Global HR 8 min

Global HR research: what you need to know

Written by Barbara Matthews
January 22, 2024
Barbara Matthews


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As remote work continues to gain momentum, more and more companies are turning to virtual team members across the world to thrive. This means that HR professionals face the challenge of managing a global workforce from their laptops.

To stay ahead, it’s important to be up-to-date with the latest global HR research. You’ll be able help your remote team grab opportunities and overcome challenges by leveraging the latest trends.

We’ll dive into key findings in global HR research, so you can apply them to build and manage a successful remote team. 

What does global human resources mean? 

Global human resources (HR) refers to the management of human capital on a worldwide scale. It involves managing employees, contractors, and freelancers across multiple countries and cultures.

Global HR is a complex field that requires a deep understanding of local laws, customs, and business practices. You’ll want to consider the below key areas of global HR. 

  • International recruitment: Understand the local laws, regulations, and cultural differences in each country you’re hiring in that may affect the recruitment process. This helps you attract and retain the best talent from around the globe. 

  • Compensation and benefits: Implement a fair and competitive compensation and benefit plan. It should be based on the local costs of living, tax laws, and cultural norms.

  • Ensuring legal compliance: Ensure you’re compliant with the laws and regulations of every country you run your business in or have team members.

  • Performance management: Set goals, track performance, and give feedback to team members. This is to ensure that employee performance is consistent across all countries and match company standards. 

Your company can access a wider pool of talent and expand operations into new markets through global HR. However, you need to navigate language barriers, cultural differences, and legal requirements while managing human capital internationally.

Global HR platforms like Remote make it easier than ever for businesses of all sizes to operate on a global scale. Regardless of the size of your business, Remote helps you expand borders and access a worldwide talent pool. With a solid global HR strategy, your company can build a strong, diverse workforce that drives success and growth. 

The most valuable global HR research insights 

You can use research findings to build a more inclusive and supportive workplace, or even assist your team members from different cultures and locations overcome challenges. Here are some of the latest findings in global HR research to help you: 

1. Skills-based hiring is on the rise 

Companies are approaching job candidates with specific skill sets. For instance, 56% of companies are now using “pre-assessments” to determine whether a job applicant has the right skills and capabilities to perform the job prior to hiring them. Qualifications or experience listed on a resume are no longer the focus. 

Additionally, LinkedIn launched a recruitment process that focuses on identifying and developing specific skills that are in demand across the job market. 

What this means is that companies can now identify candidates who possess the skills they need earlier in the hiring process — avoiding the expense of onboarding a team member who has the right educational background but is underqualified in skills.  

Many companies have jumped on board with this trend. Microsoft rolled out a global skills initiative helping 30 million people upskill in digital tools and AI. Microsoft is a strong advocate of the benefits of hiring “for skills, not just degrees,” as they believe it can help build a more versatile and diverse team. 

Research shows that hiring practices that focus solely on education or experience may become obsolete. Employers must focus on identifying the specific skills and competencies required for a job. Then, check whether a candidate actually has those skills before hiring them.  

Incorporate this research into your HR management by: 

Skills-based hiring can be incredibly advantageous for both employers and job seekers, especially when it comes to global talent acquisition processes. Not only do pre-assessments open up the pool of applicants who may have been ruled out based on their educational background, but they also assess whether an applicant is a good fit for your company.  

2. Employee benefits must match the rising cost of living 

Increased cost of living affects employees around the globe, especially low- and middle-income earners. Inflation is also a global issue; in Zimbabwe, for instance, the cost of food rose by 340% in 2022. 

Change in the global economic market calls for comprehensive employee benefits that help ease financial burden on team members. Offering health benefits such as private health insurance, mental health services, and inclusive insurance plans, can support team members through economic uncertainty. Offering remote work instead of sole in-office work also helps employees save costs.

You can incorporate this research into your HR management by: 

  • Providing remote work options with flexible schedules and time-off packages

  • Customizing benefits according to local economic conditions and cultural standards 

  • Including benefits that workers use regularly, such as gym memberships

For a global team, consider the economy of your team member's country, and the current cost of living in that country. You should reflect these two factors in a benefits plan to meet your employee's needs and expectations. 

3. Hybrid and remote work are no longer just a trend 

Hybrid and remote work are now a common arrangement. Only 37% of employees are working full-time in the office. Many other companies adopted a hybrid model of working: on average, 3.5 days in-office, and the remainder remotely. Other companies committed to full-time remote work as a permanent solution.  Despite this fact, some employers still believe that remote work leads to lower productivity and collaboration. While 71% of employees believed hybrid work helps work-life balance, 31% agreed hybrid work can limit access to work resources and equipment. 

You can incorporate this research into your HR management by: 

  • Making sure you track employee well-being in remote work environments 

  • Providing proper tools so employees can be productive while working remotely

  • Offering a flexible work schedule

  • Promoting your company as fully remote or hybrid on job listing platforms to increase employee interest  

4. Employee absenteeism rates have increased (and asynchronous work might be the solution) 

A key challenge that businesses face is increased employee absenteeism. For example, companies in Australia saw a 23% increase in employee absenteeism in 2023 compared to 2019. The most common reason workers aren’t showing up to work is that they are either sick with COVID-19 or are simply pretending to be sick. To properly address the factors leading to absenteeism, it’s important to recognize this research as a warning sign. Take appropriate measures to ensure your employees feel engaged and well looked after by your company.

One way to do this is by introducing asynchronous work

Asynchronous work is an arrangement where employees don’t need to work at the same times or in the same locations as their colleagues. Asynchronous work boosts creativity and productivity, while reducing stress and burnout. 

Incorporate this research into your HR management by: 

  • Monitoring employee well-being to reduce the likelihood of work-induced burnout

  • Offering your employees more flexible work arrangements, like remote work 

  • Developing a comprehensive absence management policy with clear guidelines

Implementing innovative strategies such as asynchronous and remote work can give employees the flexibility they need to manage their work-life balance. This will decrease the likelihood that they will ask for sick time, and decrease absences.

How to simplify international worker management 

Managing international teams can be challenging, especially if your business is experiencing growing pains. You need to keep track of new legislations and global HR research, but it can be time-consuming and confusing. 

Fortunately, using a global HR platform with the support of industry HR professionals can simplify the process. Using a global HR service helps you stay compliant with local laws and regulations. 

Remote is a cloud-based global HR hub that centralizes your employee data, compliance contracts, and reports across multiple countries and jurisdictions in one secure location. 

Remote is trusted by big brands like DoorDash and GitLab, to manage their end-to-end employment lifecycles. Leveraging Remote’s platform means businesses can manage their global HR needs more efficiently and cost-effectively. This allows companies to to focus on their core operations and growth strategies. 

Remote offers a comprehensive suite, including the following: 

  • Human resources information systems

  • Employer of record services

  • Contractor management services

  • Payroll services

Remote’s platform can help you integrate important global research into your HR management, while also staying compliant with local laws and regulations at all times. 

Use global HR research to elevate your business 

Global HR research is an essential tool for organizations looking to build and manage successful global teams. From developing effective recruitment and retention strategies to navigating the complexities of working in different legal and regulatory environments, staying abreast of current research helps you build a strong and cohesive international remote team. 

For more information on the latest global HR research trends, take a look at Remote Tech Talent Report. Use our in-depth report to attract the world’s top tech talent to your organization.

Find new hiring opportunities with Remote's Top Tech Talent Report

Insights from 1400+ hiring managers to help you find and attract top remote professionals (with city profiles of 15 new talent hubs)

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