Global Mobility Effectiveness Survey 2013

Reshaping the future

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Many mobility teams are at a crossroads. As companies continue to expand their global footprint and presence, the pressure to link those efforts with more robust talent management programs will continue to grow.

Organizations will always need someone to facilitate the practical aspects of mobility, seeing that assignee packages, the sourcing of host location housing and schools, and tax and immigration and other compliance issues are handled properly.

But we believe the opportunity exists for mobility teams to move forward and achieve a tighter, more effective integration with talent management — playing an important role in strategic mobility planning, rather than making ad hoc, case-by-case decisions to fill immediate business needs. There is a clear desire to make a distinction between operational mobility and strategic mobility.

Global mobility teams must further legitimize themselves in the eyes of leadership and become fully embedded in the organization hierarchy.

Some mobility professionals from leading organizations with mature mobility programs already have seats “at the table” and are fully integrated within their organizations. The majority, however, are still on the outside and either struggling to understand their future role or are simply too busy with operational day-to-day tasks to elevate their role.

This operational burden was illustrated by the fact that 68% of respondents are preparing internal paperwork and sign-offs, while 69% said that they are not involved in the assignee selection process, with a further 10% unsure. Moreover, as we found in 2012, close to half of respondents believed that their team was understaffed, which furthers the challenge of having sufficient resources to deliver.

So what then is the answer? During our discussions with market leaders, we asked them what the future held. On a positive note, we saw that an increasing number of organizations are currently either planning or embracing a wider process of change for their mobility teams.

One trend is that the outsourcing of a broader range of mobility tasks is on the rise; only 30% of companies reported that they did not outsource mobility tasks. For many companies, we are hearing that they are restructuring and changing processes internally, while continuing to look to their peers to determine best practices.

The right solution will depend on the ethos and needs of the organization; there is no “one size fits all” magic formula. The challenge is to find the right balance of skills and use outsourcing to the extent that it makes sense for your business.

By building robust policies and processes, organizations can offer assignees a more consistent, seamless experience.

They will also help their organizations seize a competitive edge by building a true global talent management capability. Ultimately, however, if global mobility teams are to achieve their full potential and wield influence over both operational and strategic mobility, they must further legitimize themselves in the eyes of leadership and become fully embedded in the organization hierarchy.

Your talent is in motionAre you ready to join the conversation?