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Revise
MNCs' managers should start first by revisiting their business, making sure that their assumptions and perceptions to the business environment before the recession still hold. A good example here is the case of ZARA, the fashion store: For the pre 2008-recession period, the most important activity in the company's value-chain was the outbound logistics, bringing products as fast as possible to the market. However, during the recession, customers slowed down their purchases. For ZARA, focusing on obtaining raw material at a lower price as well as driving the operation cost low to gain more margin and stressing on marketing and sales to attract customers to spend might replace outbound logistic as the most important activities. Looking back to HR, if the business environment requires the change in the pivotal points or activities (Boudreau 2007), HR may need to relocate the workforce to respond to the shift in business focus. Now let's explore some important aspects of this Revise phase through core HR functions. Here the focus is on how HR could discover where it needs to change.

First, from HR function of Recruitment and Retention, HR should revise its workforce portfolio; identify which skills and staffs should the company keep, recruit, or lay-off by aligning with the business strategy according to Best fit or the contingency approach (Sparrow and Hiltrop 1994). The cut may not be a good solution since the research shows that the heavily-cost-cutting companies during the downturn have the lowest probability-21%-of pulling ahead of the competition when times get better. That is one of the easiest ways out that show the immediate impact on the cash flow, where managers' performances are measured. Managers can't be totally blamed for doing so as Peter Drucker put it, "What get measured gets done" (Drucker 1954). However, companies have to look for new...

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