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Sky Mehringer

Dec 19, 2022 · 5 min read

How to Conquer the Biggest Challenges of Global HR Administration

global HR administration

International expansion is like an equation with countless and growing variables. Although the addition of each jurisdiction and employee shows your organization is doing well, growth tends to make global human resource administration more complex. 

The number of requirements, laws, obligations, and cultural considerations that apply to your international workforce can be hard to grasp until you actually have no choice but to maneuver it all. At some point, most organizations with a multi-country footprint will face at least one of these three common global HR challenges. Then, the question is — how can you prevent everyday HR tasks from consuming valuable company resources? 

Three common global HR administration challenges every company should know how to overcome

Challenge 1: HR Compliance

How long is the termination notice period in country ‘A’? When does country ‘B’ require an employee handbook? Does my employee in Country ‘C’ need to submit a doctor’s note for sick leave? What is the mandatory minimum vacation/holiday entitlement in Country ‘D’? 

As mundane as some requirements may seem, failing to meet them can jeopardize a company’s presence in the specific country regardless of how well you run other parts of your operation. Personal data privacy regulations alone demand careful attention as non-compliance can not only hurt your employees but also result in steep fines and reputational damage. 

Multiplied by jurisdiction, the proliferation of intricacies can quickly become more than an in-house HR team can realistically manage. In employee-centric countries, for example, there are more compliance considerations to navigate than US-based companies are typically used to. Crucial steps are therefore easy to overlook since — as we often point out — you don’t know what you don’t know. 

Solution: 

A company like HSP Group does know what you don’t. And that’s essential to compliance. We know what questions to ask to tease out the information you need and actions to take to stay ahead of regulators. Most of all, our local experts have first-hand knowledge of everything you must know in each jurisdiction. You don’t need to make costly mistakes to learn your lesson when we can prevent them from happening in the first place. 

Many multinational companies partner with external partners that specialize in international human resource management. If compliance is a challenge or concern, you should consider it too. 

Challenge 2: Lack of local HR 

Few, if any, multinational companies can afford to have a dedicated in-house HR department in each location around the globe. If the headcount is small or location distant, it makes even less fiscal sense to have HR staff on-site. But remote HR management comes with certain challenges. As many companies have found out, managing the employee lifecycle from an ocean away — recruiting, on- and offboarding, benefits processing, contract drafting, payroll management, HR data maintenance, etc. — is far from ideal. The lack of local expertise may also become yet another hurdle to staying compliant.

Solution:

Outsourcing global HR administration instantly frees up your team to focus on big-picture issues that matter to the future health of your organization. In smaller or remote locations, our local experts expediently tackle the minutiae of HR administration, which, besides ensuring compliance, also benefits employee satisfaction. In essence, we alleviate the administrative burden by acting as an extension of your HR department. 

Our solution also enables you to track all global and country-specific deliverables in GateWay, our global expansion platform. Such a level of transparency should bring a renewed sense of control to the company leadership. 

Challenge 3: Cultural stumbling blocks

Different languages, unwritten rules, local business customs — it may all read like a riddle to a newcomer. This unfamiliar dynamic can be particularly pronounced in the wake of a merger or acquisition when competing norms and values suddenly have to coalesce under one roof (or on Slack). 

In such a scenario, HR managers have important roles to play, offering direction and building a shared strategy without losing sight of the myriad of day-to-day HR administrative tasks that still need to be performed. But, again, not every HR team has the bandwidth to manage such a workload at every satellite office. Something has to give. 

Solution: 

When challenges mount, it helps to lean on a partner with in-depth expertise in the cultural and market nuances that can be so hard for outsiders to decipher. We can also help you make a soft landing by conducting a market-entry analysis and providing recurring HR administrative support, salary and benefits benchmarking, benefits sourcing, and more. 

How can we help? 

Building an international business is a truly rewarding undertaking. But even the best organizations struggle to do it all. Outsourcing the countless pieces that make up global HR administration is often the most sensible step to conquering the inevitable challenges. 

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Read more:

Why data privacy compliance is so crucial to international success

Global expansion strategy: The risks of going it alone

How a high-tech Fin-Tech tackled four common global expansion challenges