Talent Management in Global Project Delivery

4 Mins read

The right talent is critical to implementing complex projects and providing the business with a competitive advantage. This includes finding people with the right skills, at the right time, and in sufficient numbers to empower project delivery. It’s a fact that recruiting personnel with specialized skills at the spur of the moment is not easy or cost-efficient.

In the post-COVID job market, HR teams in large project companies have more than their fair share of challenges in hiring and retaining the right talent. Large and long-lasting projects may require teams of as many as 1000 to 2000 personnel (with different skill sets) to be hired within a short time, making the recruitment function even more crucial to project success.

In fact, talent management has always been at the core of any large global project or program in any organization. The current market scenario demands further evolution in this crucial function too.

Talent management in global projects is no longer about simply “recruiting” new talent but includes a range of best practices and processes. What are the “golden” principles of talent management in global projects? Keep reading to learn more.

HR-related challenges in complex global projects

When it comes to large and complex projects, HR teams have a “herculean” task in hiring and managing the best of project teams.  Here are a few of the typical challenges they face:

  1. Large projects need to be aligned with the business objectives and with the goals of the project team. HR teams are challenged with the task of aligning the project team requirements to the stated business objective or strategy.
  2. The next HR challenge is to keep up with the process of hiring new talent over the entire project duration. Additionally, team members need to be properly onboarded to understand and be in sync with the project requirements.
  3. The third HR challenge is the crucial one of structuring the project team based on the project requirements and allocated budget. This involves addressing questions about project planning like:
    1. Which human resources need to be active in the first phase of the global project?
    1. How do the global business teams interact with technology teams so that both are on the same page?

Let us look at six effective principles of talent management that can help in overcoming these challenges.

6 principles of talent management

As mentioned before, talent management is a continuous process that includes attracting the best talent along with developing, retaining, and promoting them to meet evolving and challenging project requirements.

Talent management in global project deliveries is based on the following 6 principles:

  1. Alignment with business strategy

Talent management begins with the first step of aligning with the company’s business strategy. What skillsets does the project company need to achieve its business objectives? This can include tech leadership, project management, customer relationship, and global deliveries.

Another approach is to integrate talent management with the process of business planning. For example, companies can set their one-year business plan goals along with one-year HR goals, which can be tracked through the talent management process. Similarly, organizations must be flexible enough to adapt their talent management process to a changing business environment.

  1. Project culture

Successful project companies look to build the right project and organizational culture that can nurture talent management. A cultural fit is all about embedding their core business values and principles into the talent management processes and workflows including hiring, leadership development, employee compensation, and project team performance.

Earlier, it was all about finding talent with the right job skills. Companies are now expanding their selection criteria to include candidates with the right cultural background, who can fit easily into their organizational culture and working environment.

  1. Management support

Global project companies need to realize that talent management is not just an HR responsibility. Getting this right needs the support of all functional managers, executive teams, and even the CEO. For successful talent management outcomes, business leaders at all levels need to prioritize key areas like talent development, leadership skill development, succession planning, and retention of top performers in their teams.

A former CEO of Procter & Gamble claimed to spend nearly one-half of his working time on talent development. He mentions that nothing he does “will have a more enduring impact on P&G’s long-term success than helping to develop other talents.”

  1. Employee empowerment

To be successful, modern enterprises need to empower their employee and project teams to have autonomy over their skill and career development strategies. Project team members with specialized skills and experience will always be on the lookout for better job options.

Despite the benefits of job rotations and new career development options, many companies do not implement them. In the fast-paced and high-pressure world of projects, most functional managers tend to take care of their business unit on their own, rather than follow some organizational template. A McKinsey study found that over 50% of CEOs and HR managers found that insular thinking and limited collaboration are the biggest hurdles to talent management.

  1. Employer branding

The best project companies can attract loads of applicants from all around the globe while hiring the best among them. How do they differentiate themselves from the rest? Through employer branding. Talent management is also about positioning the key strengths of the employer brand and marketing them to the right talents.

One such success story is that of the global chip maker, Intel setting up and staffing a production facility in Vietnam. The company was able to leverage its HR team to build local awareness about its brand as an employer. As the Intel manager explains, “hiring the top talent, no matter where we are, is the top priority for Intel.” That can only happen if the top talent believes the company is “worthy” of their attention and engagement!

  1. Internal consistency

Project companies also find it counterproductive to implement even the best practices of talent management in isolation or for short period. Business success also depends on maintaining internal consistency in the talent management process that is wholesome instead of being a sum of different parts.

For example, global project companies typically integrate the following crucial elements in their internal processes to ensure consistency:

  • Recruiting fresh engineers from university campuses.
  • Assigning the recruits to an extended training and development program.
  • Mentoring the new hires using performance reviews and appraisals.
  • Linking their performance to the overall project performance.


Efficient talent management is now an integral part of the functional paradigm in global project companies. For business success, leading project companies look to imbibe the best of talent management principles in line with their business objectives and culture.

As an experienced SAP implementation partner, Groupsoft has worked with project companies based in over 30 countries. As an end-to-end technology consulting firm, we can help you leverage your talent management process for the best results.

Want to know more about us? Get in touch with us today.

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About author
Priyanka Nema helps Businesses to grow by integrating smart compliance management systems. With this aim, she has founded a centralized compliance management system- Compliance Cart. She is also well known for her contributions to the articles on "Corporate Social Responsibility" and "how to bring sustainability in organizations". As Vice president of Human Resources at Groupsoft, she has initiated strategic alignment of various Human Resource functions with the Organization's Business Plans to enable horizontal and vertical growth.
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