As international travel and communication become easier, companies are exploring global opportunities and establishing a presence in countries around the world. From an HR perspective, this brings with it both challenges and opportunities. In order to adapt to the global marketplace, HR managers should take advantage of these opportunities and prepare for possible challenges.

Leveraging a global workforce

Operating globally means a company’s recruiting team has the ability to draw from the global talent pool. This can address hiring gaps that result from a qualitative and quantitative mismatch, on which Randstad reported in 2012:

The mismatch suggests there will be fewer workers than jobs and the skills of workers won’t match the required skills of jobs available. Leveraging a global workforce is one method that could help counteract this trend.

However, while the global workforce can serve as a resource, it also means meeting the needs of employees in multiple markets. This may require outsourcing HR services to companies that also have an international footprint—further contributing to the globalization of HR.

Varying HR by market

One challenge of operating on a global scale is understanding how HR needs differ in each of the cities and countries where the workforce is located. There could be cultural differences and language barriers that compound the challenges of managing an HR program, so having local expertise is vital.

In spite of these differences, the core principles of HR apply around the world—as Steve Boese, Trish McFarlane and Madeline Lauranoso found out when they attended HR Tech China earlier this year. They reviewed key takeaways from the event on the HR Happy Hour podcast in May.

During the podcast, they discussed how Chinese companies have an increased demand for U.S. based HR services, as well as the role of social media for Chinese employers. But the bulk of the episode focused on how Chinese companies are building a strong employer brand.

Building a strong global employer brand

Whether your company has offices in London, Beijing or Silicon Valley, a strong employer brand is needed to hire the best talent in each market a company operates. And sometimes hiring the best means looking beyond the local workforce.

In order to benefit from the global talent pool mentioned earlier, you need to be able to connect that talent with the relevant positions and offices, which means selling the candidate on not only the job, but also the location.

At the HR Tech China conference, attendees learned about the city of Zhuhai and how companies joined forces with local government to bolster the brand of the city in an effort to attract employees. HR Managers should be on the look out for similar ways they can collaborate with outside organizations to attract new talent to the area from around the world.

With continued technological advances, demand will only grow for global HR solutions and teams that can manage a global employer brand. Stay tuned as we explore the topic further, including the challenges of administering services globally.

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