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The negative headlines around China’s slowing growth has masked an underlying trend of increased workforce mobility in Asia-headquartered companies, according to research by Towers Perrin. Just as rapid business globalisation has demanded that multinational organisations re-examine their talent mobility practices to compete effectively in the talent war, there’s evidence that policies and processes in the Far East are becoming much more aligned with overall business strategy – and helping drive organisational maturity.
Should we be surprised? Perhaps not. While Asian multinationals started globalising 20 years ago, the process did not truly accelerate until the past decade. As a result, Asia’s talent mobility policies were more inward-focused (domestic) than outward-focused (global). Now, armed with still relatively-strong local currencies and credit, and encouraged by Asia’s relatively quick emergence from the global recession (compared to many developing markets), Asian companies are aggressively entering new markets and becoming global players. However, as a result of their late entry into the globalisation arena, these companies have to compete fiercely against mature American and European multinationals in an already crowded talent market.
Tower Perrin have explored whether playing ‘catch up’ has actually put some Asian companies ahead in terms of enabling mobility for their workforce. And it appears that HR ‘out East’ is playing a more active part in driving talent mobility as part of their talent management strategy. Of 100 companies surveyed in AsiaPac, Europe, US:
- Fifty percent of survey respondents indicate that decisions about international assignments are made as part of an integrated talent management process.
- Of those, 91% of Asia-headquartered companies involve the human resource department in these decisions, compared to 86% of Europe-headquartered companies and 100% of U.S.- headquartered companies.
- Sixty-seven percent of Europe-headquartered companies and 53% of U.S.-headquartered companies report that they have an organisational development/talent management group with primary responsibility for talent management, compared with 21% of Asia-headquartered companies.
Despite share price scares and stock market volatility, the Report makes it clear that the world is increasingly moving to the beat of the talent drum – and the focus of talent mobility should no longer be country centric, but with a world-wide perspective to reflect the dynamic global talent landscape.
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