Finance directors set out plans for truly remote workforces

A new global survey by CFO Research and Globalization Partners, claims that 81 percent of the CFOs who responded say their company’s long-term growth strategy includes international expansion,  either currently ongoing or in their future plans. The survey also uncovered changing perceptions about hiring and remote work because of their pandemic experiences, with 85 percent of respondents indicating the ability to tap into a more cost-effective, global talent pool that is equipped with the appropriate skills would be desirable.

Overall, the survey (registration) uncovered three key themes: CFOs are taking a global view within their business strategies and hiring approaches, have altered workforce management strategies and are optimistic in 2021 and believe that their success is tied to global expansion

The report also suggests that respondents have a high degree of interest in tapping into a more cost-effective, global talent pool—a concept favoured by 85 percent —and capturing market share through global expansion—favoured by 81 percent. By contrast, in the 2020 CFO Survey only 63 percent of respondents said they were moving forward with global expansion plans in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

When asked to describe their hiring strategy over the next 12 to 18 months, 42 percent say they want to attract new talent that is unbounded by the geographic restrictions of their company’s operating model.

Three-quarters of the executives also say the Covid-19 pandemic fundamentally altered the way they think about hiring and workforce management and 81% say it altered how they consider remote employees or the work-from-anywhere model. More specifically, three-quarters of the survey respondents anticipate operating remote or hybrid workforce models in the next 12 to 18 months.

Ninety-three percent of the surveyed executives predict that their companies will meet or exceed their 2021 goals and a resounding 81% are planning expansions into new countries as part of their long-term growth strategies.

“The data from the survey points to the fact that CFOs are now re-calibrating their talent plans in order to maximise the opportunity that global remote teams provide from a long-term business perspective, including cost efficiency and access to hard-to-find talent,” said Nicole Sahin, CEO and Founder, Globalization Partners. In addition, the hubs for highly skilled talent are shifting and currently half of the world’s college graduates come from top emerging countries, which means that companies that adopt this strategy now will be able to gain a competitive advantage in the future.”

A piece in the last issue of IN Magazine looked at the possible implications for the workforce of the changes outlined in this report. The subject was also covered in another comment piece last year.