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A Look at the Global Talent Pool

by Oct 9, 2012, 11:57 pm ET

What does the pool of skilled IT employees look like in Russia? Does the U.S. or Canada or Ireland have more “innovator talent”? Are Mexico and Turkey positioned to have good pools of future leaders — or are China and Canada?

These are the sorts of questions addressed in an interesting new report from SHL, in an analysis of 4 million assessments of employees from 205 countries and territories.

SHL was acquired this year by the Corporate Executive Board. The report is available here, and embedded below. keep reading…

Tired of Bickering Politicians? Deloitte Report Offers Some Centrist Ideas for U.S. Competitiveness

by Sep 10, 2012, 5:50 pm ET

A new report from Deloitte, one that’s hard to characterize as liberal or conservative, offers some ways to address the U.S. unemployment problem and just generally make the U.S. more competitive.

Like other past reports, and pleas from some in the HR field, this one argues that more skilled employees be allowed to immigrate to the U.S.  keep reading…

Somebody Get Gordon Ramsay to a Gym

by Jun 15, 2012, 8:07 am ET

Lucky for Shami Marangwanda she landed a recruiting job with Starbucks, because the irascible and profane Gordon Ramsay and his cohorts dashed her hopes of becoming a MasterChef. The Zimbabwe native had been laid off from her previous recruiting position when the opportunity came along to participate in the third season of Fox’ cooking show.

“I went in just having fun,” she told the Seattle Times. She made oxtail stew in a wine sauce made with sadza, a cooked corn meal that is a staple of traditional Zimbabwe diets. Alas, it fails to impress the judges and she was sent back to Seattle sans the apron that denotes a MasterChef semi-finalist.

Get Thee to a Gym

Boss been a monster lately? Then boost those endorphins. We mean the boss, though a little more exercise all around couldn’t hurt.

Turns out that abusive bosses can be tamed (though we doubt domesticated) by some time in the gym. There’s real science behind this. Three researchers experimented on 98 workers and their bosses and found “that increased levels of supervisor-reported stress are related to the increased experience of employee-rated abusive supervision.” Okay.

But here’s the biggie: “We also find that the relationship between supervisor stress and abusive behavior can be diminished when supervisors engage in moderate levels of physical exercise.”

So next October 16, instead of taking up a collection for a lunch, or cookies, or those soon-to-be-extinct party balloons, buy the boss a gym membership. keep reading…

The China Syndrome: Recruiting Can Be Tough When There Are Only a Billion People Available

by May 30, 2012, 5:46 am ET

I recently helped a client hire some engineers in China. The company had first tried to fill the jobs themselves, but had no success. When we started working on the job the hiring manager was shocked at hearing that candidates expected increases of 30 percent or more to accept a job, and even at that level there were not a lot of them. This was supposed to be easy — there are more than a billion people in the country. Chinese universities produce more than 2.5 million college graduates every year, including 30,000 doctorates and 650,000 engineers. How can it be difficult to fill any job?

CIA photo of entranceway to Shibaozhai complex via swinging foot bridge

Despite these amazing numbers, China is short of talent. Some of the shortage is the result of high demand from thousands of companies from all over the world setting up shop in China, to make, buy, or sell stuff. But much of the problem stems from two factors: education, or the lack of, and demographics. The World Economic Forum estimates that demand for talent in China will grow by 5% annually through 2020. Meeting that demand will require the country to spend 4% of GDP on education.

The government’s own estimates put spending at 2.7%, or an annual shortfall of $65 billion.

Demographics Are Destiny

There’s an old joke about China. keep reading…

The Asian Talent Market: Challenges and Opportunities

by May 1, 2012, 9:02 am ET

When it comes to the “war for talent,” Asia is today the hottest region. With national and global organizations in growth mode, the pressure on the talent market has increased tremendously, and many employers are unprepared.

Even the largest multinationals that over the past few years have won over students around the world with their strong employer value propositions and attractive employer brands face a whole new set of challenges when setting their eyes on the Far East.

Tough Local Competition keep reading…

Building Candidate Confidence and Employee Engagement in Challenging Times

by Apr 11, 2012, 4:15 pm ET

The session will take the audience on the journey of how Research In Motion is developing and activating their first-ever global employer brand during a climate of downsizing, intense competition, and an often hostile press environment.

Kat will share how she’s working ‘top down’ to create an authentic, believable promise that is closely aligned with the organizations vision and strategy. She’ll talk candidly about the challenges of connecting a complex, global stakeholder community to ensure that the promise meets the reality at every touch point of the talent management lifecycle.

For more podcasts, webinars, and articles on recruiting be sure to check out!

[podcast format="video"][/podcast]

India Back in Vogue

by Feb 14, 2012, 1:53 pm ET

Marine Drive - Mumbai

After declining for about three years, India’s popularity as an outsourcing hotspot for tech companies has increased sharply.

That’s according to BDO USA, an accounting/consulting organization, in a poll of 100 U.S. technology CFOs.

Current outsourcing destinations 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
Canada 11% 9% 11% 4% 17%
China 39% 35% 44% 19% 46%
Eastern Europe 14% 9% 17% 12% 19%
India 62% 29% 36% 50% 60%
Latin America 6% 9% 22% 8% 19%
Southeast Asia 23% 24% 36% 31% 50%
U.S. 5% 6% 11% 8% N/A
Western Europe 29% 24% 22% 19% 21%

BDO also found that: keep reading…

Walmart’s Asia Team Goes From Zero to Onboarded In Six Weeks

by Jan 11, 2012, 5:54 am ET

How do you go from zero to six senior-level e-commerce pros in six weeks?

That would be a tall order in Silicon Valley or Research Triangle. How about if you were in Hong Kong, the hiring executive is in San Francisco, the job is in China, and the req asks for Chinese-speaking, retail-savvy, online experienced, e-commerce marketers?

Simon Heaton, Walmart’s managing director in Asia, admits it isn’t easy. It was, he says, “difficult to do and difficult to repeat.” Yet, starting with a “a good clear brief as to what was needed,” Heaton and his team assembled a group of candidates, qualified them, and had everything ready when the decision-maker flew in for the interviews.

At the end of that six weeks, Walmart’s new e-commerce group for China was hired and onboarded. “It requires good alignment,” Heaton modestly explains. keep reading…

Of Course I’m Global — I’ve Been to France

by Dec 13, 2011, 5:17 am ET

I’ve often chatted with talent acquisition professionals about the global aspects of their business — an increasingly important focus. What I hear a lot of is that people have travelled to another country a few times, or have a friend or colleague there, and assume that they’re prepared to successfully recruit from their North American office or integrate into local culture if relocated. While unintentionally, many of us in North America make these assumptions about what recruiting and staffing are like based on our own experience.

Over 20 years I’ve learned that these assumptions in a global context rarely pay off. I often hear people say things like “Singapore is similar to Hong Kong because they are both in Asia”; or “Italy is similar to France because they are close to each other and in Europe.” Well, that is sort of like thinking the United States of America is similar to Mexico because they’re both part of the Americas. I think many of us in North America would shake our heads at this comparison, but it is not uncommon to develop plans based on what we know, and then take a few assumptions about the target location expecting to excel. Wrong! What works in our own space doesn’t necessarily translate when you cross a border, ocean, or even a region. At times, it can feel like you’ve brought your baseball bat to a cricket game — yes, the function seems the same, but without understanding the game, the home run is much more difficult to achieve.

This is why I’ve called on two of my esteemed peers, Danielle Monaghan and Roel Lambrichts, to join me at the upcoming ERE Expo Spring 2012 in San Diego for an open dialogue about creating and sustaining talent acquisition success on a global scale. Essentially, we’re inviting everyone to have coffee with us and join the discussion. I chose this type of session and dynamic presenter group because of the diverse backgrounds and global companies that have benefited from our expertise. Danielle is the HR director North Asia – Greater China, Japan, & Korea at Cisco Systems, based out of Beijing. Roel is the head of talent acquisition Europe for Coca-Cola Enterprises based out of Brussels.

You may have experienced the kinds of things we’re talking about here. If not, it’s likely you will in the future as companies continue to globalize. While “global recruiting” is a currently a buzzword in our profession, there is more to it than making some overseas calls and sifting through resumes. I know I made a lot of assumptions when I first started to recruit outside my own home region (more than 20 years ago); we all do.

I’ll never forget the “aha” moment when I realized the one-size-fits-all-model was not going to work. keep reading…

10 Predictions for 2012: The Top Trends in Talent Management and Recruiting

by Dec 5, 2011, 5:03 am ET

It’s always better to be prepared than surprised.

By definition, being strategic requires that you look forward — identifying trends, opportunities, and threats. With the December lull looming, now is a great time to plan for the future. I’ve listed the “top 10 talent management trends” I foresee that require your attention. keep reading…

Global Talent Barometer Launches

by Nov 24, 2011, 5:18 am ET

How willing might a South African be to get a new job? What might entice an Australian employee to relocate for a job? A website called the “Global Talent Barometer” launching today gives you a glimpse into what motivates workers in different countries and what’ll drive them to move from one country to the next. Essentially, it’s just a set of pages showing the results of a survey — but a slick set.

The site is being unveiled by a job-board group called The Network, along with a Dutch labor-market research agency called the Intelligence Group. It’s first available to Network customers and its partners such as, with access possibly opening up in 2012.

For an example of what’s up on the site, let’s take India. If you click on India, you can find out, among other things: keep reading…

Indian Economy Still Hiring, But Cooling

by Oct 26, 2011, 5:10 am ET

Healthcare is expected to create 248,500 jobs this year, leading all other sectors including tech. But even as go-go as healthcare is, the pace of job creation there has subsided some.

Nothing surprising there, except that this is India we’re talking about, and not the U.S.

Ma Foi Randstad, the international HR service provider, says India’s torrid jobs growth is slowing up, though the numbers are still at a pace much of the world would envy. According to a Randstad survey of 13 industry sectors, 3rd quarter employment in those sectors was projected to grow by 353,900 workers. But a survey at the end of the quarter estimated the actual hires at 331,200, leading the company to headline its economic summary ”Indian Economy: sluggish but not panicky.keep reading…

Business Embracing Social Media, But Not Always What Employees Say

by Jul 19, 2011, 5:10 am ET

If you recruit in Italy, don’t check the social networks when you background a candidate. In Spain, you can monitor the time your workers spend on social networks, if you warn them in advance you’re going to. But without their permission you can’t monitor the content.

And do you have a company policy regarding social networking? Only 55 percent of the companies do, according to a survey by the International Labor & Employment Group at Proskauer Rose.

The high-powered law firm conducted what it describes as an “informal survey on emerging trends and practices on the use of social media in the workplace,” finding that 76 percent of the 120 responding companies use social media for business purposes.

The results of the 10-question survey are supplemented by brief summaries of rules and regulations around the world, which, as in the U.S., can be fairly loose, or, as in Italy, so restrictive that employers can’t even monitor what their workers are doing on company time using company equipment. (Employers there can, however, prohibit the use of social networking sites during work hours.)

Rather than rely on existing company policies, Proskauer Rose says, “businesses need to have distinct and specific social media policies and practices in order to harness the benefits and minimize the risks these new media present.”

It’s telling that although 55 percent found value in the business use of social media during work hours, but not in its personal use, a significant 31 percent found an advantage in allowing both business and personal use.

The survey also found 31 percent of the companies took disciplinary action against an employee in connection with their use of social networks, while 43 percent have faced an issue with misuse of social networks.

Proskauer suggests companies consider three factors whether they use social networks for recruitment and selection or in disciplinary action: keep reading…

Employer Branding Without Borders – A Pathway to Corporate Success

by Jul 5, 2011, 5:23 am ET
The extended version of this article will be published in the Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership.

Culture is more often a source of conflict than of synergy. Cultural differences are a nuisance at best and often a disaster. –Professor Geert Hofstede, Dutch social psychologist

One of the greatest challenges facing global companies right now is their ability to exploit synergies and efficiencies in their global talent acquisition and retention programs. When considered with the fact we are about to enter an era of unparalleled talent scarcity around the world, the role of the global employer brand manager is set to become one of the most critical roles inside global companies.

Global talent acquisition has become increasingly complex. The need for systems integration, understanding of culture diversity, social and technological changes, jobless, uneven economic recoveries in many countries, the threat of declining fertility rates, inequality in global education standards, and the impact of aging populations in many developed economies has created multiple challenges for global companies which show no signs of easing soon!

Leaders I speak with around the world are saying they are running hard to stand still and where previously they could take 1-2 years to research, develop, and implement talent acquisition and retention strategies, the competitiveness for talent is demanding leaders react quicker and more decisively to stay ahead of the competition.

Even top employer-branding companies like Google, Adidas, and Deloitte are constantly seeking innovative ways to source, develop, and retain talent. If that’s what is happening with the market leaders, consider the millions of other companies around the world who have similar challenges. At a global level the problem is magnified to unthinkable proportions and the solutions are going to need a mix of short- and long-term initiatives including collaboration between companies, industries, universities, and governments. There is no benefit to global corporations if leadership talent is in high supply in Scandinavia when manufacturing operations are in India and there is a dearth of leaders with the right skills.

The Reality of Globalization and its Impact on Employer Branding

The social and culture integration brought about through globalization can foster broader understanding and co-operation between employees around the world, and potentially economies of scale in the allocation of human resources, but is it really that simple? keep reading…

Global Recruiting Trends

by Apr 13, 2011, 4:09 pm ET

This week, Raghav Singh covered global trends in recruiting and how they’re affecting the way we hire. Learn how to overcome cultural barriers and hire the best talent worldwide.

For more podcasts, webinars, and articles on recruiting be sure to check out!

[podcast format="video"][/podcast]

Closing the Offer With Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose

by Nov 29, 2010, 4:14 pm ET

The pay’s about the same; the benefits are every bit as good; the job is equally challenging; and, the training and career ladders are equivalent.

So how do you attract the top talent when you don’t have quite the same brand awareness as your closest competitors?

“Flexibility is the number one carrot,” says Paul Peterson, national talent resource manager for the Canadian branch of international accounting firm Grant Thornton.

Grant Thornton is a top 10 accounting firm. In size, it ranks fifth or sixth, depending on who’s counting. Either way, it’s a firm with significant resources, career mobility, a global reach, and, as Peterson observes, a brand not as well known in North America as the Big Four (DeloitteTouche Tohmatsu, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, and KPMG.) With salaries and benefits comparable among the firms, his recruiters have to be more innovative in selling Grant Thornton to top candidates.

So what do they do? keep reading…

What’s Important to Employees — Around the World

by Oct 27, 2010, 5:03 pm ET

Don’t expect your American recruiting methods like email blasts to work smoothly in other countries.

That’s the message from two experienced global recruiters today at the ERE Expo in Florida: Raghav Singh, a familiar ERE author who has helped staff organizations in Switzerland, Japan, China, India, and elsewhere, and Kim Rutledge, a Dell recruiting leader turned consultant who has managed Latin American recruiting.

Singh notes the following from a recent Towers-Watson Survey:

  • In the U.S. and the UK, a competitive salary is the most sought-after quality in a job.
  • Germans list “challenging work” as most important to them in a job.
  • Career advancement is the top goal of job-seekers in Brazil, India, and China.
  • A convenient work location is a big lure in Germany and the UK; less so in the U.S. and UK.

keep reading…

New Reports Offer View of Coming Global Workforce Challenges

by Oct 18, 2010, 2:22 pm ET

Three years from now can seem like geologic time for so many global companies still picking their way through today’s economic morass. Yet HR leaders of global companies are already beginning to look ahead for when their company begins to grow again.

IBM issued its biennial Chief Human Resource Officer Study last week. Its 70 pages detail the workforce challenges these leaders see ahead.

In the introduction, IBM’s senior VP for HR, J. Randall MacDonald, says, “HR leaders expect their businesses to remain focused on two equally important goals during the next three years — the need to drive growth yet, at the same time, maintain operational efficiency.”

The study is part survey, and part focus group. IBM’s researchers surveyed 707 HR leaders of companies of all sizes around the world; 600 of them were interviewed face-to-face.

Their immediate focus, as you might expect, is on present conditions. Wresting the maximum efficiency out of the operation is the overriding business challenge for 64 percent of the global HR leaders. But looking ahead three years, they expect — in almost equal measure — that their companies’ top issues will be the introduction of new products and services, expansion, and improving efficiency. keep reading…

Global Recruiting in 2010: Trends and Best Practices

by Aug 26, 2010, 6:41 pm ET

Kevin Wheeler joined us this week to discuss the global trends that have been reshaping the recruiting industry. In this webinar we covered how to effectively recruit across a variety of cultural barriers as well as how new technology and social media is affecting the global marketplace.

For more podcasts, webinars, and articles on recruiting be sure to check out!

[podcast format="video"][/podcast]

The Hard Facts in International Recruiting

by Aug 16, 2010, 1:51 pm ET

My younger brother Barak got married August 12, 2010. When we were growing up, the thing I knew for sure was that I hated him. It was the “hard fact.” There was no way around it. I hated him. Every time he said something I wanted to kill him (and obviously the other way around is true), and this picture is one of the few that I found when we were smiling and hugging. Later I seem to have managed to always have someone stand between us (quite like I see with my own kids these days).

But that’s brothers/sisters for you.

Today he’s my best friend; we consult with each other on every new direction or thought, from big to small. We support each other on a daily basis.

I thought of him this morning, about our relationship, and the fact that in the distant past I was so confident that I’ll never want to help him, thinking that I hated him — for me was at the time, a “hard fact.” Something no one could argue with.

This morning, thinking of him and how things have changed during the past approximately 20 years, connected me to my conversations with many recruiters in Israel about their relationship with their corporate partners — usually from the U.S.

“They Would Never Agree to this”

I’ve been training thousands of HR recruiters and managers during the past four years regarding online recruiting. When I ask local recruiters about their progress in implementing social media tools and online recruiting in their company, I usually hear the same sentence: “We’re in a unique position, representing a U.S. corporation in Israel, and they would never agree to that…”

“They” is the U.S. based corporation. ”That” is usually one of a few things that “they” usually don’t agree to: keep reading…