Global HR Outlook Q4 2018

As we move into the last quarter of 2018, the global HR search environment remains vibrant. Multinational employers continue to evolve and transform their global HR functions, looking to make them more business-aligned, contemporary and efficient. Assisted by an overall positive global economic outlook, these transformations are continuing to fuel HR search work as employers seek to bring in HR professionals who can ‘move the dial’ as their organizations evolve.

As a result, we are seeing increasing demand for HR professionals with robust OD, OE and Change/Transformation capabilities. HR Business Partner leaders with strong spikes in OD and OE, who are data-driven and truly understand the business, are in demand. On the specialist side, OD professionals (either permanent or interim) are also sought after, as organizations look to find more proprietary and cost-effective alternatives to the human capital consultants they have traditionally relied upon to shape new organizational structures and HR processes, and drive culture change. We are also seeing demand for OD/OE and Change experts for specialist Talent searches where transformation is a key component of the role.

Recently, we have seen a steady increase in the number of Total Rewards leadership roles coming to market. Many of our clients have expressed an intention to forge a tighter link between total rewards plans and organizational performance. For this reason, we are also seeing a closer relationship and alignment between the Rewards and Talent Management functions. Furthermore, with many companies more effectively leveraging benefits as a key differentiator when it comes to talent attraction and retention, Rewards and Benefits leaders who can put together creative and practical benefits plans (for example, around leave/vacation allowances, health and wellness, and charitable contribution matches) are coming to the fore.

Last quarter we flagged the ‘future of work’ as a high-profile focus for CHROs. We expect to hear more about this as we move into 2019. Today, many organizations are reshaping their competency frameworks to focus on the organizational, social and personal capabilities that will be needed to manage an ambiguous and constantly evolving future where reskilling and the need for lifelong learning will be major themes.
The concept of performance is also starting to shift. Progressive organizations are mapping new career neighborhoods and corridors as industries evolve to enable them to broaden their skills base and access new talent pools. They are also looking to encourage greater collaboration across business units, through implementing performance management systems, leadership development and coaching plans, and career pathing models and processes designed to facilitate more productive teamwork across different parts of the organization.
On the people data side, 2018 has been a busy year, with multinational companies managing the practicalities of US pay equity laws and pouring many hours into GDPR rollouts. For many HR and business leaders, a past goal of leveraging ‘big data’ has evolved to a growing recognition that they must in tandem adopt a focused, methodical, and careful approach to data security and quality, and ensure the accuracy and appropriateness of any automation-driven process involving HR data. We are expecting to see organizations continuing to apply increasing focus to their people data strategies in 2019.

Further reading from our Q4 Global HR Update:
The New Skillsets to Future-Proof Your Workforce
Managing Unconscious Bias Throughout the Employee Lifecycle
Q&A: Elizabeth Runham, HR Director Asia Pacific for Facebook
Podcast: Viral Culture Change and Future-Fit Leadership
Podcast: How to Set Yourself Apart as an HR Leader
Podcast: The Future of Employee Engagement
HR Opportunities

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