Once upon a time, companies achieved success by sourcing both talent and supplies locally, all in support of a homegrown niche market. Corporations became integral parts of their headquarters' locale, creating a symbiotic relationship of the business relying on the city, and the city on the business.
In the new millennium, that time is long past— and for good reasons! Now, due to both the internet and the ease of international travel, businesses can achieve both global reach and globalized talent development.
To remain vital and competitive on the international market, it's become imperative for corporations to source the best possible talent to support growth and success metrics. Purposeful global mobility (the ability to move talent around the world to match the very best people with the jobs they fill) is a key success factor in today's international marketplace.
Achieving a competitive advantage
If Susie is the most talented accountant in the Detroit office, she should remain and promote within that office, right? Well, maybe not. While Susie's talent has been sourced and utilized in Detroit, it may be of benefit to both her and her organization to relocate her talent to the new office opening in Hong Kong. She has already proven her ability to be successful in an accounting role, and can take the lead as the organization expands into a new location. In addition, studies have shown that professionals are using overseas assignments as key factors in their own career development.
Consider these advantages from another angle, as well. Say Susie has vacated her accounting position in Detroit to fill a position in the new Hong Kong office. That leaves a talent gap back in Detroit. Should recruiting efforts to fill Susie's position be based solely in Detroit, or should a larger net be cast, drawing in prospective employees from a larger global pool of talent?
The answer to that question, of course, is that corporations can use the principles of global mobility to source the very best talent for an open position, regardless of where qualified candidates may currently live.
While clear advantages exist for both corporations and employees in the realm of global mobility, it's a practice that's not without challenges. For instance, talent mobility decisions must support overall organizational goals, not simply initiated because it would be fun to move Susie to Hong Kong. And Susie is going to need support and training when she reaches Hong Kong, so that she can be successful in her role. After all, it's a new marketplace for her, and so will include nuances and expectations and customs with which she may be unfamiliar.
HRO Today compiled a list of six best practices that can support global mobility strategies within a corporation. They include:
- Streamlining effective communication and collaboration
- Tapping knowledgeable individuals to lead talent mobility efforts
- Matching mobile talent with achievable goals and end results
- Enabling individuals to make their own benefits decisions
- Concentrating on the value, not the cost
- Ensuring preparatory work, even before talent recruitment, aligns with success
Just as it has become far easier for corporations to achieve global reach through modern technology and travel, it has also become far easier for talented employees to move to different organizations as they look to progress their own career.
That means that it's imperative for companies to not only think globally when filling talent gaps, but to ensure that current employees are incentivized to remain in their position.
Strategic talent management practices should be leveraged to meet employee expectations while also thinking one step ahead to how the organization and employee can both benefit in the future. Consider Susie again. Perhaps she was first considered for a role in the new Paris office. However, as part of her MBA studies, she might have studied Asian business practices.
A strategic talent manager would note that background and pair her with a matching opportunity, which is why Susie headed to Hong Kong instead of Paris. Because Susie's background and experience has been matched with an ideal opportunity, she is that much more likely to remain within her organization.
A well-thought-out global mobility strategy can be one of the more effective practices employed by an organization to achieve growth and success in the international marketplace. Utilizing talent mobility and strategic talent management can ensure that the right people are always matched with the right opportunities.
Realistic goals and expectations, paired with employee-centric decision-making, can lead to a win-win situation: satisfied employees and globally-positioned corporations.