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Charlie Duff

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Globalisation creates challenges for HR


Globalisation across workforces has seen exponential growth in the last two decades, and after a dip during the most recent recession, is now emerging again within HR, creating challenges as well as opportunities, and tremendous uncertainty.

In a new major study by the IBM Institute for Business Value, more than 700 chief HR officers and senior executives from 61 countries and 31 industries worldwide found that China and India are leading the way by increasingly hiring in North America and Europe. In fact, the study found 45 percent of companies in India and 33 percent of companies in China plan to increase their head count in North America alone.

The study outlines the new global workforce that is emerging as companies start to deploy talent globally once again in order to achieve their corporate objectives.

In the past, North America has always been perceived as a fertile state for workers from the east, however there is a distinct change today, as North American companies’ struggle to stop top talent from seeking better opportunities in the east.

“Western companies used to be able to attract workers from India or China, for example, because of the quality of life they could have here. But the economies there are growing fast, and the quality of life and lifestyle available to people from those countries in their home country is quickly becoming similar to that in North America. The bright people of the world may want to stay where they were or go back home," says Ian Cook, director, research & learning at the B.C. Human Resources Management Association.

The market for skilled workers is back to being global and highly competitive. "You can’t think of it in any other terms and therefore it is expensive to play in it because you’ve got relocation costs, all the costs of managing talent and competing for it across the globe," Mr. Cook says.

Many of the world’s top HR executives will be at the HR Summit to discuss globalisation issues, as well as important HR topics including creating a corporate culture of health, developing an integrated talent management strategy, CHRO challenges for 2011, the importance of effective compensation plans and methods for businesses keen to retain their top talent.

Those on hand will include: David Fairhurst, VP People, McDonald’s; Ceree Eberly, Chief People Officer, The Coca-Cola Company; Desiree Dancy, Chief Diversity Officer and VP Corporate Human Resources, The New York Times Company; Michele Golden, VP Talent Management, Time Warner;  Shannon Brown, CHRO, FedEx and Felicia Fields, Group VP HR and Corporate Services, Ford Motor Company. 

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Charlie Duff


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