Julia Velixon at Mercer recently presented a new study conducted with the Harvard Business School, based on interviews with senior HR leaders from 60 global corporation, focused on the challenges of HR leaders moving from local to global roles within an global HR function.
Key findings from the study:
Workforces are becoming more globally-dispersed. The increased globalization of many of today's businesses, both in terms of their penetration into new international markets, in addition to their adoption of global sourcing models across IT and corporate support functions, is significantly increasing the need for global HR practices. More than 50% of respondents' workforces reside outside of their corporate home country - the pressure to standardize policies and processes, manage increased workforce mobility and manage compliance needs is greater than ever.
Many senior HR executives are stepping up into global roles, but are failing to divest of their localized issues. 45% of the executives have moved into global roles over the last two-to-three years, many of these transitioned in the last year alone. However, while roles are being structured globally, most of the executives have been struggling to get away from dealing with local and regional issues. For those working in global roles today, 9 out of 10 have less than 3 years experience and a failing to move away from their previous localized job roles:
Lack of standardization. The lack of a consistent approach to governance and compliance, especially in Europe and Asia - where employment and tax laws vary widely in different jurisdictions - creates further challenges for HR leaders. There is also a lack of standardization around the approach to global mobility, which hinder's HR's ability to apply consistent procedures to the compensation and benefits of a workforce that has been growing rapidly. It is becoming increasingly important for companies to properly manage the logistics of moving there employees from country to country.