March 22, 2018

To compete globally, companies need global HR thinking

Ceridian’s Managing Director of Dayforce Europe explains why global companies need to look at the big picture in order to stay competitive.

Ross Tracey

Ross Tracey is the Managing Director at Dayforce Europe. He is responsible for Dayforce operations in Europe, including services and customer support.

Politics may be local – but for companies operating on an international scale, looking at the big picture is critical.

Companies operating across borders today are dealing with elevated levels of regulatory complexity. In the U.K., companies active within the EU must deal with uncertainty from the Brexit negotiations.

But even beyond Europe, uncertainty rules the day: in the United States, significant tax reform is being matched by strict immigration enforcement on the federal level, while on the state level a push for a $15 minimum wage gains significant traction.

In Canada, provincial governments push labor and scheduling reform, and the federal government is making pay equity and gender parity a legislative priority.

Through it all, workers’ expectations of their employers are increasing – they expect their employer to be able to cater to their individual needs with an integrated employee experience. Leading organizations are realizing that to both meet employee expectations and scale globally, they need to invest in technology. Outdated solutions, poor user experience, and disparate systems are obstacles in the changing world of work.

Given the new wave of technology in the workplace, an increasingly connected world, and consistently shifting employee expectations of employers, for companies looking to recruit and retain the best and most productive workers, what is to be done? Here are four things global businesses require to stay competitive.

A global talent strategy

Businesses recognize that they need a workforce that is engaged, skilled and flexible enough to meet their business needs. This need is amplified for those that operate across borders.

We expect that HR will continue its transformation from an administrative to a core strategic function – not only occupying a space in the c-suite, but perhaps even leading it..

This will not only ensure that businesses place their talent at the center of their thinking – it also ensures greater integration between HR and the business, as HR leaders and other business leaders understand how HR contributes to and enables smooth company operations and greater business success.

Inclusive and unbiased hiring from a global talent pool

Although every country will offer a different pool of talented workers, two constants will remain: the need to remain in compliance with labor regulations, and the need to recruit, and retain, the most talented and productive workers.

From both a cultural and a regulatory perspective, the need to ensure gender pay equity is increasing. This need is mounting across the world – and for businesses in the U.K., reporting on your gender pay gap is already a legal requirement.

In light of these requirements, a solution that can help you track – and reduce – your pay gap is crucial.

Companies across the world are also looking to correct unconscious bias in their hiring processes, to increase the diversity of their talent pool. One way they are doing this is through investment in artificial intelligence: by integrating AI technology into the recruiting and hiring process (for example, to screen resumes), gender, ethnic and other biases can be taken out of the equation, allowing the hiring process to focus on what really matters.

Organizations are also reworking job descriptions, eliminating any potentially exclusionary language, to ensure that their hiring process is as open and inclusive as possible, allowing no biases to stand in the way of finding the absolute best fit for their talent needs.

Finally, organizations are investing in their employees. Ceridian’s 2017 Pulse of Talent survey found that high performers listed learning opportunities as extremely or somewhat important to staying in their jobs. By investing in employees’ skills, organizations can future-proof their employees, allowing them to stay at the cutting edge of their fields – and increasing the likelihood that they will stay at their jobs, reducing turnover and increasing productivity.

Global security and compliance

While big data offers bigger opportunities to understand and engage your workforce, much of the data HR departments handle is highly private and confidential – and in most countries, this privacy is protected by law.

Businesses operating at a global scale also operate within a global threat environment. Additionally, the necessity to remain in compliance with region- and country-specific rules and regulations adds another layer of complexity to HR data.

A cobbled-together solution with greater integration and maintenance complexity has the potential to present greater risk.

Learn more about the benefits of global payroll

Global human capital management

Human capital management (HCM) solutions can and must go global. In a world of increasing interconnectivity, an HCM solution constrained by borders is behind the times and unable to serve today’s global, mobile workforces.

Today’s employees can – and expect to be able to – work remotely from virtually anywhere. HCM must adapt, adopting a cloud, mobile-first approach, prioritizing user experience and treating the employee like a valued customer. The user experience must be seamless and frictionless.

Today’s HR teams must also be prepared to deal with the elevated complexity presented by global compliance. A strong HCM partner can help companies reduce regulatory friction, minimize administrative overhead, reduce risk and allow HR managers to concentrate on engaging their workforce.

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