Limam noted the impact of the ‘European integration process’, which just served to remind me how much the UK stands outside of this, but many of Limam’s concerns do apply:
- Competencies loom large: many countries requires them and because your can’t fire someone on a Friday afternoon you need to be able to find a new place for them – meaning that you need to understand their competencies (and if you do this in a cavalier way than the labour courts will strike it down). Labour unions are powerful and not everything is down to the decisions of management.
- Processes are not the same eg benefits are driven by law, exit interviews are not part of the culture, companies don’t see the point of onboarding (I don’t see these last two things).
- Shared services are now extending, particularly out of Ireland (English speaking) and Romania (lower tax rate, labour cost and bilingual)
- Differences in outsourcing – North and South – the further South you go, the less outsourcing there is, eg Limam estimates about 20-30% of Swiss / France companies outsource payroll, compared to 80-90% of those in Belgium and Denmark.
- Technology adoption is different. Companies may be OK to use SAAS for sub-processes but are likely to be more reluctant to put their overall HR technology in the cloud.
I’ll be speaking, and blogging, more about these topics at next month’s HR Technology Europe conference in Amsterdam where I am acting as Master of Ceremonies (note though that although I’m really looking forward to this role, I’m not even going to try to live up to the way Bill Kutick orchestrates the US conference here). I hope to see some of you (or your European colleagues?) there!
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