so
to be very or extremely simple. Only 1 percent reported this to be
extremely difficult, and 8 percent reported it to be very difficult.
“When hiring managers and recruiters are educated and
given reliable compensation data on market rates and pay ranges,
the need for a candidate’s salary history diminishes,” says
Sue Holloway, CCP, CECP, Worldat Work director of executive
Thirty-seven percent of the 838 Worldat Work members
surveyed have a ban on salary-history questions in all U.S.
locations, while 35 percent prohibit this practice only where
laws require it. Forty percent of those without such a policy are
somewhat or extremely likely to enact one in the next 12 months.
—Michael J. O’Brien
A Right to Disconnect
The New York City Council is weighing a bill to prevent private
employers from requiring workers to check and respond to work
communications, such as emails and texts, outside of work hours.
The measure doesn’t prohibit workers from staying
connected, but rather prevents employers from mandating
such, and protects those who disregard out-of-office work from
retaliation. As written, the measure is fairly broad—with the
primary exemptions being for certain “emergencies” and on-call
situations, as well as for government agencies.
Joyce Maroney, executive director of The Workforce Institute
at Kronos, says such a law should take into account employees
who prefer flexibility, while also protecting against the burnout
that can come with constant communication.
In the meantime, HR leaders can promote “a climate of trust,
transparency and openness,” Maroney says, that “encourages
constructive conversation between managers and employees
such that the managers get the productivity and coverage they
need and the employees get the flexibility they need.”
The General Data Protection Regulation, a new
European Union data-protection law, goes
into effect May 25 and
promises to impact
companies around the
The regulation, aimed
at giving EU citizens
more control over how
their personal data are
used, extends to U.S.-based companies with EU
fines for non-compliance.
Among the changes are that
organizations use clear and
plain language to obtain
consent to collect data from
EU citizens—and that they be
informed how and by whom
such data will be processed,
as well as given the option to
later withdraw consent.
Diana Barea, managing
director in the talent and
organization group of
Accenture Strategy, says
the consent element of
GDPR may prompt HR
leaders to re-examine
their recruitment and
how information will
be transferred from
recruiters to the
organization, and how
long it will be retained.
When it comes to
payroll, most U.S. multi-
nationals use an aggregator
model: They will contract with
a large payroll company and
in-country, local providers,
which Felicia Cheek, senior
director, advisory at the
Hackett Group, notes adds
another layer of complexity to
“In-country providers will
process payroll and then the
aggregator—which could be
an ADP, a Ceridian, a regional
provider—takes all that data
and puts it into a common
format and feeds it back to the
HR system,” she says. “You
actually have two processes.”
That approach is going
to mean multinationals need
to re-examine their service-
level agreements prior to
the GDPR rollout to ensure
data-processing language is
compliant, says Philip Gordon,
shareholder and co-chair of
the privacy and background
checks practice group at
Littler’s Denver office.
The Hackett Group
recently surveyed global and
that offer managed services,
Software as a Service and both
solutions—about their GDPR
preparations. More than 60
percent of respondents said
clients can expect modified
service-level agreements to
accommodate GDPR changes.
About half believe GDPR
modifications will cause a
“moderate amount” of change
across their organizations,
but not enough to impact
service offerings or change
their pricing structures. About
half feel “well prepared” to
guarantee clients that they
are compliant with GDPR.
Sixty percent of vendors also
envision GDPR will cause
multinational clients to take a
more active role in selecting
in-country providers with
which they work.
Companies that violate
any tenets of GDPR could do
so at great risk: Regulators
can impose fines of up to $25
million or 4 percent of an
organization’s global annual
“This regulation has a big
set of teeth attached to it,”
However, she notes,
companies would be well-
served to see GDPR as an
opportunity, rather than a
“It shouldn’t be looked at
as something restrictive, but
rather something that’s going
to send the company on a
journey,” she says. “HR can
get a broader understanding
of the people who work in
the organization as well as
those they recruited or who
didn’t accept an offer by
understanding data better.
And they can use that to
become a better business.”
A new report from Willis Towers Watson of nearly 5,000 U.S.
employees finds that the importance of retirement savings
is on the rise, yet workers’ confidence in their own ability to
save is plummeting. Researchers suggest the findings could
prompt HR leaders to reexamine their approach to employee
Among the findings of the 2017 Global Benefits Attitudes
Retirement Confidence Slipping
Fewer respondents feel confident
they have the resources to live
comfortably 15 years into retirement.
Women are less confident they
have resources to last 25 years into
retirement than men.
More workers say retirement
security is important.
Baby boomers are more concerned
about retirement security than
Gen X employees.