Managing a global workforce is challenging, at that site there are no arguments there, but the hard question is should a company centralise or decentralise their HR functions, including global mobility? Some of our clients have moved down the path of centralising their HR functions (including global mobility) to their international head office. This flows down to choosing single suppliers that can service that company on a global level. I can see the logistical and head office operational benefits of a centralising but it raises the question – “Will this produce the best local outcomes?”
At a local level, HR staff are having to have hard conversations with their local suppliers to advise they can no longer use them. Most of these suppliers were sourced because they are a good local fit for the company and they have built a strong, long term relationship which mutually works.
My prediction is that as companies get more advanced at managing a global workforce they will see that one size does not always fit all. A migration tax agent that has an office in every country that a client operates, does not make them the best suited supplier for that client in every location. Just like every country has it’s own culture, every office of a global company will operate in a different way, regardless of how strong company culture is. This is why I believe a global supplier is not always going to be the best fit.
What is your experience with centralising HR functions on a global scale?