Adoption of human resource management technologies has skyrocketed over the past few years and shows no signs of slowing down. The Human Resources Management (HRM) tech market is expected to hit $30 billion over the next 5 years, growing at an over 10% compound annual growth rate, as demand for automation and tools to help HR teams improve productivity drives investment in software platforms.
HRIS (Human Resources Information System) platforms from the big players are a worthwhile investment and certainly an improvement over legacy systems like spreadsheets. However, many companies are finding that as their footprint grows, their HRM solutions don’t always have the capacity to keep up. As business becomes more global, with geographic borders less of an obstacle, even the smallest companies that just a few years ago would have never imagined they’d become global entities are now struggling to manage international operations.
While it might seem like overkill or presumption to implement a global HR strategy before you become a global operation, designing an HR tech stack with a world view perspective can give you a tremendous advantage. Not only does it mean you’ll hit the ground running, but the entire organization can also be more agile and adaptive. This way, when a business opportunity arises, there will be no need to pause to figure out next steps—you can dive right in.
Here are seven ways a globally oriented HR tech strategy can help any size company achieve the agility it takes to succeed on the world business stage.
- To prepare for growth. While today you might be a 10-person boutique design firm or a team of 60 consultants, it doesn’t mean you’ll stay that way. As your customer base grows, you may find yourself faced with expansion or acquisition opportunities that could substantially increase your global footprint. By implementing a global HRM solution today, with built-in support for international employment, payroll, and tax situations, you’ll be able to easily place international staff as opportunities arise. This will also pave the way for new market expansion and business growth.
- To offer employees flexibility. Employees are increasingly interested in the cultural and career-building experience that comes with global mobility. And, as remote work becomes easier and more accessible, implementing a global mobility solution that supports international moves allows you to offer these unique opportunities. For example, your company may offer short-term job assignments in international locations, you’ll have the right technology to support these opportunities, and you’ll have the right technology to support the transition.
- To cultivate leadership. Cultivating leadership from within the organization is a high priority for many companies and having the ability to move high-performers to new locations to gain leadership experience is a crucial advantage. Rather than risk losing top talent to another company offering better advancement or career growth, a global HRM solution will make it easier to offer same or better opportunity. This helps to retain talent and institutional knowledge, all while fueling your leadership funnel from within.
- To aid in recruiting. Younger employees often seek opportunities to explore new adventures, new cultures, and personal growth. With a global mobility solution as part of your HR tech strategy, you’ll have the tools you need to offer this exciting opportunity, giving you a strong advantage in recruiting and retaining talent.
- To ease relocation transitions. Maybe you’re already moving staff around the world, but your tools are cumbersome and put an excess burden on mobile employees who are already dealing with the stress of relocation. The right global mobility solution can substantially improve the employee experience around relocation by giving them self-service tools. These will help them preview the neighborhoods where they’ll work and live, stay informed about the logistics of their move, submit expenses, reach out for help, and get access to the right resources at the right time. This can make the entire experience less stressful and more enticing.
- To maximize diversity. Nearly all companies are making diversity a priority to drive better innovation, creativity, and inclusivity. A global HR strategy combined with a robust mobility solution can help maximize diversity by allowing you to attract workers from any location, culture, ethnicity, or gender by tearing down the barriers that would normally restrict your pool of available talent within the local market.
- To ensure compliance. Now that we’ve outlined many benefits of a globally mobile workforce, the last thing you’d want is to take the leap and fall short when it comes to meeting compliance mandates for employment law, immigration, compensation, and taxes. With a global HR strategy, and a mobility solution that includes built-in compliance for national, regional, and local entities, you can feel confident in pursuing a global business strategy. You’ll have all the proper policies and procedures in place to avoid risk and grow smoothly as opportunity arises.
With the rapid pace at which business moves and new opportunities emerge, being prepared for whatever comes next is the key to sustained business growth and success. By implementing a global HR strategy today, along with the systems required to operate on a global scale, your business can be ahead of the competition when it comes to pursuing new markets, the right talent, and growth opportunities. Rather than having to scramble to figure it out—or worse, having to pass—with a global-first HR approach, you can move quickly and confidently in the direction that aligns with your business objectives.
Sten Tamkivi is Chief Product Officer at Topia, where he leads Product Management, Engineering, Design, and Research. Previously, he was the CEO of Teleport, acquired by Topia (then MOVE Guides) in 2017, which he founded as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Andreessen Horowitz. He also served as an early executive at Skype for more than 8 years from start-up to the $8.5B exit to Microsoft. Tamkivi has lived in four countries and has been building software companies since 1996. He holds a Master of Science in Management from Stanford Graduate School of Business.