Talent Management in Global HR

November 2022

Talent management plays an intrinsic role in the success of all businesses. In the coming years it is likely to become even more important as the business world copes with aging populations and skills shortages. 

As Ziglar said, “you don’t build businesses, you build people, and they build the business”.

Global Human Resource departments have matured to include much more than the administrative side of people management. Many enterprise level businesses outsource functions like payroll, employee surveys and expatriate compensation so HR professionals can focus on  strategic work like talent management.  

  1. Talent management are the strategic processes involved in recruiting, developing, and retaining top performing employees to enable an organisation to reach business goals.  
Talent management becomes more challenging at international level because of differences in social norms, employment law and culture. However, as business challenges and talent acquisition become more globalised in nature talent management must do the same. Changing expectations around employment, including hybrid working throw up both opportunities and threats for multi-nationals. All of this and more, most be considered when planning for your businesses success. 
A solid talent management framework is key to ensuring your business had the necessary skills and expertise inhouse to overcome future hurdles and continue to grow. If your global organisation wants to improve talent management as we approach a new year there are some data backed approaches to help make it a success: 
As with many initiatives, it is difficult to improve if you do not know where your business stands now. Evaluate your organisations current performance when it comes to talent management. What are your businesses current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in relation to its people. 

Research by MIT Sloan amongst multinational companies found the most successful businesses at attracting and maintaining talent align their process with the business strategy. If your business has a growth strategy, it is useful to spend time understanding what each area of focus will require in human capital to achieve those goals. 

US based General Electric wanted to focus on technology leadership, as a result they targeted technology skills in recruitment and individual annual reviews. The three-year business and talent management goals were integrated and tracked through management processes.   

Internal consistency across management practice is essential for successful people management. If your business wants to hire innovative, high potential individuals, it is important it also offer the benefits and compensation these individuals expect. While this may be costly in the short term, MIT’s research showed this approach will add up to more than the sum of its parts in time. 
Many successful international businesses rightly see their company culture as a source of competitive advantage when it comes to talent management. Traditionally skills sets have been the focus when hiring new employees. Although this is still important many businesses now include cultural fit as a requirement. These companies also assess people’s personality and values to understand whether they match those of the company.  
As a multi-national there is a need to strike a balance between the global needs of your business and potential differences at a local level. Some of these differences may be legislative but others can be based on company preference or industry norms. For example, many global companies maintain the same performance standards globally while allowing local subsidiaries the opportunity to adapt other elements of talent management to local norms. 

Like all successful processes, talent management requires buy in from managers at all levels to truly succeed. Encouraging line managers to play a key role in new hires and then develop employees in a way that helps the achievement of business goals. In the best companies employees themselves play a role in their own success by seeking out challenges and opportunities to learn and develop.


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