Category Archives: Global HR Expertise

Special Announcement from Birches Group and Emergence Growth

Author:
Warren Heaps – Birches Group LLC

This post is a bit of a departure from our normal content, which usually focuses on the “how-to” of international human resources management.  Today we are making an exception to bring you some exciting news.

This week, my company, Birches Group LLC entered into an agreement with Emergence Growth, led by another one of our authors here, Yendor Felgate, to work together to expand our customer base in Africa.  Emergence will become the exclusive agent for our compensation and benefits surveys in Africa, focused on private sector companies that operate across multiple countries.

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Wellness Programs — Global or Local?

Author:
Jacque Vilet – Vilet International

Many companies are coming to the realization that the health and wellness of their global workforce is an important issue.   Wellness programs that began in the U.S. or Europe, typically at headquarters locations, are now expanding globally.

Towers Watson recently released their 2011 survey entitled “Multinational Workforce Health”.  The survey included 149 participants representing 5.2 million employees in 37 countries. Continue reading

Global Mobility Policies for the 21st Century

Author:
Warren Heaps – Birches Group LLC

It’s now almost the middle of 2011, so the 21st century is well underway.  The new realities of global business are upon us:

  • Companies are expanding from developed countries into new, high-growth markets in the developing world in record numbers.
  • Global talent is being snatched up across borders on a regular basis.
  • Companies are sending expats to new locations, and breaking new ground with each assignment.
  • Companies headquartered in developing markets like India, China, Brazil and South Africa, to name a few, are expanding along with multi-nationals from more established markets.
  • Demographic shifts will result in an increasing number of workers being sought from developing countries to replace the ageing workforce in North America and Europe.  In fact, McKinsey predicts that by the year 2040, the largest working-age population in the world will reside in Africa.

So what does this have to do with global mobility?  A lot!

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2011 Global Talent Index

Author:
Warren Heaps – Birches Group LLC

The famous “war for talent” lives on.  Or does it? Heidrick and Struggles, the international recruitment firm, together with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), have just published their 2011 “Global Talent Index” report.  This year, in addition to a report which can be downloaded here, they have provided the resources for blogs and other sites to help spread the word about the report, including videos and interactive tools.

Here is a video introduction to the Global Talent Index from Kevin Kelly, CEO of Heidrick and Struggles:

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Importance of Medical Insurance in Multinational Pooling

Author:
Jacque Vilet – Vilet International

Many companies with employees located in many countries globally provide supplemental benefits in addition to those that are government mandated.   Many of these supplemental plans are insured:   life, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D), disability, retirement, etc.   Typically, the office in each country location manages their own process of selecting insurance companies, types of coverage, comparing premiums and settling on the final contract language.   Sometimes the number of employees is very small and, therefore, the premium is high because the risk is spread over a small number of people.

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Benchmarking Regional Roles – What Works?

Author:
Warren Heaps – Birches Group LLC

More and more companies are consolidating operations into regional centers, using a base in one country to manage businesses in multiple markets. This makes good sense for several reasons:

  • Efficiency – regional offices eliminate duplicate resources and allow organizations to focus on customer-facing positions in smaller markets.
  • Expansion – a regional approach allows for gradual expansion into new markets, permitting “testing of the waters” before entering a market.
  • Local knowledge and expertise – staff in a regional center are usually familiar with more than one of the markets in the region, so can often help bridge market, language and cultural differences.

So regional offices sound like a great model for many companies. But how does a regional role impact compensation? This is a subject of considerable debate amongst compensation professionals. Continue reading

Taking Corporate Programs Global – Your Mileage May Vary!

Author:
Jacque Vilet – Vilet International

Companies these days are always striving for global consistency, and one of the ways to achieve it is to use the same corporate programs around the world.  But such an approach can sometimes present unexpected challenges.  I would like to share some of my experiences in this regard, to get you thinking about all the possible ramifications in rolling out corporate programs in multiple countries, and how each of those countries may be impacted.

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Global Salary Grades or Global Salary Structure?

Author:
Warren Heaps – Birches Group LLC

Recently a reader posed a question to me:

“My company has expanded into ten new countries and I’m trying to establish a global salary structure.  With all the different exchange rates, I’m finding it difficult to come up with one structure that works everywhere.  Can you give me some advice?”

I provided a short answer to the reader, which I will share here, along with some additional information.  First, though, some clarifying definitions, because I believe there is some confusion with terminology (which provided the name of this post).

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The Way To Identify Your Future Leaders (Part 1)


Authors:
Han van der Pool – Van der Pool Consultancy
Lex Lindeman – HRBoosters

It is not that easy to identify and groom future leaders.  Companies make use of various techniques to spot talent, and often manage their inventory of high potentials – those with the best chance of being a future leader.  In this post, we describe some of the best techniques which are used by companies to manage their talent pool of future leaders.

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International Annual Leave Rules — Or I Want to Live in Brazil!

Author:
Jacque Vilet – Vilet International

In many parts of the world, time off from work is called annual leave or holiday, not vacation.  Whatever you call it, we can agree on a universal definition:  Annual leave refers to the period of time-off with pay which is available to employees, to pursue relaxation and recreation with their family and friends.  The amount of annual leave provided in different countries around the world varies quite a bit.  This post provides a nice summary of the legal requirements for annual leave provisions in some key countries. In order to be competitive in a specific country, a company also needs to take competitive data in mind when forming its policy.

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