Marc is Founder & CEO of HRN, HR Tech World, disruptHR and iRecruit.

I know our American friends love visiting our event in Amsterdam just to listen to the French, German, Dutch, (Australian, South African, Kiwi …) Russian, and of course where would you be without a friendly Irish accent? I think, perhaps the biggest learning curve for those who do stay on and work in the region, are the cultural differences for each and every country. The road to Euro discovery – that the EU is knitted (like a really bad christmas jumper) in monetary union (sorry, currency) and very little political union. The illumination of how complex  everything can be, is highlighted for our US software partners (who live in what we consider a fairly peaceful and homogenous marketplace) – discovering language, privacy, legal, integration, hiring, hyper competition, etc can be very different and often quite painful. It always makes me smile when I hear the words, I was looking for a challenge! I also need to re-reference  Thomas Otter’s comment on Yurop from HR Tech Europe 2011!

Urban Dictionary: Yurop is an ancient continent, rumoured to have been sunk, just like Atlantis. It used to be a magical, super-fun land, full of fairies and butterflies, trolls and other magical creatures.

The below video is brilliant, really witty and enjoyable parody from Bob Denham on culturally related communication difficulties between Greeks and Germans.

By way of simple example, yesterday I learned that IT (Information Technology) is a less respected job title or dirty word in The Netherlands, the preference is for “ICT”!


Marc Coleman is director of the Pan European HR Network. You can connect with Marc on twitter @HRNEurope or via LinkedIn. Recent productions include: HR Tech Europe, Next Gen Talent, iHR Awards and Social Enterprise. Build good-smart connections by joining Europe’s largest Corporate HR Network – Please feel free to visit the Pan European HR Network’s Groups on Linkedin

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  • Pierre C

    Thanks, interestingly from the Economist the economist next day! By turning an imaginary currency into reality, Europe’s leaders have created a real-world crisis that they must deal with. Returning to the old marks, francs and lire would be more painful than trying to fix the euro. That means some more integration, and giving up the studied ambiguity about the ultimate objective of Europe so that citizens can make a clear choice.