HR makes inroads into getting global

by 15 Sep 2009

HR departments have made steady progress in their ability to support the shift toward a more global business model and workforce, according to a recent Hewitt Associates report.

Yet, for many companies, questions remain on how exactly HR should be aligned from a strategy, organisational and delivery perspective. This issue is even more pressing in the current economic environment, as HR departments are being challenged to improve the effectiveness of their global HR programs and reduce global HR delivery costs.

The report, based on a survey of global companies in Latin America, North America, the Asia-Pacific region and Europe, found that organisations are moving in the right direction to develop global HR strategies that meet the diverse needs of their workforce across businesses and geographies.

Almost half (49 per cent) of companies indicated that their global HR strategy applies to all of their operating regions – not just their primary location – with most organisations conducting HR activities at a global, regional and local level, depending on the process and the business needs.

Additionally, HR is leading rather than lagging the business when it comes to moving to a more global focus; 30 per cent of companies describe their HR organisation design as global compared with 15 per cent of companies that describe themselves as global.

“As cost demands on HR departments become greater, they need to be more deliberate and focused on critical areas that provide the greatest impact to the business – including streamlining HR at the regional and global levels,” said Pete Sanborn, leader of Hewitt’s global HR effectiveness business.


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