Share the knowledge – October 2012

Like every month, here are some of the best or most relevant Compensation & Benefits, performance management, HR and/or global mobility articles that I came across recently :

For those of you who are interested in GCC and MENA articles, here are some regional pieces

  • Non citizens require a green card, or, most likely, an H-1B visa in order to work in specialised positions in the US, especially in the high tech sector. The problem is that these visas are very limited in numbers but there are not enough American citizens with the right education and skills to fill all the positions needed by the industry. Does this ring a bell with the situation in the GCC and the lack of locals, and sometimes stringent security checks which may mean some of our candidates are denied a visa ? Microsoft is proposing to pay the US government for granting them more visas, this way, there is income for the country and they can hire the people they need – everyone wins ! Read the article for a full understanding and maybe some reflections on how thinking out-the-box can sometimes help in moving industry-wide issues forward.
  • Challenges facing HR professionals moving to the Middle East
  • An article from Business Week using interesting arguments, based on the economy, as to why pensions would be needed for expats in the UAE
  • Hay released its 2012 survey results for the UAE. Salaries increased y 4.9% in 2012, and forecast is 5.5% for 2013. The “report finds that UAE nationals are paid an average 44% premium above the market. Yet, the turnover of nationals is also higher according to Bhatia: “The turnover of nationals is 14%, which is double the turnover of non-nationals.”
  • An overview of Hay’s report for 2012 in Saudi Arabia. Salaries increased by 3.8% in the last 12 months.
  • Like every year, Towers Watson surveys End of Service Benefits in the Middle East. The results show that half of the companies that participate in the survey and offer enhanced EOSBs now offer them to all their employees. I’ve said it before, my concern is that we are never told how many companies actually *do* offer savings or pension schemes in the region  – from my experience, they are mostly multinationals that already have plans internationally, some high level regional conglomerates and some hospitality and Oil & Gas companies that have professional, sequential expats. According to this second article, just below a third of the only 103 *surveyed* companies offer the enhanced EOSBs, which means the majority of local companies still don’t offer these schemes – they don’t even really accrue and set aside the funds to pay the EOSBs…

There are 2 regional “specials” this month. The first one describes the results of the HSBC Annual Expat Explorer survey that looks at expat conditions globally :

And, second, a review of proposed changes to pensions in South Africa :

Best of the rest :

  • Worth helping… Franz Gilbert wants to create a free database where HR pros can compile benchmarking and facts
  • LinkedIn recently pulled away the possibility to view full profiles of 3rd degree contacts for free account users, but Glen Cathey from the always excellent Boolean Black Belt, explains some workarounds so we can still view these 3rd degree profiles.
  • This futuristic piece looks into the impact that big data could have on HR in the coming 5 years, starting with analysing inputs made by candidates or employees in social networks and mixing them with statistical predictions about health. Really worth reading !
  • 40 things to say before you die. Not wishy-washy, just read it, if only for the illustrations of each concept. It will make you think…
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