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Communication skills are becoming vital if global business leaders are to effectively manage people across international boundaries, says recruiting experts Hays.

In its latest Hays Journal, out this week, the recruiter explores the growing importance of communication in international people management. Says Jason Walker, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand: "For business leaders in an increasingly global, 24/7 environment, how they communicate with a multi-lingual and multi-cultural team, located across different time zones and markets, is increasingly important and critical to business success.

"Even the most globetrotting manager cannot be everywhere at once. The world of work is increasingly complex and in our experience of recruiting world-class leaders, strong communication skills are vitally important in a successful leader. They allow a leader to remain attuned to the different cultural and societal expectations of global teams through regular contact, while keeping in mind regional sensitivities and market differences.

"This includes being aware of how what you are saying is perceived by others, especially if English is not their first language."

There has been some debate about whether such skills can be taught. "Certainly it requires multiple interventions over a period of time," says Jason. "It's also about bringing people together – networks are hugely important to learning, while ongoing leadership and talent development are also critical.

SOURCE: MediaCom