HR Departments to Face Increased Pressure

November 1, 2009 – According to a new survey by global human resources company, Hewitt Associates, HR departments continue to make steady progress in their ability to support the shift toward a more global business workforce, yet for many companies questions remain on how exactly HR should be aligned from a strategic, organizational and delivery perspective. Among Hewitt's findings from its survey of 85 global companies: Almost half (49 percent) indicated that their global HR strategy applies to all of their operating regions — not just their primary location — with most organizations conducting HR activities at a global, regional and local level depending on the process and the business needs; HR is leading rather than lagging the business when it comes to moving to a more global focus — 30 percent of companies describe their HR organization design as global compared to 15 percent of companies that describe themselves as global – but companies have been slow to adopt more consistent global processes as a means to increase efficiencies with only 19 percent of companies having consolidated core HR services at a global level, 23 percent with consolidated talent management, and 18 percent having leveraged self-service globally. “As cost demands on HR departments become greater, they need to be more deliberate and focused on critical areas that provide the greatest impact to the business including streamlining HR at the regional and global levels,” said Pete Sanborn, leader of Hewitt's global HR effectiveness business. “Leading HR departments at global organizations excel at developing effective governance mechanisms and metrics that support driving global HR strategies and reducing HR operating costs while meeting the needs of individual locations and businesses.” Looking ahead, Hewitt's survey found that managing talent at a global level is a primary focus for most organizations — with 55 percent planning to increase the integration of talent management processes on a global level, and 49 percent planning to implement more robust human capital measurements. Just as many (48 percent) plan to implement technology to support their talent management efforts.

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