Finding the right individuals to fill executive positions has never been easy, and the process is only getting more difficult with increased globalization.
In the past, emerging countries like India and China relied on cheap labor to compete at the bottom of the pyramid. Not any longer. Their competitiveness is already reaching the high end, including knowledge-intensive sectors like biotechnology and information sciences. As a result, U.S. and Western European companies are finding it increasingly difficult to attract the best global talent, especially at the senior-executive level.
Nevertheless, the author contends that organizations can improve their ability to hire and retain top global talent by doing three fundamental things. First, they need to adopt a new mindset. Specifically, they need to be aware of the realities of the hottest emerging markets and the aggressive talent practices that are already taking place there. For example, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. in India has begun to make blanket offers to every individual in the graduating class of certain colleges. Second, companies need to cut the red tape. In the old world of low hiring needs and abundant candidates, businesses used to focus almost exclusively on making sure that they would not hire the wrong person. Now, because the best candidates are in very low supply and the demand for them is extremely high, they need to expedite their hiring processes. Third, companies need to implement best practices, particularly in the area of recruiting. Unfortunately, making people decisions is still one of the weakest of all key organizational processes.
Already, a number of multinational corporations like SAP and Nokia have begun to make the transition to competing for talent on a global basis. Given the numerous challenges, the edge will go to those companies that are proactive in mastering their people decisions so they can hire, develop and deploy the best talent on a worldwide basis. In the future, such organizations will be able to adapt faster and not only survive but prosper in this new environment of increased globalization.