AI Is Reshaping Talent Mobility

That's not a valid work email account. Please enter your work email (e.g.
Please enter your work email


In a business climate that rewards agility, companies that can shift gears quickly and respond to emerging demands for talent possess a massive competitive advantage. The talent landscape is in flux, and one phrase is on the tip of everyone’s tongue: artificial intelligence (AI).

Much of the media attention on AI focuses on its potential to eliminate existing jobs. What is often left out of the narrative is AI’s additional potential to create new job opportunities and assist humans in almost every industry. The World Economic Forum predicts AI and automation will create 58 million new jobs by 2022. Not only will AI drive demand for talent as the decade progresses, it will also play a greater role in helping recruiters, talent managers, and HR professionals find and manage the right people.

How AI Streamlines Core Mobility Tasks

AI hasn’t yet realized its full potential in talent mobility. Companies are still conducting cost-benefit analyses to decide how it fits into their business strategies and digital roadmaps. However, AI has already made significant inroads by efficiently handling routine and administrative tasks that touch on talent mobility, thereby freeing personnel up to make more strategic contributions.

For example, many organizations have already implemented AI to handle tasks related to taxes and immigration, domains in which it is important to keep tabs on the locations of employees and their work-related activities. AI streamlines and simplifies tracking and reporting processes, helping employers stay compliant with regulations across localities and contributing valuable hiring data employers can leverage to identify trends. AI applications also help employers capture data in time and expense documents, improving accuracy across the board.

Using AI to Identify Candidates

Finance, recruiting, and acquisition specialists use AI to analyze massive datasets for insights, and talent mobility professionals are starting to apply the same tools to parsing external and internal data to find the right candidates for global roles.

Prospective employees’ digital footprints include experience, skills, know-how, and potential, all of which are directly relevant to finding the right fits for open roles. This information helps organizations make decisions about bringing people to jobs. It also helps companies determine where the greatest concentration of needed skills is, which can inform decisions about opening new worksites.

AI applications are commonly used to streamline decision-making for external job candidates, but they can also be used for internal talent mobility tasks. Companies are integrating AI into internal HRIS platforms to create data-rich employee profiles. This helps talent managers identify high-potential staff for training and deployment in current and future roles, including global assignments.

How AI Ensures Compliance

Brexit and new immigration laws in the US and elsewhere loom large as challenges for recruiters and talent mobility specialists. AI’s ability to deliver accurate, up-to-date immigration and visa status information, work authorization expiration dates, location data, and more helps organizations ensure they remain in compliance with fast-changing rules.

To share one example, when the U.S. issued travel restrictions on certain countries, employers had to scramble to ensure compliance on short notice. The companies that had access to accurate data on immigration status and employee location were in a better position to support employees and create plans to meet talent shortfalls. These same AI use cases can be helpful in other scenarios, like environmental, health, or geopolitical emergencies that might require employee evacuations or similar measures. The recent COVID-19 outbreak offers one such example of a scenario in which AI’s ability to deliver accurate data in real time can be invaluable to HR professionals.

A Look to the Future With AI

In the coming years, HR professionals and talent mobility specialists will find additional ways to use AI to personalize the services they deliver. For example, some companies are already using augmented reality platforms to give employees a taste of what a potential assignment location has to offer through virtual office tours and similar activities.

Despite its threatening reputation, AI has great potential to help organizations personalize and humanize the employee experience. With access to highly detailed employee profiles maintained by AI, mobility managers can use their knowledge of employees’ skills, experiences, family needs, and outside interests to have informed conversations about best-fit opportunities. This allows everyone to avoid wasting time on discussions about jobs or locations that aren’t suitable for a given employee.

Looking to integrate AI applications into your organization? The essential first step on the path to AI adoption is to determine your organization’s exact need for AI. You can only begin to discern the best course of action for AI implementation once you’ve established it makes sense given your company’s current technological capabilities, resources, and workload.

In the future, companies will be challenged to find the right people for new jobs, which may often mean moving employees from one location to another and/or establishing new operations where talent already exists. At each step of the way, AI will not only assist employers in making better decisions, it will also help them provide more personalized experiences to their employees. That’s a win for everyone.

Karen Cygal is senior vice president, product strategy and development, at Worldwide ERC.

By Karen Cygal