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SaaS powered HRO: How to standardize, harmonize, optimize, virtualize and efficiently deliver HR services in your “long-tail” countries?

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Say “NO” to Long-tail countries HR blues

by Teena Thimothy  on 11 July ’14

Globalization may no longer be the buzzword but it sure has contributed to the new organizational agitator, “long-tail countries”.

Globalization provides varying benefits to multi-national companies and individual economies around the world, by creating markets that are resourceful, even out the competition by decreasing monopoly, and enables increased reach with potential customers.

However, there is also the assumption that the costs associated with globalization outweigh the benefits. Organizations will have to expand their employee reach too. This increases the chance of residual employees in multiple countries. Organizations may not be able to maintain a standardized global HR practice.

For organizations, the need to address HR requirements is always one of the key priorities. It is now about addressing these HR requirements in multiple countries where the chance of making available a local HR team to support the employee population can be very demanding. All the same, local employees require support from the HR organization.

An article by Alsbridge stated, there is no ‘silver bullet’ solution for the ‘Long Tail’, but consideration of the some vital rules will help organisations who are seeking the benefits of global HRO with the best HR Technology support.

The list of challenges and solutions may not seem to be in par, but organizations with presence in long-tail countries; primarily have issues pertaining to IT systems (many times the lack of it or its fragmentation)and lack of standardization. Local regulations are galore. All these combined with lack of proper business case to have local HR hinder HR’s ability to provide local HR support.

The trick to substituting the silver bullet, is to make available to these long-tail countries, a scalable, sophisticated and sustainable SaaS powered HRO.

Case in point: This is about an organization with more than 50,000 employees that operates in more than 50 countries worldwide. It has around 45,000 employees spread across 15 “large” countries, and around 5,500 employees across 35 “long-tail” countries with an employee count ranging from 1 to 500.

Of these, 25 countries had an employee count of less than 100. While large countries have access to local HR and world-class HR service delivered on Tier 1 OnPremise HRIS/ ERP, employees in the long-tail countries have very limited access to both HR, and HRIS!

The company wanted the same class of HR services to its employees across long-tail countries. It wanted to leverage the power of the cloud to make its HR systems universally accessible while aspiring to provide its employees with best-of-breed system and wanted to ensure it had a compelling business case for this as well.

The Challenges faced by global organization in “long tail countries”;

  • Inconsistent and inadequate HR support
  •  Lack of visibility
  •  Compliance risk
  •  Cost vs. service
  •  Fragmentation of HR information and systems

The company embarked on a journey to transform its HR service delivery leveraging SaaS powered HRO, portfolio of discrete HR apps, and a structured process (of course with the help of its partner) to standardize, optimize, harmonize, and virtualize its HR processes. It undertook a massive exercise to map its current processes and then drew global templates to standardize its global HR processes. It leveraged multi-tiered service delivery to ensure round-the-clock availability of HR services to employees worldwide. Multi-tiered delivery also ensured a fine blend of local-remote (centralized) delivery of efficient HR services.

Globalization is simply one of the changes happening in the workplace over the last few decades. The world of technology is opening up new possibilities for organization of all size. Consumerization of technology is not just a random trend but it is the key to achieving HR delivery excellence.

The key to releasing the issues associated with long-tail countries HR service delivery, is making available SaaS powered HRO services. This bundled approach enables minimal capital outlay, and a predictable variable pricing.

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Irene Jones

HRO Evangelist & Thought Leader

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