Tag Archives: emerging markets

Tackling Workforce Planning – A Challenge to Companies in a Post Crisis World

1365277_73297908In a follow up to my recent post ‘Talent Management in a Changing World’, I would like to address the issue of workforce planning which will be a critical game changer for many companies operating in a post financial crisis world. The old rules companies lived by no longer apply. The global financial crisis has brought about significant change in corporate strategy for many companies across the world in the way they allocate financial and human resources in their business environments. Companies have had to adjust their business plans because the company goals have had to be redefined.

For many companies, this means achieving maximum gain with limited resources without compromising on quality. This is a challenge faced by Government’s in the Euro zone with job losses predicted for many industries. Whilst the impact will be felt significantly in the public sector, analysts believe there will be impact on the private sector which is expected to compensate for some of the job losses in the public sector. However, critics believe this is a risky strategy because the linkage between public and private sector through collaborative projects will result in job losses in the private sector too.

This is very much the case in the UK but other countries face continuous challenges such as Greece and Spain and further afield. The new economic reality is that certain industries have disappeared, countless jobs have been lost, markets have declined, and skills have had to be redefined. Companies now need to be more proactive in the deployment of their human capital if they are to meet the challenge of remaining competitive in a post crisis world.

This challenge is faced by western and eastern companies alike. However, there is a greater urgency for companies operating in emerging markets to keep pace with talent management practices of their western counterparts in order to fully capitalize on emerging markets. As companies look to exploit opportunities in BRIC and Future 7(Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, Vietnam) and indeed Frontier markets (Bangladesh, Philippines, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan), a better understanding of business needs is required by organisations to help them develop effective talent management strategies. Madeline Laurano of Bersin & Associates highlights seven elements that may help executives to better establish their human capital needs:

  1. Support from senior management
  2. Creating “centers of excellence”
  3. Ensuring workforce planning, succession planning and internal mobility are in sync
  4. Identifying and forecasting talent gaps
  5. Ensuring HR departments are involved from the very beginning
  6. Continuous review of workforce planning
  7. Investing in the latest technology

The ultimate goal for companies now is to be lean in every way possible. Correct alignment of business needs with talent requirements will allow companies to get the right people for the right roles in the right markets.

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Doing Business in Emerging Markets – What next after In Amenas?

North Africa

Last week’s terrorist attack at the BP/StatOil run gas facility in In Amenas in Algeria has prompted many observers to question the viability of foreign companies operating in unstable territories. Traditionally, North Africa has been a relatively stable place for oil and gas operators to do business in, but it appears that the fall out from the downfall of Gaddafi has opened up the floodgates  for a new existential terror threat in North Africa. Tackling extremism in North Africa is one issue but from a business perspective, the debate between high risks versus high reward will be a tough and uncomfortable one for companies. Here are some immediate issues that may need to be addressed:

  • What is the corporate business strategy: continue operating, scale back or exit?
  • Will North Africa become a no go area for expat workers?
  • Will more companies upscale their security arrangements to private defence contractors?
  • Will companies offer their staff increased ‘hardship’ allowances and significantly enhanced accidental death benefits?
  • Will companies who are operating in North African, shift their (back office) operations to ‘safe haven’ countries such as Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar which was a trend that was quite evident in the aftermath of the Arab Spring

Ultimately the decision by companies to operate in unstable territories will come down to weighing up pros and cons of critical risk and reward aspects. I believe there is still a future for companies to continue to operate in North Africa. Indeed, the recent events of last week have not deterred Alstom to do business in the region having just recently signed a contract in Libya.  How terrorist threats are dealt with will be a challenge facing world leaders but for CEO’s the urgent issues of employee safety and emergency planning need to be top of the agenda.

Photo credit:  tome213