A setting sun shines through the narrow gap in a compass that is looking West. The compass and the hand that’s holding it fill most of the right-hand side of the image. Around it, a blurred background reveals a lake thinged red at the edges, giving way to mountains that rise gently either side. SAFE to SAFE(R) is written in the top left corner. Below that, it says Mastering New Work with SAFE(R) Global Mobility. The RES Forum logo is the to right.

by David Enser, Partner at the RES Forum

International Human Resource Management (IHRM) and cross-border staffing practices have been profoundly impacted by recent geopolitical crises and the global COVID-19 pandemic. In this dynamic landscape, it is imperative that these practices evolve to become more resilient. The RES Forum’s SAFE(R) model - Smart, Agile, Flawless, Efficient, and Resilient - provides a comprehensive framework for achieving this goal.

Smart practices in IHRM involve leveraging technology and data-driven decision-making to enhance recruitment, selection, and talent management processes. With the rise of remote work and digital collaboration tools, organizations must be adept at using technology to connect with a global talent pool. The ability to harness advanced analytics for talent forecasting and identifying skills gaps is crucial in navigating uncertain geopolitical environments and disruptions caused by pandemics.

Agility is paramount in the face of geopolitical crises and unforeseen events like the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations must be prepared to swiftly adapt to changes in regulations, travel restrictions, and market conditions. This necessitates a flexible approach to staffing, allowing for quick adjustments in workforce composition and location. The SAFE(R) model emphasizes the importance of developing contingency plans and scenario analysis to anticipate and respond effectively to disruptions.

Flawless execution in IHRM involves streamlining administrative processes, ensuring compliance with local regulations, and providing seamless support to international employees. This includes managing visas, work permits, tax compliance, and other legal requirements. By establishing clear guidelines and efficient workflows, organizations can minimize administrative hurdles and maintain compliance, even in challenging geopolitical contexts.

Efficiency in cross-border staffing practices is crucial for optimizing resource allocation and minimizing costs. This involves evaluating the cost-effectiveness of various staffing models, including expatriate assignments, local hires, and virtual teams. Additionally, implementing lean and standardized HR processes can lead to significant efficiencies. The SAFE(R) model underscores the need for continuous process improvement and a focus on resource optimization.

Resilience is the cornerstone of adapting to and recovering from geopolitical crises and global disruptions. It encompasses building a robust organizational culture that fosters adaptability, openness to change, and a strong sense of purpose. Resilient organizations invest in employee development and well-being, recognizing that a motivated and agile workforce is essential in navigating uncertainty. The SAFE(R) model emphasizes the importance of building a culture of resilience from the leadership down to individual team members.

In the context of the recent geopolitical crises and the pandemic, the SAFE(R) model provides a holistic framework for enhancing the resilience of IHRM and cross-border staffing practices. By integrating smart, agile, flawless, efficient, and resilient elements into their strategies, organizations can better navigate the challenges posed by geopolitical uncertainties and global disruptions.


SAFE(R) Global Mobility

This piece is from our research paper – Mastering New Work with SAFE(R) Global Mobility. The paper is available to download from our website for free.

Get your copy, here: theresforum.com/annual-report