Virtual workforce management to become HR priority

by Astrid Wilson03 Dec 2012

Ask an HR professional what has changed in the industry even since 2010 and it may be difficult to quantify – the rapid pace of chance is constant, and any negative organisational views of HR are now truly out-dated.

In KPMG’s Rethinking Human Resources in a Changing World study, the professional services firm explored issues such as the negative organisational views of HR and the importance of optimising HR management in the global war for talent.

Key findings from the report included:

  • HR is struggling with the challenges of managing a global, flexible workforce.
  • Finding ways to engage with workers will help address the challenges of this global, flexible and remote workforce
  • Technology has transformed HR and the application of data analytics will foster even more profound change.
  • HR has gone mobile
  • Technology and economy are the twin catalysts for HR transformation

The Asia-Pacific region, in particular, is seeing the most rapidly changing working environments and the most evident war for talent, Miranda Lee, director of people and change management at KPMG said. As more companies look outward for expansion, HR functions must think about how to manage an increasingly mobile and flexible workforce.

The report also identified that in the Asia-Pac region, one-third of senior executives said that supervising a global, flexible workforce would become a primary focus over the next three years. This represents a three-fold increase on the response to the same question when asked in 2010.

In terms of technology, 66% of respondents from Asia-Pacific witnessed an increase use of videoconferencing and the hiring of temporary or contract workers during the period. In Singapore this figure stood at over 70%.

Also, around 66% reported an increase in use of alternatives to physical office premises such as telecommuting and hot-desking. “Business leaders are accepting that we operate in a global, borderless workplace and there is a wide diversity of talents with a plethora of work arrangements. For instance, they could be working on a temporary, contractual or part-time basis,” Lee added.


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