Eva Louzao, VP Cloud HR Services, Meta4
In an era where a growing number of companies choose to develop international business and their subsidiaries multiply, the need for effective management tools is very apparent. The ability to respond to global issues together with various local requirements, different management styles, and disparate ways of working are needed today.
At the same time, reducing costs remains at the heart of the worries in organizations. Using a single global HR system allows you to consolidate data, and hence save time on administrative tasks to focus on HR operations and strategy, while optimizing costs.
For an international HRIS project to be a success, it is crucial to address certain issues:
Management’s strategic vision
When taking on an internationalization project, the objectives must be well defined right from the start and endorsed by management. What requirements must be met for your global HRIS project? Are your processes already standardized? What are your priorities? Who has access to what information? Are your employees ready to change? Does your HR team have the skills for this project? In short, are you ready?
Then it is up to Corporate HR to align best practices with strategic objectives, while being aware of the operational challenges and peculiarities of each country.
A dedicated project team
Deploying an HRIS project of this kind involves managing so many aspects. That’s why it is essential to design right from the onset a mechanism that allows you to steer and guide the project and how it should be coordinated.
The first steps are the most crucial ones, notably setting up a dedicated project team which knows where it’s headed and how, through clear and well-defined objectives. The team must be able to implement these goals by working with HR in different countries. The project manager must be able to push the organization in the same direction and guide the project team internally through the change, and not just technically. Indeed, the organization and their HR’s approach will change too.
Involving local teams
Many cultural, geographic, linguistic, structural barriers can hinder a globalization project. The worst way to proceed is to define the global process from the corporate head office without even consulting local teams. Engaging local HR teams, right at the onset of the project is essential.
It is fundamental to communicate the project internally to different countries, presenting the benefits they will perceive locally. It is important to know how to listen to HR Managers and their needs within their different branches so that the new processes address these before starting. Local teams will also draw your attention to cultural differences and legal requirements to consider.
Maintaining a global view
It is imperative to define a common way of doing things throughout the organization and implement a solution that will consolidate data from the different local subsidiaries and manage HR processes globally.
HR and local users must be given tools to help them in the daily process, but they must realize that the local requirements must not take precedence over common goal. Recruitment, performance management, training, career development, compensation, internal mobility—unifying all these processes enables access to consolidated information from different countries in real time and analytics capabilities,
The purpose is not just to harmonize HR processes, but also enable the HR department to support and facilitate international expansion of the company through better talent management and performance as well as by recruiting local teams in new countries very quickly.
Building Core HR: a pre-requisite
As organizations are increasingly complex, centralized data becomes a major issue. Coexisting multiple HR solutions pose quite a challenge to multinationals.
To meet the strategic needs of talent management at an international level, it is essential to build, above all, the foundations of your solution, Core HR, an information tank that manages all information on your employees worldwide. Recruitment, performance, payroll, training—all this forms the life cycle of an employee in the company controlled by this single database, upon which a system can be built for borderless talent management.
Creating a single repository is not only indispensable for rationalizing processes afterwards, but also allows you to have a complete view of the information on your workforce in real time even though it is dispersed around the globe. It also allows you to make decisions quickly, meet regulatory requirements for reporting and facilitate daily tasks for HR professionals who will then be able to focus on more strategic missions.