Having worked for several foreign MNCs, it still astounds me when we are forced to implement “global HR initiatives” that make little sense in the local context. “Think Global, Act Local” or “glocalisation” (I abhor fusion words by the way) is not a new thing for businesses – Mickey D’s McAloo Tikka in its outlets across India comes to mind. But HR seems to have fallen behind when it comes to adapting HR strategies to our local markets.
Take for example, a global HR plan to consolidate and use a single payroll agency for all countries. On paper, it makes perfect sense – economies of scale, right? Instead of working with a vendor in each country, the company appoints one agency which offers a globally negotiated preferential rate. In reality, there are few (if any!) vendors who can fulfill the hiring needs of multiple markets, and most who claim to do so work through 3rd-party agencies on the ground.
End result: Higher cost and longer turnaround time (job assigned to global vendor, who links up with the local agency). The job could have been more efficiently done by the local HR working directly with the local agency in the first place.