What’s on your mind

The top 10 concerns of senior HR specialists with international remits

Issue 1 A terrifying gap between the experience levels of executives
and their prospective ‘heirs’

Solution The stars of tomorrow need to understand the wide range of
issues that affect successful globalisation and how to work together in a
global team across cultures. HR leaders need to get process updates regularly
onto the board agenda.

Issue 2 Effective performance management

Solution All leaders must have a hard talent development performance
measure included in their objectives in any performance review.

Issue 3 Talent retention

Solution Review the plans to upgrade talented individuals for each
country and operating unit and to align them with the relevant business plan.
Nurturing line talent ‘sponsors’ is critical.

Issue 4 Driving consistency in HR practices and policies across
regions/countries. Cultural and other local differences can cause breakdowns in
interactions and HR policies across a global organisation

Solution Consistency across the board for HR systems and processes,
such as the competency framework – if people with a global line of sight in
their careers are to be retained and organisations are to have cultural unity,
consistency is needed.

Issue 5 Multi and inter-cultural leadership. Too few leaders have the
business and leadership skills or global mindsets needed to think strategically
and to manage effectively in a multinational/global enterprise

Solution Greater emphasis on understanding how nations and ethnic
groups differ and sensitivity to these differences when working with
multi-national teams. They also need to be able to think through the impact of
local initiatives in the wider global context.

Issue 6 Measuring effectiveness of human capital strategies and

Solution Determine up-front what the outcomes must be from any HR
investment and establish how they will be measured. A good performance
management system is a key tool. Other measurement tools could include: ROI; in
succession management, retention of high potentials; productivity; for
behaviour change, 360û surveys and behavioural interviews.

Issue 7 Leveraging technology for leadership development

Solution HR proves its worth if systems enable easier talent auditing
and speedier talent deployment. Self-service HR also frees HR professionals to
do more strategic work.

Issue 8 Employee branding

Solution Build a competency framework around company vision and values
and reward behaviours, which reflect the vision and values and positively
contribute to customers’ experience of the brand.

Issue 9 Online staffing and recruitment

Solution Perhaps best used for large job trawls, graduate
recruitment, or for low-to mid level positions rather than for senior roles.
However, there is still no substitute for good behavioural interviewing once
the funnel has narrowed down the search.

Issue 10 Developing the HR team

Solution Senior HR practitioners should move from being reactive,
transactional and administration-based to being business consultants. They
should take the larger view and become better informed about, and closer to,
business. Their objective should be to make business strategies happen through
people, leaving the specialists in, for example, compensation and benefits and
employment law to deal with day-to-day issues.

Source: DDI, from a recent meeting of
international HR strategists with global remits

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