HRO Today Global Summer 2017 - 27

Talent Acquisition
Local Flavour
Organisations operating in EMEA that leverage a localised approach to
HR can connect to an international workforce.
By Christa Elliott
The EMEA region encompasses 116 countries on three
continents, but despite the area's cultural and geographic
diversity, there is at least one thing that its businesses
have in common-the need for a localised approach
to HR policies and processes, particularly in Europe.
Many organisations have implemented localised hiring
programmes and benefit rollouts for years, and these
practices are more widespread than ever before in EMEA.
What is " localisation " exactly? In the context of HR,
localisation refers to the process of adapting policies,
operations, or strategies to accommodate the diverse
cultures of the countries in which the organisation
operates. It may translate to reviewing country-specific
laws regarding benefits and making sure that the
organisation's offerings and policies are compliant. It can
also mean having local leadership in place and tackling
language considerations early on.
" We embrace a globalised workforce and our talent
strategies have a global reach and overarching
proposition, " says Arne-Christian Van der Tang, senior vice
president of HR for TomTom. " However, to be successful
in deploying those strategies, localising this proposition-
whether in policies, remuneration, language, employer
branding activities-allows you closer reach to the local
and international workforce. "
The challenge, of course, is to keep intact global strategy,
core employer brand, and other signatures that set the
organisation apart, whilst still factoring the unique needs
of each operating country and the employees therein. In
this regard, solid local leadership is a must and can often
lead to international offices that are more autonomous
and effective. This general autonomy, however does not
preclude a connection to the global HR team. Rather,
many companies have found success in giving local HR
teams direct lines of communication to C-suite-level HR.
Jenn Mann, executive vice president and CHRO for SAS,
knows this all too well. Her organisation has had offices in
EMEA for over 38 years, and during that time, has focused
on globalising whilst simultaneously empowering local
leadership.
Each time SAS opens a local office or country office, they
hire a country manager, who is then familiarised with all
parts of the business, including sales, consulting, legal,
finance, and HR. " They had their own ecosystem. It was
truly a fully-functioning, subsidiary-type model, " she says.
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HRO Today Global Summer 2017

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