Globalization is an essential part of business. Global markets, customers, and talent pools are fundamental to the growth plans of many, perhaps most, companies. Regardless of whether they operate in mature or rapidly developing markets, companies today have a critical need for speed and efficiency to move dozens, hundreds, or often thousands of professionals, technical specialists, managers, and executives around the world, far from their home offices. To prepare for and respond to opportunities in global production, research and development, and innovation, as well as to optimize customer sales, service, and growth, companies need the ability to get the right people to the right places at the right cost – quickly and efficiently. Companies also face an ever-increasing need to attract, develop, deploy, and retain employees and leaders who know how to think and operate globally. Global workforce and global mobility has become more important than ever to companies.
Global mobility and workforce strategy
An effective global mobility management requires a formal strategy that focuses on a company’s long-term global talent needs instead of simply reacting to individual opportunities as they arise. A company’s global mobility and workforce strategy should be integrated with its business strategy, talent strategy, and workforce planning efforts. It should include both short- and long-term assignments while balancing the business’ need for speciﬁc technical skills with its talent development needs for a more globally prepared workforce. The global mobility function should use its specialized knowledge and capabilities to help shape the mobility strategy and govern related investments and execution.
An effective Global mobility program should address the following issues:
1. Global employee rewards
Expatriate rewards should address the barriers to global mobility, and align with the actual value of each assignment. They should highlight career development and personal growth along with compensation and beneﬁts. As far as is practical, expatriate rewards programs should be integrated with “regular” rewards programs and generally administered by HR as part of its ongoing operations. This would free up the global mobility function to use its specialized capabilities to help design expatriate rewards programs and customize rewards for a portfolio of international moves and situations.
2. Global mobility service delivery
An effective global mobility program should be able to support businesses and assignees with high-quality service that is cost-effective and consistent. Integrating global mobility service delivery with a company’s broader HR processes and infrastructure – particularly in areas such as basic HR support and talent management – can reduce costs and produce greater business value. Given the scale and increasingly central role of global mobility as well as global HR and talent, the time has come to integrate global mobility with global HR and to leverage a global HR services platform where practical. Meanwhile, the global mobility function can use its specialized knowledge to provide business leaders and managers with focused advice on mobility strategies and key assignments.
As global work and global mobility become a more common part of the workforce’s experience, HR information systems (HRISs) should incorporate support for these programs and activities as well as integrate global mobility and assignee data into the company’s general HR databases. Companies should be careful when creating specialized global mobility applications that are not integrated into the HR and talent workﬂow and require signiﬁcant resources to operate and maintain. The global mobility function has historically been responsible for managing and administering every detail of an international assignment. But as global mobility becomes a standard business practice, this...