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TOP 5 challenges companies face in managing a global workforce

Posted by: ADP on 18 November 2015 in Human Capital Management

For global employers, borders and time zone differences, currency, oceans, customs and language are all part of the marketplace. Chances are they are not the only international challenges on your plate. The significant others no doubt include:

  1. Misaligned people and strategy

56% of employees are not engaged. Global employee engagement levels were on the up, all the way to 2009, but 2010 saw this come crashing down – many sectors are still feeling the aftershocks.

  1. Workforce planning insight

85% of businesses don’t have a global talent strategy, according to Bersin & Associates. This is a major concern, given that 81% of CEOs say their organisations are now looking for a much broader range of skills than in the past and 71% say they actively search for talent in different geographies. So global recruitment is happening, just not in a strategically integrated way.

  1. Exposure to risk
  • 60% of HR leaders say compliance and risk are their top concerns – which once again outlines how the health of an organisation can be greatly affected by how well core HR data and functions are integrated with other aspects of company operations. Having a consolidated and consistent view of global HR data for tracking, auditing, reporting and analysis to reduce exposure to compliance issues and other risks therefore becomes a must-have.
  1. Global cost-control measures

Companies using a global HCM strategy reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) – ie. the total amount spent on all direct and indirect costs for managing employees – by an average of 26%. Despite its importance, many businesses lack a comprehensive understanding of TCO, and how it relates to their workforce. In fact only one in five midsized businesses has done a comprehensive HR cost analysis.

  1. Managing multiple HR systems

Global companies now try to manage, on average, 33 payroll and 31 HR systems. That number has grown 40% in recent years. The numbers run even higher for organizations in emerging markets. No wonder HR often doesn’t have the time to ‘be strategic’ if its own basic system are a labyrinth that they have to navigate daily – and few, if any, of these numerous legacy systems are designed to do analytics or even to integrate with other systems.

The good news? Comprehensive Human Capital Management can provide an effective, integrated solution for all of these challenges. Having workforce data in one place globally takes Human Capital Management to entirely new levels by increasing efficiency and effectiveness, as well as by enabling the analytics and predictive modelling capabilities HR will need in this competitive global environment.


(1) Trends in Global Employee Engagement, Aon Hewitt, 2011

(2) Talent Management: Benchmarks, Trends, & Best Practices, Bersin & Associates, 2010; PwC 18th CEO survey, 2015

(3) ADP HR Transformation Report, ADP, 2010

(4) NelsonHall, 2011; ADP Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Awareness

(5) Global HCM Decision Makers Survey, January 2014.  16 / Human Capital / ADP®   Human Capital Insights

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TAGS: Compliance globalization HCM Payroll talent strategy workforce

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