AIMS International recently posted an article on sustainable approaches to global procurement. Some readers may have recognised a few of the challenges it described in maintaining international supply chains during the pandemic. Industry has done exceptionally well streamlining the supply of raw materials and parts from all over the world. Perhaps too well. It assumed the finely-calibrated motor of globalised trade would purr along at maximal efficiency without shock or interruption. We have, in that regard, been victims of our own success.
The same cannot be said for human capital. There’s been a supply problem for many years, and yet companies still struggle to implement effective policies and processes that would help them secure their share of top talent – and especially when that talent is in another country.
Some growing pains are inevitable, others avoidable
Fast-growing businesses face intense competition for talent in their home markets, to be sure, but there’s another kettle of fish waiting for them when they expand beyond those borders. Finding and retaining top leaders – or indeed any qualified employee – is a huge challenge when you set up shop in an unfamiliar business environment.
It’s all the more difficult when your current HR policies and processes do not align with your new, internationally distributed reality. Businesses in this situation are unlikely to have developed efficient, effective, and repeatable processes for remotely screening candidates, assessing staff performance, and developing and retaining regional leaders and multicultural management teams.
Chances are HQ also has cultural blindspots – we all do. Existing HR staff will often lack overseas experience, and the better travelled C-suite will have its own preoccupations, assumptions, and unconscious biases towards the familiar and near at hand. This may all result in an over reliance on internal staff transfers or expat placements. It may leave great local hires feeling disconnected and undervalued and their growth opportunities neglected.
Attrition becomes a problem in both scenarios. The development of a vibrant internal system of expert knowledge sharing and multicultural creative collaboration is forestalled. Of more immediate and measurable concern are the constraints these problems place on growth, slowing sales while you burn money on new offices, local business services, brand building and advertising.
How AIMS International can help
To gain benefit from regional expertise and knowledge, companies must act with purpose – and the earlier the better. An ad hoc approach to global HR will not yield the best results for the business or its employees.
It takes planning and, usually, guidance from outside the organisation. With partners in over 50 countries speaking 37 languages, our mission is to support globalised business at the local level. Our Consultants have worked for some of the world’s most successful companies and have decades of experience recruiting, training, and retaining talent worldwide. They are well placed to assist you with strategic workforce planning and the proven tools with which to execute and deliver real business benefits fast.
Working with the existing HR organisation and senior management, they first determine your global and regional business goals and develop an HR-led action plan for achieving those objectives. Depending on the need, they can:
Assess current recruitment, training, performance, and rewards programs and recommend changes