5 main features of working in a large multinational company
The workforce has become very mobile in the recent years. Even the lockdown of 2020 has not changed the global trend of massive relocation in search for a better workplace. Another global trend is the proliferation of large multinational businesses in local markets and employment by these companies of staff locally. In this article we will consider some main features of working in a large multinational company.
Let’s suppose you have a dilemma – continue to build a career in a local (Chinese, Indian, Malaysian, Polish, German, Italian, Russian etc.) company or get a job to a multinational one. Most of them are Western like American or having American or Western management, many other are Japanese. Take your time, think about how the second suits you, whether you will have to radically change your mentality, approaches to solving issues and attitudes, or the features of international companies – just what you need.
Detailed processes and instructions
When you first get into an international company, you get the feeling that you are in a matrix where everyone is acting strictly according to the rules. Many business processes are spelled out, instructions are clear and clear. It is not always possible to tackle an interesting issue if it is not directly within your area of responsibility. Of course, you can try to gain experience in managing a project, but always in consultation with the manager.
Many international companies have regular (monthly or quarterly) control procedures, within which it is necessary to report on the work done or analyze various indicators. There should be discipline in the routine performance of such duties. Management in international companies does not accept violations of order and strictly controls employees. You need to be prepared, you will often be faced with a choice of what to do first: to take up a business project or report to a corporation. But you will have to do and find time for both.
It is impossible to predict and manage all the incidents in life, so large companies want to hire employees with good soft skills. It is important that an employee in a contingency situation makes the right choice, which will contribute to the growth of the business and not contradict the corporate culture.
Soft skills include effective communication, teamwork, presentation skills, etc. These are qualities and skills that help people find optimal solutions in non-standard situations especially when dealing with other people. If collaboration in a team is difficult for you, you are not very sociable, you do not know how to delegate, create a friendly environment in a team for constructive interaction – it will be very difficult to work in a large international company. And there is no need to dream of a future career with weak soft skills.
Employers have no difficulty finding if you have weak soft skills. They use situational judgement tests and personality questionnaires for this. And of course, job interviews remain the main way to find more about candidates including their personality features.
I remember a case when I was looking for a CFO in one of the companies of our holding. The candidate possessed a prestigious accounting certificate – ACCA, spoke English and had an impressive experience in various companies, including successfully passing inspections and audits. However, the potential employee could not give examples from recent practice, tell what innovations he has implemented and clearly explain what exactly he and his team have done. As a result, he was not accepted. For our company, it is essential to have communication skills, since employees are part of the business team. It is important that a person can clearly convey his point of view, and constructively defend it, if necessary.
You must study every day
Whether you like it or not, you have to learn. It doesn’t matter how many degrees or certificates you have, how many languages you know. A large international company will literally force you to constantly improve your qualifications and develop your skills and abilities. At least once a year, each employee must draw up a plan for their individual development. Describe in detail the areas on which the person is going to work in the coming year with a detailed plan and target results. A lot of training will be online, as at the moment this is the most common type in international companies. Quickly grasping the main point from a presentation or video and putting it into practice is also a skill to learn.
This point is too required in candidates who want to get a job in large companies. And personality/situational judgement tests are common to find about your ability to learn and improve as well.
After working for an international company for some time, you understand that rigid procedures do not mean a lack of creativity in work. The corporation wants the employee to stay engaged and to perform at their best. It’s not enough to be an expert, you need to constantly look for ways to optimize. It is expected that at the meetings you will actively express your point of view, suggest new ways, and take initiative. You cannot wait for an idea and a task to come from above. The duty of a leader is to encourage an innovative spirit in the team, to motivate subordinates for new projects.
As an example, in our corporation we hold meetings once a month for the entire financial team in Europe. We often invited external speakers with interesting topics: representatives of banks, insurance companies, colleagues from friendly companies. The topics are not always directly related to the work. But often after a meeting, there appear ways for a discussion and new ideas.
Employers largely use different personality questionnaires and situational judgement test to find proactivity in candidates. So, we recommend demonstrate this trait when you try to get a new job in a large company.
In large international companies, at any time, any employee should be ready for a 360-degree feedback. That is, from managers, subordinates, as well as colleagues who are at the same level or just members of the project team. This is a corporate lifestyle. Constructive feedback helps to understand what the employee could have done differently or what he did well, as well as see the situation from a different angle. Feedback about work, behavior, project management, or just participation in it is given by others, regardless of the hierarchy. And these are not always words of gratitude. Sometimes these are criticism. By the way, large companies also teach to give constructive feedback at special trainings. In many international companies, it is mandatory.
As we stated above, large companies largely try to find candidates who already possess the qualities that they need. These are good soft skills, proactivity, optimism and many others. HR agents of international businesses use situational judgement tests and personality questionnaires for the initial screening of candidates. Thus, if you want to get a job in a large international company, we strongly recommend you practicing situational judgement tests and personality questionnaires in advance. After 4-5 days of practice you will be much more confident and able to score high in any test. Best wishes from Aptitude-Test-Practice!
Read more about the types of situational judgement tests in our special articles: