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Despite the clear benefits, hiring talent from overseas can present an HR challenge. Not least among this is the complicated process of navigating employment laws and visa requirements for international workers. Requirements and regulations are different in each country and between countries, and can change frequently.

Beyond visas, further accommodations for a recruiting and retaining a culturally diverse workforce should be taken into account. For instance, providing a quiet space for prayer can make a workplace more welcoming and inclusive for employees with a range of beliefs, as can taking into account different cultural or religious holidays. Of course, these considerations and accommodations can sometimes be an added business cost as well as a logistical challenge.


12. Challenge: Different understandings of professional etiquette

Colleagues from different cultures can also bring with them different workplace attitudes, values, behaviors, and etiquette. While these can be enriching and even beneficial in a diverse professional environment, they can also cause misunderstandings or ill feelings between team members.

For instance, the expectation of formality (or relative informality), organizational hierarchy, and even working hours can conflict across cultures. Where a Japanese colleague may not feel it appropriate to leave work before their manager (or, indeed, anyone else), a Swedish professional may be used to a 6-hour working day.

Additionally, different approaches to punctuality, confrontation, or dealing with conflict can prove an issue.