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As the globalization mandate continues to pick up speed, HR must transform itself by adopting new talent-sourcing strategies and innovative management practices.
The complexities of today’s global business environment are making it difficult for companies to find the right talent. We believe that to thrive in this challenging environment, companies must realign their workforce and leadership with their global footprint. They must learn how to operate in global virtual teams comprising people who have a deep understanding of cultural nuances, global awareness, and cross-cultural teaming and collaboration skills.
In this report, we provide insights into how the HR function can reinvent itself to remain relevant, and help organizations navigate a complex and changing global labor market.
Learn about the Future of HR Research Initiative
Currently, three main drivers are fueling globalization efforts:
The global customer imperative: Emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil and their rising population present a new market opportunity and tremendous potential for growth.
The global talent imperative: In the last decade, it has become very common for organizations to establish operations such as call centers in countries where labor costs are low. However, organizations are turning to other countries to source the right, available talent. In part, companies are driven to do so due to the shortage of talent in local markets.
Digital advances: Recent technological advancements enable people worldwide to work more collaboratively and faster.
Operating in this global environment, although challenging, provides opportunities for companies to improve their ability to manage risks, reduce operating costs, achieve market growth, flexibly respond to changing market conditions and acquire highly skilled talent.
HR will play a critical role in helping businesses achieve the transformation required to stay ahead in the globalized environment. The HR function will need to:
Develop a customized approach: Help organizations carefully balance the need for global and efficient solutions with the need to be locally responsive and relevant in their approach to talent management.
Innovate in five key talent management practices:
Use analytics to become advisors on the global talent map: Analyze data to understand key variables in different geographic regions to determine how best to fulfill talent requirements.
Global talent acquisition: Look at new models of matching talent with tasks across locations.
Global talent mobility: Support mobile workforces across geographies.
Global leadership development: Help businesses grow strong local leaders with a global mindset and who can quickly adapt or lead a business in any context across the world.
Global virtual teams: Promote and emphasize global sensitivity and awareness on the part of employees as well as coach them on how to work in virtual teams that communicate across time zones and distances.
Create new HR organizational models and roles: HR should look at adopting new operating models, modify existing ones or create new HR roles to be better positioned to support the global enterprise.
As companies strive to achieve their strategic objectives both by growing in geographic markets and by acquiring new skills, globalization issues will continue to top the strategic agendas of most C-suite executives.
To help organizations operate effectively in a complex, interdependent and globally connected world, the HR function must develop a new set of capabilities, and potentially even a new operating models, if it wants to remain relevant. With the need for a globally diverse and highly mobile talent base on the top of most organizations’ list of global objectives, HR will be critical in helping organizations achieve their globalization mandate.
David Gartside is the managing director responsible for the Future of HR research program in the Accenture Talent & HR Services practice. He specializes in large-scale global transformation programs that impact all areas of HR capability. Based in New York, Mr. Gartside has deep experience in addressing the geographic complexities involved in driving a successful global HR strategy.
Claire Yang is a managing director with the Talent & Organization practice at Accenture in Greater China. She specializes in corporate restructuring, organization restructuring and governance, performance management system optimization, and corporate and business strategy.
Colin Sloman is a managing director responsible for Talent offerings and capabilities within Talent & Organization practice at Accenture in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. He works with clients on developing people management strategies to help deliver business outcomes. Colin has led global transformation programs at various large enterprises—across the HR, finance, sales and procurement functions.
Susan M. Cantrell is a research fellow at the Accenture Institute for High Performance. She is the co-author of Workforce of One: Revolutionizing Talent Management through Customization (Harvard Business Press, 2010) and of more than 30 articles or book chapters.
January 6, 2014
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