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Successful vaccine rollout supercharging global expansion, say payroll and HR leaders

Research from IRIS FMP, part of IRIS Software Group (IRIS) one of the UK’s largest software companies, and the Global Payroll Association (GPA), has revealed a majority (67%) of payroll and HR professionals in multinational enterprises feel more positive about their global expansion plans as a result of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Despite two in five (41%) HR and payroll professionals reporting COVID-19 slowed their organisation’s global expansion plans over the last year, with lockdown restrictions starting to ease and hybrid working slated to stay, global business can begin its recovery in earnest.   

The research involving hundreds of organisations around the globe further revealed the key motivators for expanding globally are to achieve long-term growth or strategic objectives (39%), to grow market share (35%) and attract new customer segments (34%).

Getting payroll and HR right is a fundamental element of successful international expansion. However, the global picture for payroll continues to present challenges. A majority (81%) of respondents said that a poor ‘global’ on-boarding experience can impact a new hire’s ability to perform in their role. An outcome many businesses cannot afford as they look to move forward and expand post-pandemic. 

Further, nearly 80% of respondents considered local employment legislation and regulatory compliance as the main obstacle, followed by adherence to different payroll processes (51%) and mandatory benefits and insurances (42%). 

When asked what could improve the new hire onboarding experience, overwhelmingly the majority (72%) said support from a single global payroll and HR provider to streamline the onboarding experience and allow new hires to perform quicker in their role. Indeed, over two thirds (67%) of respondents said they see real benefit in outsourcing to one single global payroll and HR provider.

Two in five (40%) professionals said a simplified local payroll set-up and onboarding process, and the same percentage said better alignment on local and global working cultures would improve the new hire onboarding experience. While a quarter (25%) of HR and payroll professionals said greater clarity on role and expectations would help. 

Melaine Pizzey, CEO at the Global Payroll Association commented, “During the pandemic, the payroll and HR function was brought to the forefront of many organisations. Information and reports were needed at the click of a button so business owners could make important decisions. It’s positive to see the vaccination programme is bringing more confidence to the global stage but it’s clear that the payroll and HR function could significantly benefit from streamlined processes to support international staff better.”

Elona Mortimer-Zhika, CEO at IRIS Software Group said, “The report’s findings highlight the importance of clear communication with staff right from the onboarding stage. As one of the few companies providing solutions for managing and paying a global workforce, we understand the complexities payroll and HR leaders face. With hybrid working here to stay, they need a single source of truth for both payroll and HR so they can truly support flexible and remote working, diverse international working cultures and staff engagement. Only then will the employees be in the best position to succeed and support global expansion plans.”

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