Managing the Global Workforce

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Managing today’s global workforce
Elevating talent management to improve business
May 2010

Overview............................................................2 Global mobility gets more complex.......................6 Talent management ..........................................10 Business results enhanced through effective talent management.............................16 Conclusion .......................................................19

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Managing today’s global workforce: elevating talent management to improve business

Foreword
Talent management is a recurring topic among executives and board members. But what does it really mean, and why is it important? Attracting and retaining talent has become a boardroom issue that is steadily climbing higher on the corporate agenda. The 2009 Ernst & Young business risk report shows that risks associated with talent management broke into the Top 10 last year to become the seventh most important risk occupying corporate leaders’ minds. Talent management risk centers on the danger of losing key competencies (including members of leadership) that allow an organization to achieve its business goals. In response, companies are focusing on developing recruitment, training and retention programs to help ensure that needed skills are available in the future. At Ernst & Young, we view talent management as an end-to-end process, linking a company’s mission, vision, values and strategy with the way it manages and develops its people. While other companies may define talent management differently, we believe this end-to-end process encompasses every aspect of the employee life cycle and, therefore, use this definition as the basis of the concepts discussed in this report. To gain a better understanding of the way companies outside of Ernst & Young are approaching this challenge, we conducted the Ernst & Young Global Talent Management Survey to answer the following questions: • Do most companies integrate and align their talent management programs across the organization? Do companies run stand-alone programs or do they attempt to harmonize programs with each other and with the organization’s broader business goals? • Do organizations with integrated and aligned talent management programs achieve superior business results compared with those whose programs are not? • Are companies with international assignment programs losing key talent, skills and knowledge through inefficient career planning for repatriated employees? By failing to focus talent management programs specifically on these employees, do they lose valuable skills to competitors and waste their investments in their international assignees? Our experience strongly suggests three hypotheses: 1. The ability to align a company’s human capital (or people) processes with its overall business strategy, while fully integrating key elements of its talent management system, is an achievable goal rather than a theoretical or academic exercise. Sam Fouad Global Managing Partner – People Esther Hahm Co-author Human Capital Bill Leisy Co-author Performance & Reward 2. Elevating talent management to a more strategic level yields indisputable business benefits. 3. Global companies must make international assignments part of their overall talent management program and include a focus on formal repatriation programs for returning expatriates. In mid-2009, we launched the Ernst & Young Global Talent Management Survey to test these hypotheses and answer the questions posed previously. Our broader goal was to better understand talent management practices across different global regions, at companies of different sizes and in different industries. We received an overwhelming response from leaders at more than 340 global organizations — primarily senior executives — including CEOs, CFOs, COOs and vice presidents of human resources. Analysis of the survey data validated the hypotheses stated above. This report is a summary of our key...
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