Why Global Workforce mobility gives HR a headache

The Mercer’s Worldwide Survey of International Assignment Policies and Practices found out that a majority (56%) of multinational companies expect to increase their use of short-term international assignment. Nowadays in a global environment it seems to be common to send employees abroad. The benefits for employees are crystal clear – you can develop your business and personal skills and it will push your career. Since the costs for an international assignment are much higher than for a local hire the advantages and the target for the company should be clear as well: expansion in new and existing markets, opening new perspectives and developing top talent. However, the reality is that especially Talent Management often isn’t aligned to the relocation process. According to the Global Mobility Trends by Brookfields GRS, only 10% of respondents report that the role of the Global Mobility function is aligned with the wider talent strategy and actively engaged in workforce planning and people effectiveness. Therefore I would like to touch on three fields, although there are many more, where modern software supports HR departments to relocate the right people abroad and aligning the relocation with their Talent Management strategy. These decisions shouldn’t be a made on ad-hoc basis.

 Source: https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/issues/talent/future-of-work/global-mobility-map.html

Source: https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/issues/talent/future-of-work/global-mobility-map.html

Workforce Planning
Primarily when companies are planning an expansion in existing or new markets, a Workforce Planning process is an important factor of success. In most companies, the workforce is one of the larger expenses on the income statement and an international assignment is an investment for the future for the division who sends their employee away. Furthermore, the effectiveness of the workforce is crucial in ensuring the company meets its strategic objectives. Businesses that have a reactive approach will not thrive in the long term. The same is true for HR. By planning ahead, HR can provide managers with the right number of people, with the right skills, in the right place, and at the right time. Often the Workforce Planning process is still part of the Planning and Budgeting process based in the Finance Department. Still a Workforce Planning Software with prebuilt drivers, demographics, reports and dashboards helps to ensure best practice planning and forecasting. It also improves the accuracy and accountability of your planning process through better collaboration with Finance, HR and key business users. Empower your users by performing what-if impact analysis on key workforce decisions. Aligned with a Talent Review and Succession process, Workforce Planning is an important first step to ensure that HR is being prepared to relocate the right people, at the right time, to the right place for an international assignment.

Talent Profile
A Talent Profile is a tool that enables employees to create an up-to-date profile of their career experience, educational background, and professional certifications and competencies. Other components of a Talent Profile can include performance ratings, personal careers aspirations and educational training. The overall goal for both - the organization and the employee - is to get more visibility into the talent pool. For companies, it also enables the clear identification of individuals who are capable of filling specific roles. This is an ideal scenario for where an international assignment takes place. If an employee is performing well in their current role, it doesn’t guarantee his or her suitability and success for a job role abroad. Cultural differences, language skills and the willingness of each one are crucial here. These criteria can be matched with an up-to-date Talent Profile to send the right people abroad. Nowadays employees expect to do these activities on a smartphone or tablet but the status quo is that in most companies you still have complete these tasks at work from your desk or don’t even have access to it. Modern HR Software ensures to make it available for everyone, at anytime from anywhere.

Career Development
Now when there is a proper overview of an individual skills and competencies and a plan aligned to it, HR gains insight into their talent landscape and aligns practical and concrete career plans with employee aspirations and organizational goals. On the one hand, skill gaps can be identified and closed proactively to have the right talent in place to achieve business goals. One the other hand, employees can explore roles of interest and understand required skills and competencies. There is even a possibility to identify other employees with experience of the desired position to promote internally. When it all comes together, HR and the employees themselves can invest wisely in their future and be prepared for what comes next. Doing these processes manually can be quite difficult. With a HR software in place and having the right data and insights, HR can be a strong and trusted business partner to the Top Management, supporting the overall aims of the organization. By empowering your employees to foster their career growth, you will also increase their engagement. Furthermore, you can tie employees’ career interests directly to their learning and development.

Let’s face it: Globalization is affecting every core business activity, from supply chain and customer engagement to regulatory reporting and talent attraction and retention. Traditional HR technology hasn’t been able to rise to meet the evolving needs of business. However, as technologies develop rapidly, modern global HR solutions are able to engage with your employees, align common HR processes and promote collaboration and networking through all divisions and locations. How do they do this – they provide HR and managers with accurate, actionable analytics, provide a consumer-grade user experience and are flexible enough to support any business initiative. Since working abroad can be such a great opportunity for everybody, I would like to encourage HR departments to pursue Global Workforce Mobility as part of the Talent Management strategy.


About the author

Jennifer Wachholz.JPG

As being a millennial herself, she is looking at HR differently. One year ago Jennifer Wachholz, moved abroad for a new job role at Oracle Digital advising customers on HCM Cloud solutions and experiencing again how change in her career positively impacts personal development and growth. You can find more information on LinkedIn


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