Global Work Glossary

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Why is a mobility department important?

How can you establish a mobility department?

What is a mobility department

A mobility department is a specialized human resources department within an organization. It is responsible for managing the movement of employees, contractors, and other personnel across different countries, regions, and locations.

A mobility department is also often referred to as a: 

A mobility department handles the challenges associated with global workforce mobility, such as legal and tax issues, global payroll, benefits administration, relocation logistics, and more. The department ensures that every mobile worker complies with local employment laws and regulations in the host country and provides the necessary resources and support to succeed in their new location.  

Why is a mobility department important?

A mobility department is crucial to the success of a company’s global expansion plans. Companies that invest in a mobility department benefit from the following:

Improved talent acquisition and retention

Today’s workers aren’t just looking for career mobility; they want physical mobility such as the ability to travel and relocate with their job. 

A mobility department supports workers with professional and personal travel and relocation wants and needs. This support positively impacts the employee experience by prioritizing a worker’s career development and personal desires, improving talent acquisition and retention, and lowering recruitment costs. 

Centralized management

 By centralizing management of all aspects of employee mobility under a single department, companies create the following: 

  • A single point of contact for all things mobility
  • Standardized policies and procedures
  • Consolidated expertise and responsibilities 

Organizational agility

A mobility department comprises HR professionals that are specialized to assist with global movements and initiatives. Should an organization fill a skill gap shortage, diversify its markets, or pursue a new market opportunity, the mobility department is ready to provide logistical, financial, and strategic support.

Talent mobility 

Mobility departments help to nurture mobile employees that have international mobility experience. Instead of having to fill new roles or outsourcing talent, companies can deploy their existing talent to undergo long and short-term international assignments. 

How can you establish a mobility department?

Before establishing a mobility department, companies must outline their goals and objectives to justify the need for a mobility department. 

Once you’ve confirmed the need for a mobility department, consider the resources required to support the department, for instance, personnel, technology, and budgeting. 

Next, you must determine how you intend to structure the department, who will lead it, and what skills they should possess. 

Finally, the organization should create a plan for implementing the mobility department. This plan should include steps, for instance, developing a global mobility program, mobility policies and procedures, training personnel, and setting up systems to track progress.

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