“HR professionals must consider their employer brand as carefully as marketers must consider the corporate brand. And to mitigate a resignation wave, they must also consider their existing employees’ experience as well,” says Brian Dames, CMO, Safeguard Global in an exclusive interview with EnterpriseTalk.
ET Bureau: In today’s constantly changing enterprise environment, what steps can organizations take to build better HR and workforce solutions?
Brian Dames: Since change is the only predictable element of doing business, enterprises must embrace and adapt to it without fear. But that kind of preparedness requires access to workforce data that matters most to the business. It also means having the right tools to use that data to make rapid decisions and execute what the analysis of the insights delivers.
The first step for enterprises to build new and better HR and workforce solutions is to think about what their basic data management infrastructure currently looks like and what they wish they were able to do with that data. What are the types of data and resources they need to become the kind of company they want to become, achieve their objectives, and remain competitive as an employer in a “hire anywhere, work from anywhere” marketplace?
Enterprises must focus on the following components to build proficiency to operate more capably and strategically:
- Intellect, what a multinational knows about the countries in which they employ workers or are considering for expansion
- Acumen, how an organization absorbs that relevant data and knowledge to make strategic decisions
- Agility, the ability to use that analysis to act quickly and make data-driven decisions to respond to global market changes.
When applied to human resources and global workforce management, these three attributes translate to a highly fluent organization that can quickly, efficiently, and compliantly hire, manage, and engage the right talent anywhere in the world.
ET Bureau: What challenges do enterprises encounter while increasing their global footprint?
Brian Dames: I’m often asked by emerging enterprises how well they compare or stack up to competitors when it comes to talent acquisition, hiring, and developing their global expansion plans.
Some companies already know where and how to enter a market. They can hire employees halfway around the world and have them onboarded, up and running, and paid within days because those companies have an existing business entity in that country. Other companies—especially emerging enterprises and micro-multinationals just beginning to scale up their global workforce or seeking to test out a market— simply “don’t know what they don’t know” about the complexities surrounding setting up and hiring and managing a global workforce. It’s possible for them to also stand up a new hire in a country they’ve never hired in before, however, if they have a global employer or record partner on deck.
But the most significant challenge facing global employers goes back to the question about change. All employers must now consider their employees wanting to work from any country – not just where corporate offices exist. As a result, most growing companies (enterprise and emerging) need help with the functional responsibilities for developing human resources needs, i.e., hiring, payroll, workforce management. And that needs to happen now, in any country their employees want to work. That’s what will enable their ability to manage workforce data exponentially greater.
The best or more cost-effective talent may require hiring in a global versus local talent pool – and HR may not have enough information about a region or market with that talent pool or where to expand. Having that in-country intellect impacts your ability to enter or exit other markets as opportunities arise or business needs change.
With an expanding employee global footprint, it becomes more challenging to maintain comprehensive visibility without robust processes, management, real-time access, and analysis of workforce data across the organization. The ability to compare cost centers and workload, incorporate workforce data into strategic hiring decisions, or even deciding which countries offer the best hiring opportunities and conditions as they expand can determine success or setback.
ET Bureau: What initiatives can enterprises take to attract and retain talent in today’s global economy?
Brian Dames: The power dynamic has shifted. Today, global talent better understands its value and extends far beyond “working anywhere.” Employees’ expectations about what their employer offer in terms of culture, benefits, and the actual work has long been evolving. But the past year has shown that a company’s location no longer dictates what opportunities are available to a candidate. Employers must now compete with global organizations to provide employees with an experience they want to have – a diverse work community, greater corporate social responsibility, comprehensive benefit offerings, flexibility in how and when they get paid, among other criteria.
HR professionals must consider their employer brand as carefully as marketers must consider the corporate brand. And to mitigate a resignation wave, they must also consider their existing employees’ experience as well. This is the year when HR teams re-shape their recruitment and engagement strategies to attract and retain the best talent possible.
ET Bureau: How can HR departments make strategic data-driven decisions while managing the workforce cost and complying with regulations in a global environment?
Brian Dames: The biggest pitfall is HR organizations needing to make critical business decisions with grossly sub-optimal data. Sometimes organizations aren’t aware of the potential insights in their existing data or have a resigned acceptance that their data is lacking – whether incomplete or distrustful of the data’s validity.
Therefore, the first requirement for making strategic data-driven decisions is to have data and analyze what that data shows about the organization and the markets that the organization is in at its disposal.
Some organizations will already have this information at their fingertips. They are in-country and have an HR team on the ground with the expertise to track spend and regulations that will impact the broader business. It gets trickier to pull it together for companies that aren’t in-country or are trying to combine workforce data from multiple countries.
The key, however, is a company’s agility – how well they can bring all this together to act on the data and analysis; to make strategic decisions that keep the company moving in the right direction regardless of what shifts occur in their business or markets.
Brian Dames is the Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer of Safeguard Global. With over 25 years of experience in senior marketing and product roles, developing and executing marketing strategies for established and growing organizations, his expertise helps lead Safeguard Global’s product management, brand, marketing, and strategic alliances programs that support the company’s growth.