Marconi Telecommunications Mexico

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SELECTION

PROBLEM 1&2
The firm needs 14 managers. There are not enough available candidates: with the appropriate background (MBA), technical skills, with Latin-American experiences and who speak Spanish. This problem is linked to another problem: the compensation system is not competitive with European and American telecommunication firms. DESCRIPTION OF THE PROBLEM

In 1990, a program designated to anticipate Latin American market expansion: hiring recent graduates with appropriate backgrounds from MBA programs, a technical education, substantial Latin American backgrounds and spoke Spanish. By 1996, only 10 of these young international managers have been retained by the firm. Among the managers selected, only 4 are "young international managers" (=who speak Spanish fluently and had already lived and worked in Latin-America), and 4 others are "traditional and international managers" (=who speak Spanish and have already had an international experience). The problem is also that even if the firm has available candidates, it is not able to retain them. Actually, the perception of young international candidates is that other companies' salaries are higher than Marconi's ones. If the compensation package can be considered as correct, compared to competitors, the base salaries alone are less than those of competitors and this makes Martel vulnerable.

ALTERNATIVES
Marconi needs to find a way to attract international managers and to retain them. 1_The program which has been taken in place in the 90's could be a part of the solution. The best way to attract recent graduates is to work in partnership with universities. Marconi could propose some practices to students and hire the candidates who are suitable for the strategy of expansion. 2_The problem is not only to attract new managers. Marconi must be able to retain them and to motivate them to work abroad. The compensation system must be competitive. Nowadays, the base salaries are perceived as less attractive than competitors. 3_Marconi could try to develop the international capacities of traditional manager with trainings. Instead of looking to attract new employees and train them in order to develop their technical skills, Marconi could try to "use" the current traditional employees and train them to develop their international skills (languages, cross-cultural behavior and so on) 4_Marconi could recruit externally, by aggressively recruiting qualified individuals from other telecommunication companies working in Latin America. This alternative is the most expensive one, because it implies to propose very attractive compensations and salaries.

MY RECOMMANDATIONS:
My recommendation is to link alternatives 1, 2 and 3. Alternative 4 is too expensive. I prefer keeping the existing workforce. Actually, whatever the circumstances, a firm implied in the daily life of a university has great chances to attract some students, what means future managers. This alternative is not expensive for the firm. Concerning the only problem of expatriation in Mexico, the problem of compensation has to be resolved. Marconi has to retain its pool of skills. The only way is to offer satisfactory salaries and compensation packages. Training programs have to be regular and not only occasional. It is obvious that technical training programs are essential for young graduates and freshly recruited managers. Moreover, to attract traditional managers, these cross-cultural training programs must be linked to concrete missions. To help develop skills on both sides, we can also imagine create teams within young and traditional managers, with complementary skills have to work together, and help and learn from each other.

PREPARATION
Apparently, there was no way to imagine that the industrial group that owned Lerida could have change its mind so quickly, so let's forget about all the solutions concerning more...
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