HR and Global Mobility

Imy Clarke - On behalf of Alchemy Recruitment, November 12, 2014

Globalisation is the word of the moment, and for the majority of companies successful globalisation is dependent on teams of global mobility professionals. But, what actually is global mobility and why is it so important?

Global Mobility is essentially an HR function in its own right, referring to the ability of a corporation to move employees to foreign offices on international assignment. With new geographical markets, globalisation and increased competition, global mobility is key for a business to manage these issues. But HR is the key to managing global mobility.

So where does HR itself fit in? Mobility through the work of HR has the key responsibility of filling any vacancies within an organisation for specific skills and talent. This need for talent is ultimately affected by these six challenges for HR: rapid business change, shifts towards emerging markets, borderless workplaces, specialisation demanding new career models, new leadership styles and an intense war for talent. With many emerging economies already ‘emerged’, talent challenges in these countries are becoming similar to developed nations. Instead of operating global mobility programmes, many organisations are now having instead to create local leaders with an understanding for both local culture and enterprise values. The traditional HR sectors of IT, service centres and local support are the linchpins behind an organisations capability for expansion. All HR individuals who are a part of the global mobility process, even if indirectly, need to have the skills, experience and training to manage any complex multinational issue they may face.

So how do you make the most of global mobility? First of all the right employees need to be moved for the right reasons, and incentivised to do so. If you have a skills gap in an emerging market, for example China or India, encourage your employee to feel invaluable and excited about this new opportunity. This is especially important for countries that may not have the hygiene or security comforts of home. Benefits and pay packages act as big incentives, as do high quality relocation and repatriation programmes. If you’re tactical with your placements, your company could soon soar.

Tactical placement boils down to effective talent management; an area the 2014 global mobility survey found was the key focus of global mobility teams for the coming year. Nearly half of the companies surveyed were already starting to link talent management and global mobility. It’s no surprise either, as relocating certain skills and talents to areas where these are missing is the logical way to strengthen and drive your business forward.

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