Companies Need to Tailor Employment Offerings in the BRICs to Secure and Keep Top Talent and Increase Competitive Advantage

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EY Report Reveals Key Strategies

"Talent shortages are one of the most serious risks to growth and competitiveness for US companies operating abroad,” says Joe Deegan, EY Americas Talent and Reward Leader for Human Capital.

If companies are to be more successful in their approach to recruiting and retaining talented employees in emerging markets they need to understand what professionals value from them as employers, by country and by profession. A new EY report launched today surveys 1,109 professionals in the BRICs – Brazil, Russia, India and China – and reveals the drivers of satisfaction, engagement and retention for each market.

Across the BRICs, the following drivers are outlined:

  •     Brazil: Promote a high energy and socially oriented culture
  •     Russia: Offer individuals career growth and positive work environment
  •     India: Emphasize speedy promotions and corresponding salary increases
  •     China: Demonstrate that you are a rapidly growing organization that caters to key talent

Bill Leisy, EY Global Talent and Reward Leader for Human Capital says multinational companies have the best chance of recruiting top talent when they adapt their strategy to fit with cultural preferences. "Multinational companies need to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach. Each market presents different challenges. Understanding cultural differences and professional preferences will position an organization to develop an employer brand that not only attracts the best people in the first place but also implement a strategy to engage and retain them."

The report, Differentiating for success: securing top talent in the BRICs, also reveals the five key strategies that have the greatest impact on talent attraction and retention. These are:

Accommodate different career goals across countries and professions

  •     Use differentiated job design, career paths and performance management processes to meet these differing career goals across professions
  •     Tailor career-management systems and processes to recognize national differences
  •     Re-evaluate the structure of your talent management programs in different countries and look beyond global mobility as a means of developing leadership skills and diversity experience

Build a differentiated employer brand by country and profession, internally and externally

  •     Highlight different features of your organization when recruiting in different countries

Develop leaders’ and teams’ behavioral styles to enhance employee engagement

  •     Acquire and develop the specific traits favored in each country, in your managers and teams, and embed them into your internal and external communications programs

Craft work environments to match country preferences

  •     Rather than investing heavily in prime city-center locations, focus on the internal design of your workplace to create an environment that suits the cultural preferences of your team

Tailor compensation and benefits to individual and cultural differences

  •     Promote future career paths and earnings, rather than chase local increases in base pay and complex variable pay models
  •     Tailor packages by country to achieve the greatest return
  •     Focus on building a benefits package that incorporates career development
  •     Use a flexible approach to benefits and career management so that professionals can adjust them to their own preferences within a common framework
  •     When recruiting business professionals and in order to retain in-demand talent, focus on your position as an industry leader

Joe Deegan, EY Americas Talent and Reward Leader for Human Capital, adds: “US multinationals are turning to emerging markets to offset low growth at home. As these companies expand into the BRICs, the competition for talent is fierce. Talent shortages are one of the most serious risks to growth and competitiveness for US companies operating abroad.”

The most significant difference across professional groups surveyed (engineers, IT and business) is around the preference for benefits packages, with business and IT professionals having a higher preference than engineers for flexible work arrangements. Business professionals are also significantly more interested in quick promotions than those in IT and engineering and are more attracted to firms that believe they are industry leaders.


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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a member firm of EY serving clients in the US.

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Lizzie McWilliams
Ernst & Young LLP
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