Implementing HR Systems Globally

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Innovative HR Leader Series:  Jeanette Tung, Global People Operations at Outbrain

Outbrain was founded in 2006. With over 600 employees, in 17 locations around the globe, they are the leading performance-driven discovery and native advertising platform. Outbrains’ mission is to help individuals find content they can trust and be relevant and timely for them. With a culture described as multicultural, smart, amicable, and family oriented, it surely takes a (global) team to ensure these values are consistent across the board. But how do just that with 16 locations across the world?

Meet Jeanette Tung, Global People Operations Specialist at Outbrain. Jeanette began her career in HR as many have- she fell into it. While living in Japan she was working as an office manager. From there she moved into a position that encompassed HR, culture, talent management, and recruiting. She loved the people aspect of the job and the challenge of managing a multicultural office with cultural differences.

After her work in Japan came to a close, Jeanette moved back to the states where she completed an HR course with Cornell and began searching for her next position. With global people experience, Jeanette was the perfect fit for the People Operations team at Outbrain, as they were looking to roll out a new global HRIS system.

As we have discussed in previous posts, HRIS systems are key, especially in large organizations to help stay organized, efficient, and be cost-effective. Having the right system is essential, and if your current one isn’t doing the job it might be time to switch. As a recap, here are 3 reasons to consider adopting or changing your HRIS system

1. Enhance HR/People Ops ability to strategically align and partner with the rest of the organization
2. Save time and money by automating processes
3. Minimize errors across the organization by providing a central hub

While these points seem straight-forward, how do you approach implementation in a global organization with HR teams in different locations and on different time zones?

“Start by figuring out what each local team is doing and compare to Headquarters”

You can then ensure everyone is following the same procedures and standards. Whether this means early mornings or late nights- hop on a call to iron out internal processes and make sure they align throughout the organization. Communication will be your best friend when starting the process.

“Research is key! Think about where the company is and where it wants to be- then begin your research to find a system that works best for you and your employees.”

Once an HR system is in place, you can get moving on your initiatives, goals, and programming. Creating innovative HR policies that enhance the employee experience is a great method to boost productivity, increase retention, and help with recruiting efforts as well.

However, with a global organization, policies need to be right for the overall culture, stack up to competitors in the space, and comply with laws for each location of the company.

“Learning employment laws and data privacy that impact the company across the globe are essential. By partnering with our internal legal team, People Operations can determine if they are implementing policies that are compliant everywhere.” 

Implementing HRIS systems can be daunting and tiring- especially on a global scale. But with Jeanette’s advice of recruiting People team members to help across the organizations and communicating clearly, implementation will be less stressful.

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