The American way of human resource management

 

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Source :reseauinternational.net

Being able to lead a prosperous and happy life through hard work and determination is probably the 101 of the American dream. Equality of opportunity will be available to any American regardless of social class or circumstances of birth. The American dream has been quite the controversial ideal in the past, but still manages to intrigue us today. Through this article, the team of “Si J’étais DRH” will take you on a small trip to the land of Uncle Sam to discover HRM.

Zoom shot on the professional culture

To better understand a country’s idea of HRM, it is important to analyze its professional culture. “Receptive” is one of the most prominent aspects of this culture in the US. US employees tend to have a rather thin barrier between their professional and personal lives. Collaborative work and participative management are strongly encouraged. This is why being the “boss” there is not rigid concept. A good boss is someone who lives, works and shares things with his team. Beyond these cultural differences with France, there are also some divergences when it comes understanding HRM.

Remuneration at a glance

While salaries in the US might appear rather high compared to what we are used to in France, we have to keep in mind that the salary is not only pecuniary, but represents the whole package that a company offers the employee. Therefore, the main difference is that in France we are used to having an “all inclusive” formula while in the US they prefer something more “à la carte”. This is mostly due to the legal framework. Cédric Postel-Vinay, a French Human Resources Manager living in the US says: “In France, stock options are losing their fiscal attractiveness. Medical cover, pension and unemployment benefits are extremely regulated and well-established. Therefore the only thing left for employers to use as a lever is salary”. By contrast, the American employer has more alternatives, such as pension funds, medical cover and so on. For example medical expenses are ridiculously high in the US and it is one of the main causes of bankruptcy for American households. Therefore, medical cover is a key element when it comes to negotiating remuneration.

Lucky Luke-like recruiters

In cowboy’s land, recruitment usually doesn’t take much time. The legal framework and the labor market are both extremely flexible to accommodate that. The notice period when leaving a job rarely exceeds 2 weeks, unemployment benefits are almost non-existent and the labor market is extremely competitive. Therefore an unemployed US citizen won’t risk waiting for too long and for the recruiter, it only be a matter of reacting quickly.

What about the 5 weeks of annual leaves?

The US don’t have a strict regulation when it comes to leaves. 3-days week-ends or leaves in the middle of the week aren’t very common. However, US employees are still entitled to 10 days annual leaves on average.

Even if these differences might sometimes be extremely confusing, David DADOUN, a French HRM working in the US tells us that the HR challenges in France and the US are very similar in terms of career perspectives, recruitment strategy or salary. The only thing which varies is the content due to the local context.

Sources : illusiondetous.wordpress.com, Lefigaro.fr, investir.us et frenchdistrict.com and rhinfo.com

 

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