Dispatches from DC: going global with your HR function

September 18, 2008 | Phil Fersht

Been listening to some excellent discussions at Mercer's client event, where the central theme is all about globalization.  Mercer's Jeff Miller and Julia Velixon discussed the results of their new study, conducted with the Harvard Business School, based on interviews with senior HR leaders from 60 global corporations.  Some key points of note:

  • Workforces are becoming more globally-dispersed.  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 finding the transition challenging.  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. 
  • 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.

Food-for-thought...more to follow

Posted in: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)Buyers' Sourcing Best PracticesHR Outsourcing

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