What is global human resource management and why is it important?

MSc Global Human Resource Management

Globalisation has led to diverse international workforces

This creates a new set of considerations for employers.

Most of us are familiar with the term ‘human resources’, usually abbreviated to ‘HR’. We’re also likely to know the term refers to a department that handles the needs of employees. However, the full remit of an HR department is often less understood – and global human resource management adds another level of complexity to this important function.


Increasing accessibility to the internet, along with the rapid advancement of technology in general, has made the world more connected than ever. Even the smallest, most niche companies can have not only a global audience, but a global workforce.


Globalisation is creating companies that are more diverse and international than ever before, and with this comes a new set of considerations that employers must face. 

Enter global human resource management. 


What makes global HRM different? 


Global human resource management addresses the familiar requirements of an organisation’s workforce, along with the additional factors introduced by businesses operating on global platforms, and on global scales. 


From recruitment to retention, to compensation and company culture, this function considers how global variations (both subtle and pronounced) are taken into account. These can include: 


  • Legal factors: complying to different political conditions and legalities across countries, along with helping the company adapt to changes in said systems. 
  • Economic factors: analysing differences in labour costs, which includes the value of non-traditional compensation / benefits such as flexible hours or travel schemes. 
  • Cultural factors: understanding how a country’s unique culture might affect any given employee’s experience with the company, and working to alleviate barriers or imbalances that might have been created by this. 


The University of Portsmouth’s online MSc in Global Human Resource Management utilises real organisations and practical work to further your learningYou’ll have the option to develop an HR action plan for your current place of work, making it an excellent course to advance your career: 


Explore the course 


Why does global HRM matter? 


Put simply, global human resource management helps companies realise their global business goals. These will vary significantly across organisations  but is testament to the substantial impact HR can have on a business. 


For example, multinational corporations with offices in host countries may wish to balance their international appeal with a more local feel that’s catered to their employees. Such situations will fall under the remit of the global HRM team. This demands a unique approach to encouraging a healthy, productive workforce – for as we all know, no company can flourish without one. 


And while different offices will develop their own specialised processes, centralised decision-making is still essential for an international workforce. A successful global HRM team will be able to set up systems to enable this. 


Relatedly, an effective function will help coordinate different cultural and geographical differences during these communications. This even extends beyond working practices, to include wellness programmes such as team building. 


Essentially, global HRM ensures that a company’s policies and processes fully support its worldwide vision - providing the knowledge, tools, and oversight needed to create a successful working environment across a diverse set of employees and teams. 


Such a function empowers workforces to perform at their highest level, which in turn enables businesses to meet their goals while operating seamlessly and ethically. 


Interested in adding global human resource management to your skillset? Our MSc in Global Human Resource Management is entirely online and flexible to your personal and professional commitments:


Learn more here


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