For organisations with high ambitions for growth and investment, international expansion is simply a necessity in the hunt for growth. Working across borders and cultures raises new challenges for businesses, and how these outward-looking organisations tackle these growing pains can have a significant impact on overall performance. They will need to equip themselves with the capabilities required to meet and overcome the HR challenges they will inevitably face.

Yet despite a decade of expansion and globalisation, the overwhelming majority of respondents cite HR challenges as a constraint on growth while acknowledging that international expansion is an opportunity for HR to make a strategic contribution.

So why this disconnect? How can HR and business leaders move forward with confidence when the world of work and the nature of international business are evolving so fast?

This report sheds light on how businesses are expanding internationally, the top challenges of managing and expanding an international workforce, and what HR leaders can do to address them.

Key findings include:

  • International expansion is poised to accelerate
  • Technology and data analytics have greatly helped companies to expand their global functions
  • The most widely felt HR challenges to international expansion are recruitment and compliance
  • Large companies are more likely to expand through mergers and acquisitions and encounter cultural challenges as they do so