Human capital management is always a time-consuming, expensive affair, but these challenges become exponentially more difficult to manage when you’re in the middle of a global expansion. For most businesses at this stage in their lifecycle, human resources professionals will become an invaluable asset on their quest to position themselves for success.
But at the same time, the challenges faced by HR professionals—especially in terms of global human capital management—will vary wildly depending on where and, indeed, when that expansion is taking place. There are a few key challenges in particular that are certainly worth exploring.
The Culture Factor in Human Capital Management
By far, one of the biggest global human capital management challenges faced by HR professionals can be summed up in a single word: culture.
Each country has its own unique culture and way of doing things, and HR professionals should never underestimate what a significant impact that this can have on global human resource management. Often, HR professionals will deal with certain cultural norms that are totally acceptable in one country but may be strictly prohibited in another. Understanding the subtleties of these cultural differences, and how they fit in with the larger culture companies are trying to build at the heart of a global organization, is important.
For the best results, expatriates within an organization must take into account the cultural norms and values of the host country, and management needs to do whatever it takes to guarantee that their own culture is being followed without contradicting these core values or important tenants in any way. This can be a lot easier said than done, which is why partnering with the right international employment solutions organization is essential in the first place.
The Art of Leadership Development
Leadership development is a critical part of the strategy of any business, but it becomes especially important once a business begins to expand into the global arena. A number of recent studies point to the fact that, around the world, leadership development is a critical step towards guaranteeing that businesses find the right employees to make that initial expansion successful.
HR professionals need to make sure that not only are they making true leadership development a priority, but that—once again—the culture of the organization supports internal performance over time as well. This is one of the best chances that any global business has at gaining an ideal market position quickly, helping ensure long-term viability.
The Importance of HR Effectiveness Measurement
Especially when an organization is expanding globally, so much of HR’s focus is outward, outward towards their new host country, towards their market, and towards their employees. However, another of the most pressing challenges of global human capital management in particular requires that they to turn the lens inward, too. Simply put, HR professionals cannot hope to improve with the right tools if they are not 100% certain they are working with the “right tools” to begin with. This reiterates why being able to adequately measure HR effectiveness needs to be a constant and ongoing focus within a business.
Essentially, HR professionals need to make an important shift in the way they view their own jobs on a global stage. Gone are the days where HR was purely an administrative function within a company. In order to mitigate risks from as many global human capital management challenges as possible, HR must rise up to become a true strategic partner within a company in every sense of the term.
To get to that point, HR professionals need to be able to accurately and quickly measure results in terms of factors like transition management. They also need to be in a better position to identify those factors that create a positive influence on the business in terms of human capital. It won’t just be difficult to get to this point without the right perspective, tools, and metrics; it’ll essentially be impossible.
Expertise is Your Most Valuable Asset
In the end, perhaps the most important thing for HR professionals to remember is that human capital management is a naturally costly, time-consuming endeavor—but it’s also not necessarily one HR professionals can totally avoid. The challenges faced by HR professionals can vary wildly from country to country, which is why international expertise is and will always be one of the most valuable assets a company can have when going global.
If your business is considering a global expansion, consider going global with an experienced partner. Velocity Global’s full suite of global expansion services and experts can help your business reach its global growth objectives, providing unparalleled support each step of the way. Get in touch with Velocity Global today to take the first step towards expanding your global footprint.