How to use global mobility to improve talent strategy

Half of international businesses are concerned about disparities between global mobility programs and talent management processes. How can bosses make sure they are engaging in strategies that provide maximum benefit to their brand?

Kathryn Minshew, CEO of The Muse, is quoted as saying “a company is only as good as its people”. A poignant observation that will ring true with plenty of business owners. Success is often built upon individual achievements, which means growth requires committing the right staff to your company. Thus, talent strategy is becoming an ever-more important aspect of business operation.

Talent strategy is a crucial component of the modern business. It’s all about leveraging resources and opportunities to entice, develop, connect and retain the most valuable members of your industry’s workforce. By offering more than competitors and other career paths, corporations can get the very best out of available talent.

Where does global mobility come into this?

New data suggests that bosses see great value in leveraging global mobility as part of their talent strategies, yet over half are aware they are failing to do so effectively. Moving people overseas can have dramatic benefits for employees and companies alike, from development of career goals and improving skill sets, to providing greater significance to work and creating more effective teams.

The power of global mobility means it is judged to be a resource that many believe should be utilised as part of talent strategy, yet so many businesses are failing to do so. Given the benefits, it is crucial that corporations running global mobility projects use them to their advantage. But how can this be achieved?

Build awareness

Awareness relates specifically to acquisition and retention. An employee or prospect that is not aware of global mobility options cannot be enticed by a hidden benefit of the job.

Building a campaign of awareness around global mobility programs, and how employees can get involved, allows corporations to use them as perks for development and attraction. Core to building awareness is first gaining an understanding of what is available, and what will be available in the future, followed by information about how employees can get involved – should it prove an appealing prospect.

Employees get bored. Employees leave to chase new opportunities. Candidates want choice. They want to know their new career has options. Make it clear you have opportunities that can satisfy these desires and you’ll introduce new avenues of employee retention and acquisition.

Target appropriately

Global mobility programs, when utilised alongside talent management, are a resource. Resources need to be used effectively or they aren’t achieving the best results. Many employees have no interest in global mobility; 54 per cent will outright reject offers. This can be down to a number of reasons, but the core message is just to accept that this is the case, and to not waste time attempting to move stubborn employees.

Improving talent strategy through global mobility is about targeting the right people. Give those who want it the opportunity to move abroad and you’ll find powerful benefits for both parties. Try and pressure those who aren’t interested, and you’ll either experience high-failure rates or scare off talent.

Leveraging global mobility for talent strategy should focus on presenting opportunities to the people who want them. Simple tactics for effective resource include targeting graduates and millennials, who are known to have high levels of interest in international roles, and surveying staff to discover which members of your team would consider global opportunities.

Create flexibility

Such is life, nothing is ever perfect. But sometimes, things can come mighty close. To make global mobility part of your talent strategy, it is imperative that it is an attractive offer. Overseas moves are stressful, which means the pros must outweigh the cons for talent. Inflexible mobility schemes that serve core businesses purposes without considering the unique nature of individual relocation are unlikely to provide what many are looking for.

For global mobility to be a resource worth utilising, it has to be something employees and prospective talent want. How can you make sure of that? Offer flexibility.

Allow assignments and mobility programs to be designed around talent objectives. This doesn’t mean completely allowing staff to dictate relocation projects, but it does mean giving them the opportunity to be involved in decisions.

Put people in the right places

Talent strategy is as much about development as anything else. Effectively leveraging global mobility programs to improve talent management means establishing systems that move your staff to places where they can provide the greatest impact.

Examples of this include placing staff on overseas roles in which they can improve output of struggling teams, inducting them into countries where their expertise can be put to better use, or allocating them international jobs that will test and grow their skills.

To achieve such talent strategy methods, comprehensive understanding of available skills and potential placements must be established. Knowledge is key to success. If you know where your employees will fit best – and how the use of global mobility will provide real benefits – then you can use your relocation programs to obtain superior results from your workforce.

Written by Mark Costa-Rising of Gerson Relocation

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