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Global Human Resources: Salary levels for expatriates

If you were a host-country national (HCN), would you think salaries should be equal between HCNs and expatriates in equivalent positions, even though the cost of living is lower in the host country? Suppose you were a president of a subsidiary in a host country, and as a parent-country national (PCN), you have a salary five times higher than that for the highest-paid HCN (your vice president). How would you feel about that? How would you feel if you were the HCN vice president?

As human resources (HR) director for an oil company, you are responsible for selecting 15 expatriates to go to work in Iraq for a five-year term. However, you are personally concerned about their safety. How do you proceed?

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If you were a host-country national (HCN), would you think salaries should be equal between HCNs and expatriates in equivalent positions, even though the cost of living is lower in the host country?

As an HCN, it would be a normal desire to acquire the same pay for the same job as the expatriate, however, traditionally if an expat has been brought to the country in an equal position, it is a salary type position and the HCN is also making a very good wage for his country's standards and is probably considered just as "wealthy" if not more so than the expat, based on the cost of living and economies of scale between the two countries. It is a unique situation in which the pay scale is typically much different, however both employees feel equally blessed as the ...

Solution Summary

As an HCN, it would be a normal desire to acquire the same pay for the same job as the expatriate, however, traditionally if an expat has been brought to the country in an equal position, it is a salary type position and the HCN is also making a very good wage for his country's standards and is probably considered just as "wealthy" if not more so than the expat, based on the cost of living and economies of scale between the two countries. It is a unique situation in which the pay scale is typically much different, however both employees feel equally blessed as the pay meets their country's standard of living (Personnel Today, 2010).

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