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Article No.: 12-10, December 1, 2012

Article Title: Become a Global HR Strategist in 2013 

Author: Linda Gravett, Ph.D., SPHR, CEQC

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As 2012 quickly comes to a close, I’ve given lots of thought to how I want to think differently as an HR leader in 2013.  My conclusion is that the biggest impact I can make for my organization and my client organizations is to build the competency of global HR strategist.  I encourage you to proactively consider steps you can take over the next few months to build this competency yourself.
The first question, of course, is “what is a global HR strategist”?  I define this role as a person who concerns herself with how global politics, the global economy, the global labor market, and global competition impacts her organization  - and how her actions every day take global elements into account.
In the Human Resources field, we’re becoming increasingly aware that high-quality international telecommunications mediums are available to assist us in functions such as recruiting and human resource development.  We don’t have to rely on for our primary recruiting resource.  We don’t have to rely on local consulting firms or universities for training and development resources.  The world is at our feet, with the information highway accessible instantaneously.  The one size fits all approach to HR management is woefully outdated.  The major player in my city, Procter & Gamble, has revealed that it expects to obtain half of its new product ideas in 2013 from people outside the U.S., so talent sourcing and management in that company will unfold in a completely new way in the coming years.
Here are some HR activities that I recommend you place first in your 2013 priorities, even if you’re in a small organization based in the Midwest:

  • Explore what steps you would need to set in motion if your top leadership decided to establish a branch in another country to take advantage of less expensive resources or a new customer base.  Think ahead about how you would investigate the new country’s monetary system and establish a compensation system that would entice ex-pats to move overseas.  Think ahead about how you would recruit from another country’s tech schools and colleges. Investigate resources that are available to you to learn about a new country’s culture and workplace practices. 
  • U.S. laws aren’t applicable around the world.  Resources such as SHRM’s webcasts on global harassment prevention programs would be an excellent resource for you to access.  This resource is available at
  • You can also access reports such as Mercer’s Confronting and Mastering the Challenges of Global Mobility.  This report offers recommendations on how companies can prepare and manage leaders to set up shop in other countries.

My challenge to you today is to begin exploring how you can be your company’s HR advisor as it expands, or plans to expand, outside U.S. borders.  If you start building your competencies now, you’ll be ready when your company is ready to make its move.  And by the way, building fluency in Spanish, Japanese or Chinese might be a great way to start.  Rosetta Stone is your friend.
Have a wonderful holiday and Happy New Year!

If you have any questions or need more information about this article, please complete our Contact Form, or contact Dr. Gravett by telephone at 513-753-8870.

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