A global mobility team is a branch of human resources that helps manage distributed workforces. The pandemic accelerated existing remote work trends made possible by advances in communication tools. Now, globally distributed workers include work-from-home staff, relocated assignees, international freelancers, and more.
Managing a global workforce is complex. Your HR professionals and talent mobility team members must adapt to this new reality. Talent acquisition and retention are significant issues for modern businesses. Additionally, robust international mobility demands teams compete for global talent and hold onto existing employees.
In the past, these issues were the sole concern of the multinational corporation. However, modern small businesses must overcome mobility challenges too. Managing international employees working from anywhere is on the agenda for any business that wants to increase access to the global talent pool.
What is global mobility?
In a traditional sense, global mobility is an HR process that allows businesses to send current employees across borders for business purposes. These assignments include:
- Business travel
- Short-term and long-term postings
- Permanently relocating employees to different countries.
However, successful global mobility is about more than just meeting business requirements. It also involves awareness of employee needs and support for their career paths.
The importance of a global mobility program
A robust global mobility program has several strategic benefits for businesses. The more recent conversation around these initiatives has focused on improving the human elements of the relocation process. However, keeping sight of the benefits of global mobility for the business and stakeholders is essential.
Here are some of the critical reasons for a global mobility strategy:
- Managing and diversifying the global talent pool
- Strengthening leadership in the new location
- Supporting the permanent establishment of your global business
- Responding to skills shortages by relocating top talent
- Meeting diversity and inclusion goals. (I.e., providing valuable management opportunities for women and minorities)
When might you need global mobility services?
Global mobility services are an HR function that helps you move your employees to posts in different locations. Your business needs to ensure you get this process right because employee experience is a huge part of retention.
Outsourcing global mobility solutions give businesses access to:
- Purpose-built platforms
- Knowledge of local employment laws and regulations.
Sending employees on international assignments can mean exciting opportunities. However, it also poses some logistical and juridical challenges. Using global mobility services allows human resources teams to support employees and offer a seamless experience.
Global mobility consulting and services can help your HR team to fill experience gaps and meet business objectives. Additionally, these services can help define global mobility policies that ensure lasting success for international ventures.
The evolution of global mobility teams
Communication technology has connected the world in ways that seemed impossible just 20 or 30 years ago. This revolution has allowed businesses to deploy workers across the globe. Additionally, it has allowed them to draw talent from beyond their home country.
The global workforce has acclimated to these shifts. They are adapting and adjusting to things like:
HR teams must also respond to changes that are redefining the role of the mobility team. This growth will involve the following:
- Learning new skills
- Defining new processes
- Taking a more significant lead in regulatory compliance
These are the core areas where modern mobility teams must focus on ensuring relevance.
Mobility teams in the past were primarily concerned with the admin and relocation logistics. These days, HR teams must provide solutions to meet business and employee needs. This transformation includes facilitating lateral and internal moves while focusing on employees:
Globally distributed workforces provide businesses with several competitive advantages. Modern global mobility teams are shifting from location managers to consultants for the overall organization. Distributed workforces need coordination input from all areas of the business. Mobility teams are part of a more agile approach to resource allocation.
Adjusting to flexible and remote work
Mobility teams must grapple with monumental shifts in how we work. Clear work policy definitions are essential if your organization is remote, hybrid, or flexible. Mobility teams must also monitor productivity metrics to understand the consequences of less traditional work arrangements. Additionally, they need to support employees through these changes.
Distributed workforces at scale are only possible due to advances in communication technology. HR and mobility teams must embrace digital adoption for more effective tracking and monitoring of remote employees.
Additionally, digital tools allow better measurement of employee satisfaction and engagement. Better information collecting allows for data-driven policy changes.
The evolving nature and growth of globally distributed workforces carry some risks. Mobility teams will need to understand, forecast, and manage these risks and provide coordination for businesses on issues like tax and regulatory compliance across different jurisdictions.
International relocation is a traditional path to career development. Mobility teams will continue to play a role within this sphere while exploring how remote and virtual functions can provide experience. Additionally, mobility teams will need to adjust to a shifting landscape and upskill and reskill to give more value to the business.