5 Global HR Trends That Are Transforming Business

5 Global HR Trends That Are Transforming Business

At our recent IIC Partners global conference in Paris, I moderated a panel on Global HR Trends with three HR executives of leading European companies. The panelists represented diverse industries — heavy manufacturing and defense, technology and FMCG — and offered great insights into how each company and leader are confronting the new realities of working.  

Here are the top five learnings from the event:

1) The Chief Human Resources Officer might be better called Chief Change Officer. Great HR leaders must deeply know the business so they can support the CEO in designing an organization that fits the strategy. This is especially true during digital transformations and in fast-moving industries.

2) You need to orchestrate a delicate balance between employee freedom and employee responsibility. The logistics of the workplace have forever changed. Employees are experiencing newfound freedoms and can personalize and curate their work experiences in some industries. Yet with great freedom comes great responsibility. Employees must recognize the employer’s commitment to providing this freedom and fulfill their responsibilities to perform, deliver and contribute to the company culture.

3) Recruiting talent for trades requires new thinking. In a company where the balance of workers is 80% blue collar to 20% white collar, engaging with talent early in their educational journey and providing training and mentorship to develop the needed skillsets is essential. The recruitment process also needs to be rethought to include innovative ideas like ‘job-dating in factories’ as a way for candidates to try new things before committing.

4) Positive employee experience must be your north star. Internal communications and workforce policies must be transparent, and decisions need to be supported by accurate data. These are essential ingredients for exemplary leadership in these times.

5) The future of work: four days a week is possible, and technology will continue to drive change. One panelist predicted that the four-day workweek is on the horizon for some global cultures. Another commented that technologies like 3D printing in manufacturing would continue to shape how work is done and lead to profound changes across supply chains and talent development programs.

A huge thank you to Progress, an IIC Partners member in Paris, for sourcing and facilitating the panel. If you would like to discuss any of the topics raised in this article, please visit our global offices page to connect with a consultant in your region.


Renee Arrington, President & Chief Operating Officer at Pearson Partners International, is a strategic thinker who connects the dots and excels in recruiting board and executive talent for Fortune 500 companies, private-equity-backed businesses, and not-for-profit organizations across many industries.

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