International Human Resource

The case of Azerbaijan


International Human Resource Management deals with three broad approaches. First, is to develop the corporative and industrial relations which seek to analyze and compare HRM systems in various countries. Second, approach emphasizes on cross-cultural management with aim to examine the behavior of human beings in an organization from international perspective. The third approach focuses on aspects of HRM in multinational firms.

Human resources violation is systematic and widespread in Azerbaijan. The country faces serious human rights violations despite being a member of European Council for almost ten years. This is a seen in various departments like the lack of fair judicial system, lack of democracy, free civil society and free media. Several international and national human rights organizations are currently drawing attention to the serious case and rampant case on human rights violation. Violation of human rights subsequently leads to inefficiency and low performances.

This paper studies the country Azerbaijan in relation to how the International human resources policies are managed in the public sectors and the up coming new companies. The main example will be Unibank as a typical Azerbaijan company of the 21st centaury on how it utilities its HR strategies in employee’s relations, recruitment, remuneration and how it manages HR across cultures. Through these topics the paper will present the challenges of not adhering to international HR, provide possible solutions and recommendations.

Significance of Human resource management

Many companies face various challenges for not adhering to international human resources management. The human resource management plays an important role, for the success of a company depends on it at the competitive market environment. If organizations do not work at retaining and maintaining talents, it would face dire consequences because competitors will out play them by strategically utilizing their HR.

International HR standards assist companies in creasing competition both locally and globally since the organization should adapt, be resilient, agile and customer focused in order to succeed. The HR professional must evolve for the organization to become an employee advocate or sponsor, a strategic partner and a change mentor in the organization. The success of the company also relies on the HR which has to be business-driven with the capability to influence key policies and decisions with a thorough understanding of the goals of the organization.

HR professionals as the key personnel of retaining and developing talents are the mentors, coaches, success planners and coaches who assist in developing then loyalty and motivation of all members in the organization. The HR manager has also the responsibility of organizing, planning controlling and leading human resources.


Unibank is among the leading private independent commercial banks in Azerbaijan (British financial magazine, 2005). As of 2008, the bank had a total equity of USD 58 million and a total asset worth USD 513 mill Ilion). It is one of the largest banks private banks in Azerbaijan. It was established in 2002 as a merger of two advanced commercial banks the PROMTEKHBANK and Azerbaijan MBAnk. 

Unibank does not employ new staff but trains each employee so as to increase his/ her qualification. The bank provides sponsored training courses and seminars both abroad and locally in Azerbaijan. It also provides the in-house training program which guarantees employees of professional growth.

Unibank is officially known as the bank for savings. It supports the various communities served in Azerbaijan by accepting and encouraging applications for fund under the company’s geographical foot print. It has assisted various youth development groups, in community development, environmental concerns and assisted its clients with affordable housing.  The bank has also assisted in retirement planning for different age groups.

Unibank focuses on the differences in country and corporate culture. After the meager in 2002 the bank provided pictorial data about others and themselves. It has incorporated officials across different countries, after the semis structured interviews in 2006 which included six finish, ten Danish, two Swedish and two Norwegian managers. They were selected from those who were in the market before the merger. Factors that enabled this election to be successful were from the fact that the managers were experienced across boarder merger which have since then shown their supportive actions.

Current HR challenges

Human are the most important individual in an organization for the firm depends on their capabilities. This means that the war for talent intensifies. Many private and public companies are examined to global market as it opens its boundaries. Such changes will affect employees especially from the fact that global business is characterized by flew of resources and human labor especially in the case that Azerbaijan is now part of European council. The competitive pressure introduced from global competitive and international factors, directly affects the management of human resources.

The changes in the Azerbaijan economy created from the completion of post soviet transition into a major oil based economy has an impact on international Human resources. The country is now forced to adopt techniques that up hold the legal working rights of employees in various economic sectors so as to meet the requirements of international HR. Such a change of economy is also characterized by changes of technology which will affect how people work. This is after the completion of Baku-Tbilisi- Ceyhan Pipeline which Azeri played an important role (Republic of Azerbaijan, 2008, p 16)

The 2007 growth of the country’s GDP stood at 41.7% which was possibly the highest of any nation in the world. Changing demographics is another challenge of international HR in which the work force is significantly affected. This is as a result of aging of the work force and diversity of employees. Reports indicate changes of Azerbaijan population structures which are long term are foreseen n the year 2020. These population changes of structures are determined by sex, ethnicity, marketing segments, age of teenagers, young adults, children, middle-aged adults and the older population. These aspects can be used to understand the future impacts of aging population, the size of the targeted market, changing city population, immigration and emigration on the international Human resource management. (Euro monitors international 2010).

Organizational restructuring is another factor that affects employees in various companies in Azerbaijan which have lead to reduced number of jobs and employees, the oil company in Azeri has mainly been affected by significant reforms in the state oil company. Such changes came about with the realization that structures the oil companies operated on could not meet market demands in the economy. The different prices of gas and oil from various companies reduced the efficiency of company’s operation.  BBC, 2002

HR Strategies for change

Human capital is crucial when implementing HR strategies especially at the time when Azeri has to comply with the requirements of international HR. any company has to determine the required qualifications of a person they do need in a company. This organization   can be global or local. A global company should consider members who are globally knowledgeable in diplomatic, language and communication skills.  The first step therefore is for the Human Resource personal to draft a job description that meets the expected demands of a certain candidate. This fall under the new initiatives, agendas and programs. This therefore means that the Human resources must move beyond regulatory guard and being the police of policy.

The HR should be the pioneers in assisting the firm to achieve its targeted goals through helping employees to improve their capabilities so as to ensure the objectives of the organization are met. Second strategy by the HR is to acknowledge that it is depended upon by the organization, through its ability to align itself to the changes that happen within the organization and the general economic environment. This will require the human resource to adopt new models or competitive strategies that are required by the organization so that it improves its customer services. The HR is therefore the champion in gearing employees to provide added value.

It is also the role of the HR to adopt new approaches which emphasize on new ways, approaches and mindset of thinking about business instead of holding on to bureaucratic and policies patters. The HR should focus on thinking globally but act locally.

As another important strategy, the HR should sponsor a model of change to help employees to smoothly adopt changes. Many questions should be raised at this stage which will deal with how to decide the practices needed to be transformed and which to be sustained. Te questions should also concern ways of learning quickly and rapidly by honoring the past and changing the future. The HR should also come up with ways of capturing the minds and hearts of its employees.

Other aspects to be considered while implementing these strategies are training and constant improvement of employee’s knowledge regarding his/ her duty and job like in the case of Unibank. Such trainings help at improving the technical, decision making and group process skills. Both the management and employs should share common goals and objectives which will bind them together by being committed to achieving them. The two groups-the employees and management should also share common culture that comprises of shared values ethics, behaviors and the term of job implementation. Both benefits and profits are to be shared equally in form of bonuses. Finally, the management should have and show trust to the lower level employees in meeting the required goals set by the organization.


The HR should enhance collaboration between the public sector and the public training institutions for effective training and planning program to the employees. The HR should focus on individual employee’s skills that are required and considered in the understanding of the economic, social, and political international dimensions. The HR is required to receive corporate priority so that business firms become ready to boost the investments of staff technology. The staff is to be rewarded in the long run if strategies are properly implemented. The HR is required to enhance and champion the needs of the employees in the firm and at the same time be partners of the firm’s business. The practices of the HR should be in line with the strategies of the company so as to enhance coordination.

The HR should most importantly be committed to making employees achieve organization’s goals; apart from simply making them happy. This can be done by measuring the outcomes of what the company has achieved in a specified period of time. The HR must therefore practice to create value by increasing organization’s intellectual capital (Sartain & Finney 2003, p 180-193)


The future of Azerbaijan’s capacity heavily depends on human resources to face the challenge of industrialization and globalization in the 21st centaury. Every firm in this country has the human resource, the capital and technology. HR is the most important of the three for it plays a major role in tackling the challenges of globalization. This is because both capital and technology can be generated but human recourses acts as the propellers of the nation and the organization through challenges that come along the way with motivation and encouragement.


Sartain, L & Finney, M (2003) HR from the heart: inspiring stories and strategies for

building the people side of great business, AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn

publisher, p 180-193 

BBC report (2002) organizational structuring of Oil Company is inevitable. Retrieved   


On 13th march 2010

Republic of Azerbaijan (2008) Article IV Consultation - Staff Report; Staff Statement;

Public Information Notice on the Executive Board Discussion; and Statement by the           

Executive Director for Republic of Azerbaijan. International

Monetary Fund Publisher, p 16

Euro monitors international (2010) The Future Demographics Azerbaijan. Retrieved from

On 13th march 2010


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