Global HR Outlook Q4 2019

by Stefanie Cross-Wilson

As we move through the final quarter of 2019, CHROs continue to streamline and optimize the global HR function. HR Business Partners are now managing smaller teams and directing their focus to strategic and business-critical items. More transactional and process-heavy work is being pushed into HR Operations/HR Shared Services. We continue to see very high demand for HR leaders with digital expertise and HR Transformation/Change experience. Sound business understanding and commercial acumen are sought after both in HR Business Partners and also in specialists. In specialist areas, those with strong partnering skills are in demand, to drive a closer link between CoEs and business results.

We are seeing a heavy demand globally for Talent Acquisition leaders. The emphasis is less on ‘recruiting skills’ and more on strategic workforce planning, focusing on the rapidly changing talent landscape and the demand for future skills. Some organizations are moving TA out of CoEs and back into business lines as ‘Talent Partners’. We also note that TA is increasingly becoming the voice of the external market in terms of evaluating and shaping perceptions and understanding of an organization’s employer brand/EVP. Furthermore, we’re seeing TA have an increased focus on, and responsibility for, internal talent mobility. TA experts are expected to be forward-looking with companies wanting to operationalize the use of AI for the automation of large volume hires; and reduce unconscious bias in the selection process.

Mental health is becoming a hot topic worldwide for multinationals, given hectic travel schedules and frequent global calls outside work hours. Employers are raising more and more awareness in the workplace around mental and physical wellbeing, and the need for HR to put practical solutions in place.

Culture and employee experience remain at the top of many HR leaders’ agendas, as companies are continuing to transform to cater to all levels and generations, with the ‘future of work’ very much in their sights. Employee feedback websites such as Glassdoor are being taken more seriously, as top leadership and investors are looking under the bonnet of organizations trying to quantify the positive impact of culture and employee experience on revenue, profit and long-term sustainability. On a practical level we are seeing this drive some changes to the HR mandate including the advent of the ‘Chief People & Places Officer’ particularly in the global technology sector. For a growing number of companies, due to the high level of attention being placed on culture and employee experience, the physical workplace domain now sits with HR.

We hope you enjoy this latest issue of our Global HR Update.


Originally published on November 4, 2019 by Stefanie Cross-Wilson on

Strategic Management Search & Recruitment