Why a Global Workforce is Vital for International Business Success

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global_workforce.jpgWhat is one of the key attributes of a successful international company? Having a global workforce is becoming very important for companies wanting to do well in the international market. But why? Ritu Mehrotra explains…

According to Mehrotra, globalization is both a curse and a blessing for businesses. By now, we all know that going global can boost your revenue and can even cut down costs; however, according to Mehrotra’s article on Business Standard, one of the downsides of the increasing importance of the international market is the need for companies to source talent globally.

Mehrotra believes creating and sustaining a good talent pool has always been difficult, but that in recent years, finding the right employees has become even more important.

Next to finding talent, managing these promising people poses challenges as well. Now that many businesses have entered the global market, many companies have their eyes set on the same talent pool.

But what makes an employee talented? How can talent be defined? The Society for Human Resource Management’s definition of talent is “a high performing, high potential employees of the organisation.” It’s easy to understand that these kind of employees are very valuable to an organization.

Mehrotra: “maintaining a competitive edge without the right kind of talent is like fighting a battle unarmed for all firms be it domestic or international.” Moreover, now that employees have become aware of the fact that their careers are essentially “boundary less,” they are less loyal to their employee and will switch jobs when better opportunities arise. This is another reason why the “fight for talent” among companies has increased.

It is thus vital for companies to employ an effective global management, but challenges can be met along the way.

According to her, these challenges have evolved into the “global talent challenge” that encompasses both a deficit or overabundance of talent, the difficulties that arise when trying to find new talent and the placement of these excellent employees, for example.

Research by Scullion and Collings has shown that seventy per cent of corporate leaders spend a great deal of their time on talent management activities. Moreover, a recent survey by Pricewaterhouse Coopers revealed that ninety per cent of all CEOs believed that people agency was their highest priority. The survey also revealed the main reason for failing talent management is a lack of competency.

So how can a company successfully manage their talent?

Mehrotra believes there are five essential fields for this:

1. Communication of key priorities

If a company employs an effective communication management, Mehrotra says, their talent management is likely to be effective as well. Thus, a steady communication between key priorities will ensure managers have their eyes set on the prize.

2. Globally consistent and transparent talent evaluation process

Mehrotra believes that if a company’s talents are assessed regularly and this process is carried out with transparency, line managers can “deal with transfer cases confidently and maintain the standards as required.”

3. Management of cultural diversity and creating globally integrated workforce

If employees “rotate” within the divisions of a company, a talent pool with great cultural diversity and an open minded workforce will arise. According to Mehrotra, this enables companies to get the most out of new regions and thus strengthens the company’s client base.

4. Mobility of global leaders

A talented workforce is beneficial for both the current and future presence of a business in a certain country. To ensure the workforce is up to par, Chinese and Indian companies are keen to send their own people to new locations, for example. It is important for companies to recruit employees from various networks and when companies create virtual talent pools across the globe, they can respond to the business and economic scenarios that arise, even if they are unpredictable.

5. Empowerment

Lastly, Mehrotra says, empowering employees will become very important when employees are allowed to make decisions themselves. The more knowledge a business’ workforce has, therefore, the greater a company’s success will be: “innovative and adaptive HR practices are the only tools to cautiously tread the path of global talent management.”

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