HR people are keen to take on the challenges of globalisation, with eight
out of 10 in a survey saying they would like to take on an international role
in the future. Survey results out this week from Personnel Today and career
consultancy Penna Sanders & Sidney show that almost all respondents believe
that the number of HR jobs with an international dimension is set to increase.
This enthusiasm to take on a global role does not mean that HR people are
anxious to up sticks and take up expatriate positions abroad, however. There is
a clue as to why this might be: one in three of those surveyed felt that
working abroad could mean they were overlooked for promotion back at home. This
is despite the fact that they thought international jobs tended to be more
strategic than positions at home.
The preference is to have a job based in the UK that involves travel in
other countries, despite the fact that the respondents acknowledge travelling
is stressful, particularly for those with families.
Another issue the survey highlighted is that most UK HR people are not as
sufficiently equipped to compete for international jobs as their international
counterparts. Many of them receive no support at all from their company.
So what is the appeal of an international role to HR people? Well, certainly
not the glamour of joining the jet set. The vast majority say they want a
global role because they welcome the greater challenge it presents.
It is greatly encouraging that HR professionals recognise and embrace
growing internationalisation. But HR must play its part in making sure that
their colleagues in the HR function get the development and support they need
to take on global challenges.