Companies Steadily Improving Global HR Function

August 12, 2009 ( - According to a new survey by Hewitt Associates, human resources (HR) departments have made steady progress in their ability to support the shift toward a more global business model and workforce.

A news release said Hewitt’s survey of 85 global companies, in Latin America, North America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe, found that organizations are moving in the right direction to develop global HR strategies that meet the diverse needs of their workforce across businesses and geographies. Almost half (49%) of companies indicated that their global HR strategy applies to all of their operating regions-not just their primary location-with most organizations conducting HR activities at a global, regional, andlocal level depending on the process and the business needs.

Additionally, HR is leading rather than lagging the business when it comes to moving to a more global focus: 30% of companies describe their HR organization design as global compared to 15% of companies that describe themselves as global.

However, according to the news release, for many companies, questions remain on how exactly HR should be aligned from a strategy, organizational, and delivery perspective.Companies have been slow to adopt more consistent global processes as a means to increase efficiencies, leaving much room for improvement, Hewitt said.

Only 19% of companies have consolidated core HR services at a global level; 23% have consolidated talent management; and 18% have leveraged self-service globally.

Looking ahead one to two years, Hewitt’s survey found that companies are searching for additional ways to more effectively and efficiently manage their global workforce and improve global operations.More than half (55%) plan to increase the integration of talent management processes on a global level, 49% will implement more robust human capital measurements, and nearly as many (48%) plan to implement technology to support their talent management efforts.