Global mobility is becoming a critical strategic differentiator as companies increasingly look to expand into new markets and tap new international talent pools. By 2022, the global mobile workforce will number 1.87 billion people, accounting for nearly 43 percent of the entire global workforce. In response, the market for global mobility management (GMM) solutions solutions is expected to surge 31 percent, reaching $11 billion as companies turn to outsourcing and technology platforms to power their GMM programs.
While some organizations have made GMM a strategic imperative, others lack robust GMM programs. This lack can significantly stifle a company’s recruitment and talent management strategies, especially in today’s extremely tight talent market. According to Harvard Business Review, more than 70 percent of firms expect the need for global mobility to rise, yet more than 40 percent do not have a GMM program in place.
Simply contracting mobility out to a relocation company hardly qualifies as a GMM strategy. In order to compete, companies must adapt to the new norms of the modern mobility landscape, focusing on these four critical areas:
1. Employee Experience
For many years, mobility was centered around logistics — that is, physically moving people from point A to point B. Today, with the US unemployment rate at a seven-year low, it is now a job seeker’s market. Many candidates are actively seeking employers that offer personal and professional growth, inspiring work, and opportunities to experience new cultures. That means companies must be more competitive in recruiting and retaining talent, and a robust GMM program that focuses on the employee experience is crucial. Today’s prospects expect that they will be active participants in the mobility process, which is why many prefer intuitive and engaging self-service tools they can access from home or on the go. These same prospects also expect their employers will do everything possible to ensure positive experiences for them and their families.
2. Flexibility and Choice
GMM is no longer a one-policy-fits-all process. Employees expect flexible benefits that let them choose from a variety of options, while HR teams want to ensure certain minimum benefit and support levels are met.
For example, every international move will need immigration and tax support specific to the employee’s new location. However, some employees may prefer to rent instead of buy a home, or they may need accommodations that allow for pets. Employers must give employees flexibility to choose the benefit options that matter most to them while simultaneously managing compliance and budgetary requirements.
3. Equality and Diversity
Plenty of research has shown that diversity has a direct positive impact on business performance. However, many industries still see significant underrepresentation of women and people of color.
When it comes to mobility, only 20 percent of assignees are female. CHROs and CEOs are now making inclusion more of a priority, actively working to bring in people from other locations, cultures, and backgrounds. In order to do so, they need solutions that help them recruit, mobilize, and retain more diverse talent populations.
4. The Value of Data
Across the board, companies are increasingly driven by data in their operations. Today’s organizations track success and failure granularly and quantitatively rather than through qualitative measures.
Many are using employee polls and other means to measure employee experience and satisfaction. The rise of people analytics is giving companies the opportunity to make informed decisions and use mobility to influence satisfaction and success. For example, by measuring performance data, a company can spot a poorly performing team in one location and leverage a seamless GMM strategy to move successful leadership there on a short-term assignment to rebuild capacity and performance.
As GMM grows in strategic importance, the ability to forecast costs and mobility needs will grow along with it. The capacities to quickly triage, build cultural bridges, and transplant knowledge can be powerful competitive differentiators, but they do require rich historic and predictive data sets.
As GMM shifts from a logistics-focused process to a more holistic corporate strategy, companies must deploy tools and techniques that enable them to meet employees’ expectations while also satisfying compliance and corporate objectives. The emergence of new-breed GMM platform solutions is giving global entities and their employees the accessibility, visibility, insight, and analytics they need to deploy talent on a global scale, all while ensuring positive employee experiences. If your talent and recruiting organization has not started partnering with the global mobility organization to think strategically about where and how to source talent, now is the time to start.
Brynne Kennedy is founder and CEO of MOVE Guides.