Thursday, 13 December 2007

Global HR Trends and Differences at HR.com VIEW


In yesterday's virtual conference session, I was asked about which surveys supported the points I made about increasing convergence in HR. I promised I would provide some links to these on my blog.

(In the session, I discussed the global trends operating across the world that may allow us to take advantage of greater standardisation in HR activities, before going on to consider some of the major cultural and environmental differences driving divergence in HR).

My slide showed the top concerns of CEO’s in Europe, Asia and the US, and this came from the Conference Board. This deals with business concerns, rather than just people concerns, but I think they emphasise the consistent importance of people, as the same issues are generally shared across regions, and I, and I am sure many of my readers, would argue that people are behind success in each one of them, particularly excellence in execution. And pure people issues are also rising up the agenda (finding qualified managerial talent is #6 in Europe and #7 in the US as well as #1 in Asia).


In addition, there are a number of recent surveys focusing specifically on people management which all emphasise the global importance of people, particularly leaders and talent, and that demonstrate that the war for talent has a global reach.


I think there is a good overview of the top HR challenges globally, and in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and North America in Mercer's report, HR Transformation v2.0. This finds four trends that include the top three challenges in all of these geographies:

  • Acquiring key talent
  • Retaining key talent
  • Driving cultural and behavioural change
  • Building leadership capability.


The Watson Wyatt report, Playing to Win in the Global Economy found that the majority of employers globally have problems attracting critical-skill employees (70 percent) and top-performing employees (67 percent). It notes in particular that there are more similarities among the regions than there are differences. (See also my post on this.)


There are also a number of challenges which are presented as a result of globalisation itself. In a study of 27 countries across Europe, Boston Consulting Group identified these as:


  • Forming international teams
  • Developing corporate cultures across national boundaries
  • Increasing diversity.


Again, these issues appear to be common across countries. (Also see my post on this.)

In terms of variations, Deloitte's report, Aligned at the Top found that while companies tend to agree on the the importance of people, key challenges and approaches vary from one region to the next. (Again, see my post.)


And although it's a bit more dated (2005) than the above reports, I'd also recommend a report published by PwC on behalf of the World Federation of Personnel Management Associations, Survey of Global HR Challenges: Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

See also my other blogs on global HR: