The year when talent strategies went global

The 2021 pandemic transformed work cultures and behaviors. In a recent article, McKinsey & Co. talent expert Bill Schaninger described it as ‘an unbelievable opportunity to remake culture.’ One of the fundamental shifts has been a move to remote working at scale that’s had a knock-on effect of priming the pump for global hiring strategies.

When everyone is working from a home office, living room or bedroom, the fact one person on the Zoom call is in Texas, another in Noida—well, it doesn’t really matter, does it?

Differing global agendas

Of course, some organizations have been international in their flavors well before the pandemic hit. Large multinationals have always had to deal with international variances in labor laws, and have dealt with tax issues and local recruitment agenda in their stride. Not every business considering a global talent strategy today is… global.

#1 Servicing a global business

Those businesses that already have a global footprint have not tripped through the pandemic unscathed. Some regions have suffered worse than others for operational disruption as new variants of the COVID-19 virus have emerged. It means that talent leaders have had to continuously iterate their resourcing agendas; switching off some resourcing centres, switching on new ones.

Thankfully, new Talent Management Systems like SimplifyVMS now offer companies the ability to rapidly hire talent through new sourcing vehicles like Direct Sourcing and Statement-of-Work (SOW) contracts. Organizations already operating on these more agile cloud-based talent platforms have been able to weather the storm much easier than those having to cope with traditional lowborn recruitment methods.

Using Direct Sourcing to find talent has never been more important. Organizations often complain about how difficult it is to get good people these days. And there are facts to back this up. 2019 research from Korn Ferry Institute finds that the global talent shortage could reach over 85 million people, costing companies trillions of dollars in lost opportunity. The USA is predicted to be hit the hardest by talent deficit, which will cost the country $435.7 billion in lost revenue, or 1.5% of the whole US economy.

Statement of Work contracts turn work requirements into ‘jobs to be done.’ These contracts are popular because they allow hirers of indirect workforce resources to pay on results, rather than hours worked. Departmental managers, with work to be performed, can hire specific skills for each project or activity stream they need to complete. According to Staffing Industry Analysts, over 50% of organizations in the US have already adopted SoW in their Contingent Workforce programs, and those that aren’t already doing it are likely to do so in the next 2-years.

#2 Servicing a domestic business with a global talent reach

For organizations operating only in the US, a global talent agenda can still make sense. Owing to the challenges of sourcing workers locally—especially for organizations in locations that face fierce wage rate competition from larger neighbouring firms—it makes sense to be able to find best-fit talent from a larger talent pool outside your commuter radius. And if you’re looking for workers next door, why not consider applicants from Singapore, the UK, or India?

Sometimes, operational norms of behaviors and hiring prejudices can get in the way—but for organizations prepared to be more open minded, there are awesome, talented people around the world that are extremely well equipped to fill your vacancies. You just need to find them.

Contingent Workforce Management companies like USTECH Solutions, Cavalier Workforce, and Talent4Health, along with Managed Services Providers (‘MSPs’), like Kelly OCG and Workspend, are examples of organizations that help domestic businesses to extend their reach to talent found over the county line, and overseas. These companies operate global networks of recruitment centers to source local talent and create huge databases of prospective candidates. Access to market wage rate tools like Gartner’s TalentNeuron™ allows these companies to offer guidance on the likely costs of hiring ‘equivalent talent’ overseas, and they will pre-test candidates using artificial intelligence based online skills testing and background check tools.

multinational team of business people collaborating

#3 Servicing a growing business with satellite offshore operations and resourcing teams

One global talent opportunity sometimes overlooked is the opportunity to leverage offshore resources to outsource aspects of services delivery when you DON’T have offices overseas. Traditionally, offshore and nearshore outsourcing has been a pretty binary subject; you either work with an outsourcing agency and they operate offshore centres on your behalf, or you don’t.

That binary relationship with global resourcing is changing. Having determined which aspects of your business activities can be fulfilled by employees not operating on your campus, it’s now possible to explore a variety of resourcing models to fulfil work with lower cost labor force sourced through direct sourcing, statement of work contracts, gig portals and managed talent portals, where a talent provider coordinates projects that are fulfilled by dispersed delivery teams.

In our next article, we take a look at the technologies that are helping organizations to transition to global talent strategies. Subscribe today to get notified of our upcoming articles.

Ian Tomlin

Ian Tomlin

Author

Ian Tomlin is a marketer, entrepreneur, business leader and management consultant. His passion is to help make great ideas happen. Relentlessly optimistic about the potential of technology for good, Ian’s 30+ year career has focused around the intersect of strategy, technology and marketing. He writes on subjects including workforce management, future of work, talent acquisition technology and organizational design.
Ian has written books, articles and guides on brand, digital transformation, enterprise applications, data science, and organizational design. He can be reached via LinkedIn or Twitter.

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