Global Mobility Effectiveness Survey 2013

Your talent in motion

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Global mobility functions— from structured, formal assignments, to an increase in flexible working arrangements to ad hoc business travel—are increasingly becoming a critical role. Should mobility be integrated with talent management; involved in workforce planning, the business case of the assignee, identifying and reviewing the return on investment (ROI), proactively managing the risk and cost of the mobility program, tracking the career development and the facilitation of repatriation?

Or should the mobility function focus on more operational and administrative tasks for efficient deployment of the assignee, tracking, compliance and the management of all the services required to support the assignment? Or does the role of mobility lie somewhere in between?

Our sixth Global Mobility Effectiveness Survey reviews how global companies are trying to resolve this dilemma. We look at talent and strategy and report on the results of the survey with insight from EY leadership and interviews with leading mobility professionals.

“Companies really need to step back and ask themselves, 'do we have the right employee in the right place at the right cost?' It sounds basic, but we find that is often not the reality.” – Steven Jacobs, Executive Director in HR Performance Improvement, EY


We explore the challenges around diversity and inclusiveness, "dual-career" families and attempts to measure ROI. Compliance risks continue to rise, with governments trying to protect home labor markets with increased immigration barriers, while aggressively seeking additional revenue with tax and social security collection. All these controls are increasing corporate risk and cost and exposing resourcing issues for mobility.

Our report sees some improvements in compliance control frameworks, but for most, there is still a long way to go. Finally, assignee numbers continue to rise in growth markets, and we look at the challenges in the key growth markets that our survey respondents identified.

Interestingly, we see two-way movement as leading companies in emerging economies target expansion in the more developed economies.

Your talent is in motion. The continuously evolving world of mobility offers organizations fresh opportunities, as well as challenges that need to be addressed in order to keep the business world moving forward.

Feedback from our previous surveys has confirmed that having up-to-date insights and data from the marketplace is valuable to stimulate conversation and the development of new thinking and ways of getting things done. We invite you to take part in this conversation.


Survey Highlights

of companies have a global talent management agenda, an increase from 51% last year.
of respondents think their global mobility team was understaffed.
»Only 6%
of companies actively encourageminority groups to go on.
of companies do not have a risk control framework to monitor payroll tax and social security compliance.
of companies reported that the global mobility team was involved only in deploying services rather than actively selecting assignees.
of companies have incurred avoidable penalties for non-compliance.
of global mobility teams do not measure the ROI of sending an employee on assignment.
»Only 30%
of companies have a system in place for tracking business travelers.
of assignees leave their employer within two years of repatriation.
of companies increased staff in growth markets in 2012.