HR leaders in the 21st century will be challenged to address a number of issues to ensure availability of skilled staff, regardless of which staffing option the MNC pursues. As the global environment continues to develop, MNCs are challenged to address the shortage in global skills and cross-cultural communication barriers. The successful MNC will be able to adapt to the changing environment by globalizing their HR systems and function, and globalizing the workforce mindset. These efforts must also be aligned with business and organizational objectives and will require HR professionals to adopt a new way of thinking to identify and implement new ways of getting work done.
HR systems in the MNC must be aligned with global business imperatives both in terms of pay and performance systems. As the number of overseas transfers increases, MNCs must look to develop general policies and compensation packages rather than negotiating these on a case-by-case basis in order to obtain efficiency and consistency of process. Systems must also be in place for succession planning on a local level as well as a global level. Currently many MNCs are not operating an effective expatriate pipeline, either not sending the most effective individuals to host countries or failing the repatriate them effectively. The trend towards increasing reliance on integrated systems should contribute to better access across borders and regions to better serve expatriate relocation and business decisions.
Another opportunity for MNCs in regards to creating a global workforce will be to standardize and revisit current expatriate compensation packages to include soft benefits. Until now, individuals have often not been willing to take positions abroad because the incentives are solely financial. Historically, systems have not been in place to repatriate smoothly the individual and family following completion of their overseas assignment. Many employees find themselves out of their home HR system, and therefore are not made aware of possibly enticing job opportunities at home. This can be improved greatly simply by creating alignment and communication between the home and international HR department.