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Aligning human resources pool with global footprint

Client case

Business case

Client issue

A Fortune 500 was falling behind its growth targets in emerging markets. Local competitors were in a better position to grab local consumers and resources. They had a better understanding of local market needs despite our client superior technologies. In many countries, the best and brightest local talents – especially women – left our client to local companies as they did not see positive career opportunities and did not feel adequately rewarded.


Project approach

We saw that our client’s high potential pool did not reflect its global footprint:

 Women were underrepresented in Hay grades 16+.
 Most executive committees were led by expatriates.
 A first employee survey showed that our client value proposition was not attractive due to lack of transparency in key expectations and career evolutions, along with a lower financial offer for top performers than key competitors.
 HR processes did not allow objective identification and reward of all talents within the company. They actually increased bias in decision making.

We created clusters of countries with homogeneous talent management skills and systems, and identified how decision makers were actually making decisions in each cluster. Leveraging our proprietary toolbox, we uncovered explicit and implicit assumptions about various social groups within the company (nationalities, men/women, generations…). We designed tools to offset their impacts. We set up working groups with a significant number of managers in most key locations to ensure buy-in, and coordinated the redesign of new bias-free decision-making processes with more bias-free understanding of key job contents, performance and potential.

We helped our client define a more transparent HR strategy, positioning our client’s value proposition vs key competitors in both mature and emerging countries and allowing making more objective decisions on key elements such as compensation. We also reviewed all remaining existing HR tools and talent management processes to remove elements that could specifically increase the impact of cognitive bias.

A new, user friendly, IT system was designed. It integrated several specific elements to induce and accelerate change, such as allowing users to save significant time on administrative tasks and sharing appropriate information across different locations. The implementation of the program started with effective, hands-on training sessions mixing in person training for key decision makers –senior management, HR….- and mandatory online training for all managers.



The share of women in Hay grade 16+ increased from 12 to 18%. The share of local talents in key countries increased from 22 to 29% in 24 months.