Nearly 60% Fear Staffing Issues Can Impact Global Strategy
A majority of executives of multinational corporations cite a growing global shortage of talent as a factor that could limit their entry into both developed and emerging markets more so than economic weakness or even political instability, according to a new report from AXA Group and MetLife, Inc.’s MAXIS Global Benefits Network (GBN).
Forty percent of the multinationals surveyed say they intend to expand their operations in both developed and emerging markets, including but not limited to the so-called BRIC emerging markets encompassing Brazil, Russia, India and China. The findings of the study are based on an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) survey of more than 350 executives from multinational companies. The macroeconomic-focused research covers findings gathered from various industry sectors and locations, both in mature and developing countries. The report seeks to outline the international development strategies multinationals are employing to achieve successful growth at a global scale. The research also looks at the challenges to their growth.
As multinationals are expanding globally, so will their workforce. Of the largest multinationals surveyed (those with more than US$10B in annual revenue), close to one-fifth expect to have more than 85% of their total workforce outside their home country in the next five years. This figure represents nearly double the current figure.
In addition, the difficulty of simply attracting and retaining talent in non-home markets is clear in the survey findings. Nearly two-thirds (66%) of respondents say talent shortages are likely to affect their bottom line in the next five years. The focus on talent shortages and hiring challenges is highest amongst technology, professional services, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.
Both HR and business executives agree that employee benefits are critical in efforts to move talent among geographies in which they operate. Ninety percent say employee benefits are a key lever in the battle for local talent. In addition, benefits rank second only to salary in importance for their globalization strategies.
HR and Business Leaders: Wide Apart
Given that the global talent shortage is the number one issue for multinationals, the survey finds that there is still work to be done to align the gap in perceptions among HR and their business counterparts about assessing local talent in markets and the company’s readiness for expansion.
HR representatives are far more likely than business executives to say their firms are proactive in assessing the talent portion of market entry/expansion. Among business executives (excluding the HR function), 61% say their firms evaluate talent management issues (eg, acquisition and retention of functional capabilities or other expertise) only after they have identified markets for entry/expansion or don't see talent as an important globalization issue at all. By contrast, 63% of HR executives say talent is considered when markets are being identified.
The study also found the following trends:
- One in four companies plan to enter new markets in the next five years.
- Foreign markets are outpacing home markets as a source of future revenue for many multinationals. Nearly one in three multinationals expects more than 70% of its revenues to be generated from non-home markets in five years.
- Brazil, China, India and the U.S. are top choices for companies looking to sell products.
- Vietnam, South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa are considered as being the ‘single biggest opportunity’ for those seeking to source products or components.
Source: Met Life