We frequently hear from HR Directors who have an international or global remit that they have particular challenges with providing HR leadership across geographic boundaries. Differences in areas such as culture, leadership style, demographics, recruitment, resourcing, legislation, and governance all contribute to making it more difficult to achieve consistency of HR practice, and even throw into question whether consistency is appropriate or relevant.

We explored a number of issues relating to these challenges, for example: 

1. How HR can achieve relative consistency of approach to initiatives and practices which span international boundaries  

2. How local country and regional differences in areas such as culture, legislation and governance can be addressed within a flexible HR framework

3. Getting the balance right between international and country-specific HR policies, processes, systems and initiatives

4. How to create an HR operating model, structure and capabilities which can effectively service international organisations and the diverse needs of stakeholders

Case Study Contributors 

Tony Bainbridge is Group HR Director for Wilmington PLC, the leading provider of information, education and networking services to professional markets with operations in over 20 offices in 8 countries. Tony is an international and highly commercial HR Director with over 30 years’ experience across the consumer, manufacturing, financial services, hospitality and healthcare industries. His career includes senior roles at Mars, PepsiCo, Novartis, InterContinental Hotels and Saxo Bank. He has worked for international businesses based in Poland, US, France, Denmark and the UK.

David Wightman is a senior HR Director with extensive international experience. Until recently he served as Senior Director HR for Africa, Middle East & Eastern Europe for the global drinks giant, Heineken, with over 73,000 employees in over 70 countries. David is British and has lived and worked in Amsterdam for over 15 years, travelling extensively. He has recently returned to the UK. Prior to Heineken, he has held senior roles at Hay Group as an Associate Director, and has substantial experience in the Reward specialism, having served as Head of Reward for the Department of Trade & Industry in the UK, and in his first role at Heineken, as Director of Reward & Performance.  

Corporate host Moneygram

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