Compliance a Concern for Global Programs
While globalization allows today’s businesses to find, source, and engage talent like never before, it also raises issues of statutory compliance and visibility to the utmost importance. If you have only partial visibility of your non-employee workers or are only ensuring compliance in a few geographical areas—but not in all—you may be putting your program, your position, and your company in jeopardy.
Compliance is a major reason multinational companies are “globalizing” their contingent workforce programs. According to industry analysts, 35 percent of companies today have a global contingent workforce program in place with the necessary capabilities for finding, engaging, and managing talent across various geographies. An additional 42 percent of businesses plan to develop a global contingent workforce program within two years.
Why it Pays to
“Think Global, Act Local”
There are several things companies need to consider before expanding their non-employee labor programs globally. First among these is the fact that there is no homogeneous “global contingent workforce” and no single set of laws and regulations that controls all talent engagements.
Despite the fact that talent is globally distributed and increasingly accessible, global program strategies must encompass localized components that account for geographical variations in labor laws, tax structures, cultural norms, and market dynamics.
For this reason, most companies have discovered that a contingent workforce program developed for one country can rarely be exported to another country without some necessary localization, and it is typically more complicated to implement the program in other countries than in the country where you started. In other words, a one-size-fits-all approach to the world does not work.
A better solution is to develop a global strategy based on common goals across the organization, and then tailor each local program based on local market conditions, business customs, and labor regulations. The result will be a more flexible and agile program that provides global visibility and continuity.
Consider Cultural Differences
In addition to the tangible differences between countries and regions—languages, laws, tax structures, and more—there are other differences that must be considered. Many of these are cultural in nature and may exert a strong influence on whether an international program expansion will succeed.
Change management is one example. In some cultures, change is driven from the top down, so it is crucial to establish top management’s support from the beginning. In other cultures, innovation is traditionally driven from the bottom up. To ensure effective adoption of the program, program owners will need to understand how this process works in the cultures involved and develop their change management and training plans accordingly in order to ensure success