Article: Enabling companies for global success with HR Compliance Mobility Solutions

Legal & Compliance Outsourcing

Enabling companies for global success with HR Compliance Mobility Solutions

In this insightful webcast in partnership with Atlas, explore how organisations are leveraging technology, navigating compliance, and fostering cultural integration amidst complex regulatory landscapes and workforce management challenges.
Enabling companies for global success with HR Compliance Mobility Solutions

As businesses expand their global footprint, they encounter complex challenges, from navigating diverse regulatory frameworks to streamlining workforce management processes on a global scale. With increased demand for a unified employee experience, employer of record services have emerged as indispensable allies to help companies navigate intricate currency conversions, international tax laws, compliance, and payroll-workforce management integration. 

To explore the key emerging trends in this domain, including AI-powered automation for efficient payroll processing and advanced analytics for understanding global workforce dynamics, People Matters, in collaboration with Atlas, hosted an exclusive roundtable discussion for HR leaders from the region on ‘Going Global: Navigating compliance and mobility challenges for cross-border success.’ 

The panel included Anung Anindita, General Manager - HR-PT, KIMIA FARMA, TBK, Alexius Purwoto, Manager - Human Capital- Pertamina International EP, and Joseph Wong, Managing Director – Asia Pacific, Atlas

Latest trends in workforce management

Digital transformation has impacted how companies are applying workforce management strategies to expand operations globally. For example, Pertamina International is looking to expand operations in twelve countries across Africa, Europe and the Middle East, by leveraging digital transformation in Administration and HR. As Alexius Purwoto said, “We are striving to keep overseas employees in touch with APAC, while upholding aspects like compliance and regulatory, and driving organisational growth”. 

Anung, resonated with this, adding, “Digital transformation has become a critical component of business, with digital becoming the heart of life itself.” Kimia Farma is empowering the workforce to embrace and excel in digital through skill development, thereby enabling better collaboration, communication, and employee experience. And Atlas is a key tech-and-touch partner in enabling these transformations. 

Challenges in global hiring

Alexius further highlighted the need to comply with ever-changing local regulations such as local labour laws, and the demands to develop the local employees versus expatriates. “This needs data, and we work with partners and third-party consultants to ensure cost-effectiveness,” he said.

 Joseph further added that within Southeast Asia, we are a United Nations of 11 distinct countries with their unique cultures, laws and regulations so that adds different layers of complexities into the matrix while hiring abroad. Consequently, HR strategies must be tailored to navigate these diverse environments effectively, ensuring compliance and cultural alignment in each market. Highlighting some key challenges that organisations face as they expand their global presence, the panel also spoke about areas where employer of record companies such as Atlas can be beneficial:

  • VISA requirements: Organisations need to maintain local labour sanctity when setting up talent in new markets or attempting to hire foreign nationals in the host countries. For example, in Singapore, four locals must be hired before hiring a work permit holder. Similarly, Thailand has a 4:1 ratio, Malaysia has 1:1 etc. 
  • Data Privacy and Data Protection: Anung called out the challenge of data privacy and protection laws, labour laws, workforce requirements, and taxation from a cross-border perspective. “We need to focus on developing a comprehensive compliance program by using tech and engaging with local partners for regular audits,” he shared.
  • Establishing company entities: Joseph spoke about how many companies want to establish their ownership or entity soon, but many countries such as the Philippines have restrictions on the type of ownership a foreign company can have. These issues need to be focused on and streamlined, which a company offering EOR services can help with. 
  • Workers’ Insurance: Different levels of workers' compensation insurance need to be purchased by any company that wants to hire abroad depending on seniority and other factors. Intricacies such as this are why EOR services are important. 
  • Employee mobility: Moving people across APAC countries is difficult due to cultural and language barriers and relocation policy differences. Pertamina International EP faces this challenge due to the remote areas they operate in, hence cultural induction is a must to integrate teams and engage people. Leaders on the panel stressed about the need to create a good relocation experience, to make people want to move willingly.
  • Geo-political risks and logistics: Establishing ease of communication through internet, phone and sometimes even satellites, is important for companies that operate in remote and geo-politically delicate regions. Alex added, “It is important to create emergency exits and routes in certain volatile countries.”

A continuous partnership is the way to ensure ongoing compliance and tech-readiness in a world where policies are continuously changing. 

Leveraging tech for global expansion

Digital transformation has made a positive impact in Atlas’ global expansion. The initial challenge was to enable employees to access data and analytics in real-time, at their fingertips, anywhere in the world.

Technology innovations such as Predictive Analytics and Artificial Intelligence made productivity tools and CRM systems smarter and more accurate. For instance, Atlas’ Human Experience management platform (HXM) has a dashboard to manage worksite employees globally; it provides access to information like employment contracts, work hours, leaves, public holidays, health insurance schemes, benefits employment termination, etc. Intelligence is built into the system to help companies decide where, what, and how they want to hire depending on the workforce situation. Alexius highlights how using such an e-provider can help streamline business processes and make inroads into new geographies more smoothly.

Factoring in the human element always

Joseph rightly shared, “Global expansion is always about the people on the ground”.

This is why Atlas has a global team of experts such as HR practitioners, employment lawyers, payroll people, Taxation Specialists and benefits administrators, spread in over 160 of the 180 countries they operate in. The entire company went through a compliance certification process recently to ensure upskilling on certain compliance rules and regulations. The idea was to continuously improve on the strategy, not just basis the current needs, but to connect with long-term business expansion goals. The new strategy required reviewing the organisational design and business processes while ensuring transparency and fairness for the employees. 

Such a boost in productivity and automation demands intensive change management. Cultural awareness training helps business leaders deal with cultural differences through open communication and active listening. To bring out the best in people, Atlas engages employees through a constructive cultural conflict approach by getting them to work together on projects. 

For example, the current programme has Jakarta-based people working across Dubai, Iraq, Africa, etc., allowing them to blend with local nationalities and experience not only language difficulties but also different ways of thinking and approaching a problem. Such a blend of short assignments along with Atlas’ International expatriates helps prepare talent for the future. “We are For People, By People and every one of us in the Atlas team will live that promise as we interact with each other. The essence lies in bringing people together - they are all from different cultures, but humans are social animals. This formal intervention, combined with team outings brings people closer together despite their cultural differences”, added Joseph. 

The way ahead

The future of HR Compliance Mobility Solutions is bright in today’s ever-evolving landscape of global workforce management, as companies strive for low costs and higher efficiencies. Global mobility provides the advantage of talent access, talent availability and talent cost-optimisation. Having experts on the ground and having the technology are a given, but a key differentiator for Atlas is the extensive experience of working with various use cases and customers. 

The right partnership and seamless execution are critical to success in this field”, says Joseph. Anung added, “The use of technology and automation in HR are important to create a flexible and agile Mobility Program, and this requires changing the mindset to develop the HR tech strategy”. Indeed, such an agile organisation will unleash a positive employee experience and reach new heights of success. 

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Topics: Legal & Compliance Outsourcing, HR Technology, #HRTech, #Hiring

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