Global mobility is increasingly tied to strategic talent management. Organisations report that global mobility programs are important to support new business growth, increase employee engagement, improve organisational financial performance, and talent management.

Global businesses are concerned about inconsistencies between their talent management processes and global mobility programs. What can organisations do to make sure their strategies provide the maximum benefit to their brand?

Historically global mobility reported into the compensation and benefits department within HR. Today we are witnessing a shift towards employee experience and the more human aspects of global mobility.

It’s all about utilising resources and opportunities to attract, develop, engage and retain the most valuable employees. By offering more than competitors and diverse career paths, organisations can get the very best out of available talent.

Having an effective talent strategy is a very important component of modern business operations. A survey by Allianz Care revealed that 70% of organisations believe that offering global assignments increases staff loyalty.

How can organisations better align relocation with their talent management strategy

Moving employees globally can have massive benefits for employees and employers alike, from improving skill sets, development of careers and creation of more diverse and effective teams. According to a survey by McKinsey Global, organisations with effective talent management programs are more likely to outperform competitors.

Build awareness around global mobility programs

Awareness is linked to attracting and retaining employees. Creating awareness around global mobility programs allows organisations to use them as perks for attracting, developing and retaining employees. It can dramatically improve the employer brand.

Target the right people

Using global mobility to improve talent strategy is about targeting the right employees. If you provide the opportunity to those who are willing to take it, you will discover profound benefits. If the wrong ones are pressured in to it, it will be a failure. Surveying employees can help find out who is interested in an overseas assignment and perhaps what assistance they require to make it happen.  

Create flexibility around global mobility programs

Moving abroad can be stressful, which means the pros must outweigh the cons for your employees. International assignments should be designed in line with talent objectives. Employees should be given the opportunity to be involved in the decisions to some extent.

Move people to the right locations

Employees should be assigned to international assignments where they can provide the greatest impact. For example, employees should be placed in international roles where they can assist struggling teams and improve output, or in a challenging role that will help them learn and grow their skills.

Global Mobility’s role in talent attraction, management and retention is valuable

According to the Unlocking the Value of Cross-Border Assignments, a Harvard Business Review Analytic Services survey report,  organisations with global mobility strategies reported a positive impact on financial performance, new business growth and talent retention. As revealed by the survey, the most significant benefits of global mobility are developing local successors, capitalising on new market growth, enhancing corporate culture, improving diversity, preparing future leaders, measuring and improving unit profitability, and recruiting new employees.

Organisations are increasingly promoting global mobility as a key component of leadership and career development for employees. One respondent of the survey reported “Placing key people in strategically important jobs to grow and foster our business is key to our success. By transferring employees internationally, the company benefits from knowledge and intercultural exchange, empowers global alignment, and is strengthening its position as a global employer and important player in the industry. A main driver to increase employee engagement is personal development. Driven by challenges and career growth, top performers are looking for international exposure and experience; and therefore, global mobility is crucial.”

Linking Mobility and Talent Strategy

According to Mercer, there are four ways to bring mobility and talent management together:

    • Help global mobility professionals think like talent management professionals and build a strategic business case through workshops and training
    • Develop plans for international assignments thoroughly
    • Evaluate what international assignments are needed for current and future business success
  • Ensure rigorous succession plans are developed

How to Maximize ROI of global mobility?

    • Set clear assignment objectives – what does the organisation expect the employee to achieve from the international assignment?
    • Are there long-term developmental objectives the employer has for the employee and how does the international assignment fit into these goals?
  • What will happen upon repatriation?

The assignee, the HR professional and any managers involved should be clear on what the assignment’s objectives are. Support should be provided to encourage and reinforce the objectives and overall experience. For example, this can involve a mentor in the location of the assignment who understands the purpose of the assignment and can meet with the assignee regularly. To ensure return on investment, the organisation must proactively support the assignee whilst ensuring performance and developmental goals are analysed and measured.

Global Mobility, working hand-in-hand with Talent Management, play a strong role in planning the high potentials and future leadership of the company. Aligning global mobility and talent management enhances attraction for top talent, deployment of capable employees, development of current talent, and retention of high potential candidates.

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