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Differentiated service models - How to approach workforce management solutions that go across borders

How should you approach workforce management in satellite locations? (iStock/ventdusud)

Globalization means that businesses are operating across borders more than ever before. It is now common for companies to operate satellite locations away from where the bulk of their workforce is concentrated.

When it comes to workforce management solutions, this can cause a problem. While businesses want a formal solution to cover all of their operations, issues with both scalability and economics can make this difficult. For example, it is often not practical, or in some cases legal, for a solution that manages large-scale hiring activity in one country to be implemented in another where the number of hires required is much smaller.  

4 considerations for workforce management solutions

At Allegis Global Solutions (AGS), we overcome these challenges for our clients via the implementation of differentiated service models that provide a blended approach. When implementing such a model, there are four key considerations you should bear in mind:

1. Volumes and countries - The type of model put in place is dependent on the volumes and countries it is covering. For example, if a program is split between a central location with 1,000 hires annually and a satellite location with only 50 hires, a full white-glove, front-of-house service will be implemented in the former. However, the small size of the satellite location means it may not be as beneficial to put the same level of service in place, and it is more beneficial for the operation to be managed remotely, provided the Managed Services Provider (MSP) and/or the Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) program is licensed to do so.

2. Licensing - If an MSP or RPO is not licensed to operate in a satellite location, a different type of service model is required. In a situation such as this, AGS will manage the central location as normal, but look at various adaptations of our centralized model to see which are compliant to service the satellite location. We work alongside the client's hiring managers and procurement team to ensure policy and procedure is followed correctly, candidate journey is of the necessary standard and the right local supply chain is engaged. Governance, oversight and quality is still provided by AGS.

3. Employment law - Employment law can vary considerably from country to country and its complex nature makes it easy for MSP or RPO programs to unwittingly operate in a market illegally, exposing their client to risk. For example, even if a provider has a staffing company present in a country, this does not necessarily mean they have a license to operate an MSP or RPO program there. This can result in the MSP/RPO provider and (in some countries like Germany) the client risking receiving a fine, reputational damage or in extreme circumstances, criminal action against the company or their directors before a court of law. AGS has set up an, “International Support Group” and uses a network of specialist internal and external lawyers to ensure that these intricacies are checked for our clients before we set up a program. It is also important to be aware that licenses are often still required even if a program is being hosted offshore, we have registered our UK hub to enable us to provide services from the UK into strictly regulated countries like Poland and Belgium where our lawyers have advised that cross border registrations are required. 

4. Practicalities - If a solution needs to cover small numbers of staff in a variety of countries, language can be an issue. Even if a company's business language is English, hiring and sourcing will most likely need to be carried out in the native language to attract the best talent. As a result, the program will either need to hire a recruiter who is able to speak each of the languages used in the countries covered by the program, or separating recruiters will be required for each country, which may not be cost-effective considering only a small number of hires may be required in each. Implementing a differentiated service model negates this problem, as each satellite location will have its own hiring model in place, rather than trying to stretch one vanilla solution across each location.

Overcoming workforce management obstacles

Resourcing is always a balance of time, cost, quality and risk. You must balance the needs of your satellite office against the service quality that you receive across your enterprise organization. Implementing a differentiated service model allows for the ultimate outcome of a high-quality, compliant hiring process to be achieved, even if the exact nature of the solution used differs slightly in satellite locations.

When putting a differentiated model in place, AGS works alongside you to identify the best solution, which may be a blended model of on-site and remote governance, supply chain management and remote sourcing.

You can find out more about the challenges associated with rolling out a global workforce management solution, and how AGS can help to overcome them, by downloading our whitepaper.

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    Written by Greg Barber
    Greg Barber was the managing director for EMEA RPO at AGS, responsible for major strategic programs, where he applied over 20 years’ experience in the outsourced recruitment and staffing industry. He is a dedicated leader with a strong emphasis on delivery, improved operational efficiencies and a high performance, relationship-based culture. Prior to joining AGS, he was head of talent acquisition for a global financial services client where he led an extensive team of recruiters with responsibility for the governance and delivery of all permanent and contract hiring in 26 countries throughout Europe and the Americas. Greg has worked from the agency side, consulting and senior global client side roles. The majority of Greg’s experience has been in the financial services sector and this broad experience, supported by the expertise and knowledge within AGS, enables him to bring global best practice and direction to all the clients with whom he works. Greg moved on from AGS in 2020.