Top HR Issues by Geography: The Same, But Different

In blogs earlier this month I addressed: 1) increasing use of SaaS; and 2) cost reduction as a top HRO driver based on data from NelsonHall’s recently published HRO buyer report, “HR Issues and Outsourcing Intentions.” Now let’s talk about the top HR management issues by geography.

On a 1 – 5 scale, with 5 being most important:

Asia Importance
Low consistency of HR processes across the organization 4.8
Difficulties in obtaining consistent single view of the employee 4.4
Need accurate and consolidated workforce information and reports 4.3
   
Continental Europe Importance
Difficulties in obtaining consistent single view of the employee 4.4
Corporate requirement for reductions in costs of HR administration 4.3
Need accurate and consolidated workforce information and reports 4.1
   
U.K Importance
Corporate requirement for reductions in costs of HR administration 4.2
Need accurate and consolidated workforce information and reports 4.1
Need to improve identification of high performers and succession management 4.0
   
U.S. Importance
Corporate requirement for reductions in costs of HR administration 4.2
Need to improve identification of high performers and succession management 4.2
Need for improved talent management capability 4.1

While the relative rankings vary a bit from geo to geo, and although there are a couple of outlier line items, the cited HR management issues can pretty much all be addressed by outsourcing core HR technology. Not surprisingly, this was identified as the number one HR service to be outsourced in our HRO buyer study, and its validity is bearing itself out as evidenced by recently-signed HRO contacts that are either for technology or technology plus HRO services. Let’s look at a couple of examples:

•  In just the last two weeks, Netherlands-based Raet has been awarded five SaaS contracts for its HR portal, RaetOnline, to leverage one system for HR and payroll, standardize to achieve improved efficiency, data accuracy and cost savings from elimination of systems and/or what may have been manual processes, and gain self-service capabilities 

•  Infosys is implementing a platform-based HRIS and global payroll platform for a leading Australian insurer, using PeopleSoft 9.0 to enable the client to have one standard integrated platform, eliminate disparate technologies, drive up process consistency, increase data accuracy and reduce costs

Tangentially, I found it interesting that cost reduction didn’t even make it into the top three HR management issues in Asia, while the U.S. and U.K. cited it as the primary issue, and continental Europe ranked it second. This made me think about my prior background in quality, long before I started working in HRO, and the work of Dr. Deming and Dr. Juran who trained Asian workers and managers on the importance of quality for three decades following World War II. Their tenet was that if you first focus on process and quality (of data), reductions in cost will follow. Cost reduction is of course important in Asia, but there’s clearly a different mindset in how to achieve it. Rather than my views on the principles of management, let’s engage. Where do you think cost reduction should fall in the “fix HR issues” equation?

Gary Bragar, Senior HR Outsourcing Analyst, NelsonHall

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One Comment on “Top HR Issues by Geography: The Same, But Different”


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andrew Spence, Andrew Spence. Andrew Spence said: Top HR Issues by Geography : The Same but different http://ht.ly/2fGY6 from Nelson Hall #hr […]


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