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Global HR Outlook Q1 2020

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In the first quarter of 2020, we are seeing the further development of some key trends we had noted last year. CHROs continue to streamline and optimize the global HR function and as a result there is ongoing demand for HR professionals with deep global HR transformation and change expertise. Companies are continuing to appoint global Heads of HR Transformation in stand-alone headquarters roles. Furthermore, a proven ability to lead teams through times of change is often inherent to HRBP/Generalist and specialist mandates. Another theme we are seeing continuing from 2019 is a hunger for sound business understanding and financial acumen in both HR Business Partners/leaders and specialists. In specialist areas, those with strong partnering skills are in demand, to drive a closer link between CoEs and business results.

Culture and engagement remain very visible business issues. There is increasing attention being paid to the importance of establishing a clear culture and set of values, and translating these into behaviors. This helps to build success profiles; and in turn, highlights gaps that exist. However, culture change remains a significant challenge for many companies, with HR leaders often feeling their organization does a poor job of evaluating and measuring culture and engagement. There are many complexities involved in creating a great culture. It is clear that culture and engagement must be leadership (not just HR) driven and that there is a need to have ambassadors at all levels of an organization to ensure success.

Another big topic for 2020 is leadership capability. Identifying gaps and developing leaders of tomorrow with skill sets ready to take on the challenges of rapidly evolving organizations is a heavy focus of leading multinationals. Heads of HR are looking to build leadership which can drive change; effectively manage an agile and increasingly remote workforce; adapt to tech-savvy generations; and create and manage teams of greater diversity.

At ChapmanCG we are very interested in the change that’s evolving in the Wellness space. The early days of company-funded gym memberships and the annual fun run have evolved to a holistic view of both physical and psychological safety, health and overall well-being. Mental health in particular is becoming a hot topic worldwide, especially given hectic travel schedules and frequent global calls outside work hours; and threat of extreme incidents in the workplace. We are involved with Richard Branson’s Virgin Unite and its 100% Human at Work initiative. Four key elements that underpin the initiative are: shared leadership and common purpose; adaptability and lifelong learning; creating inclusive and connected workforces; and strengthening the value and respect of human needs. Through discussions with HR leadership of organizations on the forefront of thinking about the future of work, it’s very clear that ‘Wellness 2.0’ will be a major theme for this and coming years.


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