How Global Workforce Strategy Helps Global-First Companies

Navigating the ever-changing global market with a strategic global workforce blueprint

Table of Contents

The COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical stress, and macroeconomic uncertainties are some of the dramatic ways that the current worldwide economic crisis is showing up today. As they impact various worldwide aspects from global recession in major economies to supply chain disruptions and tight labour markets that were inherited from the year before in 2023, these signalled turbulent times indeed. 

However, stepping into 2024, there is a glimmer of optimism in the apparent inheritance of uncertainties and fluctuations from the year before. What seemed to be a pessimistic handover from 2023 is, in fact, a slow recovering global economy in the midst of declining global inflation: global growth is projected at 3.1% with global inflation falling to 5.8% amidst the unwinding of supply-side issues and restrictive monetary policy this year.1 And as the tailwinds of the post-pandemic era fades, the labour markets are showing promising signs or revival; however, unemployment could still drift higher while remaining low in the historical context. With the ongoing challenges to add and retain workers coming out of the pandemic, businesses could be hesitant to shed workers in the slowing economic environment - while the sparse hiring activities could contribute to the unemployment rate by as much as 4% by the end of next year due to worker churn.2

The current global situation of hiring talent in 2024

It is no longer enough to only read the seismic shift in the current economic landscape, it is also imperative to understand the current hiring and recruitment trends to navigate the dynamic changes of a changing workforce alongside the changing economy today. 

Technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) are already changing the recruitment process in many companies - Asia Pacific employees, in particular, are more willing to jump onto the technology bandwagon, with 41% saying it will increase their productivity and efficiency at work, while 34% viewed it as an opportunity to establish new skills in PwC’s Asia Pacific Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey 2023. As much as 44% of employees believe that the necessary skills required for their jobs will undergo significant changes within the next five years - with human skills as the most important asset. Core skills such as adaptability or flexibility (69%), collaborative skills (67%) and critical thinking skills (66%) are viewed as more important than technical or core business skills in the survey.3

Acknowledging these data would mean that 2024’s hiring trends tend to be skewed towards skills hiring and technology-driven recruitment processes - in which skills gaps are expected to be bridged or closed by hiring people who can upskill teams.

There is also an expectation to see hidden potential unleashed as businesses reassign roles in their companies. The usage of AI has much to offer to recruiters: speeding up hiring processes, writing job descriptions, powering pre-screening video interviews, and assessing candidates for the best matches for roles.

When utilised the right way, AI can save valuable resources such as money and time for an organisation. Candidates can also benefit from technology-driven recruitment, as they are more empowered today to seek fairer pay. AI can easily help to compare salary ranges in the market for the potential candidates to consider, and when they finally land the role, candidates can go through a more streamlined onboarding process - all thanks to the help of virtual training and chatbots on hand to guide them and answer questions.4

The emergence of Global-First companies

In today’s global market, the emergence of Global-First companies are no longer uncommon - in fact, they are becoming more significant today. 

Why should organisations be Global-First companies?

Becoming a Global-First company can help your business to withstand upheavals that may be endured in the modern economic landscape - such as societal shifts, rapid advancements in technology, political volatility, and public health crises. With a Global-First mindset, a company views the whole world as a commercial opportunity. This can give tremendous benefits in terms of tapping into a global talent pool and accessing potential employees that can extend beyond a company’s original location.5

However, Global-First companies are not without their unique challenges. Some of these obstacles may include:

  1. Lack of financial control 
    Maintaining financial control over operations can be a daunting task for global companies - especially so when entering smaller or emerging markets. Most of the time, organisations do not have standardised processes with checks in place to ensure compliance across locations.

    For example, a company may not have a streamlined procedure in place for how a company should partner with local suppliers or how many bank accounts a local operation can have. The lack of clear-cut processes can make it difficult to understand and track what is happening to assets, therefore creating a greater risk of fraudulent activity.

    At the same time, even where controls do exist, more often than not, they are manual and limited to a specific country, and can’t easily be viewed or audited from overseas locations.
  2. Maintaining local compliance
    Local and regional laws and regulations - such as tax compliance, privacy laws, payroll, and accounting - can be huge operational headaches for global companies.

    Navigating the unique needs of specific locations can be too overwhelming to manage centrally, and this can lead to some global companies taking a hands-off approach and requiring their overseas locations to meet corporate reporting needs while engaging local expertise to manage local requirements.6
  3. Cultural differences
    Different countries can have differing workplace cultures and expectations - thus, making it a necessary mindful note to be respectful of each other’s differences and to make an effort to understand as well as incorporate various cultures of employees in the workplace.7

With such demanding challenges in today’s workplace, it is important to have a workforce strategy that can help your organisation navigate through the uncertainties and potential risks - all while balancing growth, costs, and talent within your Global-First company.

What is workforce planning: The importance of Global Workforce Strategy

As a new balance is needed to negotiate new economic terrains in 2024, cost management has become a top priority to business leaders to address lingering economic, financial and geopolitical concerns. Together with the need to reshape operations for the future and the introduction of disruptive technologies - such as generative AI - these factors motivate today’s leaders to put cost management at the forefront of their business priorities. 

With such concerns looming on business fronts, it becomes imperative to plan for the future of an organisation’s workforce. A Global Workforce Strategy can be helpful to help business leaders to better prepare for steps ahead - and manage their costs to balance output and impact organisational growth.

Traditionally, existing workforce solutions are geared more towards multinational companies and often do not cater to newer, smaller companies at the beginning of their global expansion journey. More often than not, these companies need solutions that are more cost-effective, agile, and that leverage technology-enabled products.

AYP’s latest whitepaper, “Your 6-Step Global Workforce Strategy for Balancing Growth, Cost and Talent” can help you plan your workforce for better output in business growth by balancing costs and talent within your company. The key takeaways from this whitepaper include:

  • Overview of the current global economic landscape: key dynamic challenges and changes
  • Importance of a robust global workforce strategy
  • 6 practical steps to a build a global workforce strategy
  • Workable templates to aid each step of the global workforce strategy

Look no further than our latest whitepaper to help you better understand the benefits of strategic workforce planning and navigate the challenges of today’s economy for business growth and expansion - download here for FREE
For more information and details on AYP HR solutions, talk to our HR experts at here.

  1. Moderating Inflation and Steady Growth Open Path to Soft Landing ↩︎
  2. 2024 Economic Outlook: Insights & Trends ↩︎
  3. Asia Pacific Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey 2023: Is the workforce ready for reinvention? ↩︎
  4. Talent Acquisition Trends 2024 ↩︎
  5. Managing the Complexities of a Global-first Company ↩︎
  6. The Top Three Challenges Global Companies Face and How to Solve Them ↩︎
  7. International Business Challenges ↩︎
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Your 6-Step Global Workforce Strategy for Balancing Growth, Cost, and Talent
workforce strategy for balancing growth, cost and talent