ChapmanCG produces a quarterly update as a service to the Global HR profession. These newsletters help practitioners keep track of HR insights, trends, industry news and employment opportunities, and is now read by many of the world’s global, regional and domestic HR leaders.

Our Q3 Global HR Update

Uncertainty and some concern about the global economy has been featured heavily in the news so far this year. A slowdown and rebalancing in China has been at the forefront of media reports, as has a continued fall in commodity prices, particularly oil. There has been a reported decline in investment in emerging markets and developing economies; and we’ve also been hearing about the Silicon Valley tech boom showing signs of cooling off. We have been feeling the effects of this uncertainty, and in some cases pessimism, in global HR search although this is quite variable by geography and industry sector.

The U.S. market for HR search is busy and vibrant, with some pockets, notably U.S. based global Talent, Learning and OD roles being particularly hot. Sentiments across EMEA have been more subdued, although we are still seeing strong demand from companies wanting to build their HR strength, particularly at the senior regional HR Business Partnering leadership level. Within Asia Pacific, our clients are reporting that hiring in the region is generally stagnant, with salaries having topped out in key geographies such as China and Singapore. In this region, cost control (or reduction in some countries) has become an important theme for many companies. We are still very busy with HR searches across all APAC geographies, but we are often being requested to find HR leaders who are agile, resourceful and able to ‘do more with less.’ At the same time, falls in oil and commodity prices have negatively impacted Latin America, and have exacerbated some ongoing difficulties in Brazil which is that region’s biggest economy. It is encouraging that we are still seeing committed HR hiring by multinationals which are taking a longer view to the vast potential of Brazil and other Latin American countries.

A recent global study by ChapmanCG found that close to 20% of newly appointed global heads of HR now come from business (non HR) backgrounds. Certainly commercially savvy HR leaders are still making it to the top as always, but with the trend of more business people switching into HR roles, the mix of talent wearing the HR hat is certainly more infused than ever. This may also be a ‘sign of the times’ given today’s mixed economic outlook. Largely we see this trend as positive for the global HR profession. HR, as a business enabler, is stronger than ever, and arguably never before is the spotlight more on HR. But the bar will continue to lift around how HR is seen to add value and, most importantly, what constitutes progressive HR thinking.

Best regards,

Matt and the team at ChapmanCG