It’s time for companies to enhance their internal talent management programs with a healthy dose of mobility insight! Mobility – the practice of managing domestic or global assignments so that a company has the right talent in place, where and when the placement will be most effective – is growing in importance to fulfill business strategy. Those companies who couple mobility expertise with human resource management methodologies and systems are cutting a new global workforce path for the long term.
Here’s today’s talent scenario: Increased global opportunity and expansion are straining an already tight workforce. Companies doing business around the world struggle with skills gaps and regional talent shortages. Some professions, like those under the STEM (sciences, technology, engineering and math) banner, are experiencing an alarming scarcity of candidates. These issues are some of the most pressing for CEOs concerned with solidifying and growing their global footprint, but they’re not the only challenges. There’s also a need for advanced talent analytics – using statistical analytics to actively identify and solve business issues, centralize staff and integrate data – and predictive analytics, where they can project models and engage in business and workforce scenario planning. Country to country, demographics tell us that the talent shortage will continue for years to come, but we are learning more about how companies can increase their appeal and source talent more effectively.
One of the change agents in HR and mobility innovation is increasingly sophisticated technology. The addition of automation in job search marketing, talent sourcing, communications and outreach is one of the fundamental ways to create engagement and inform potential employees about one’s global brand. Mobile apps are surfacing as a primary interface for many HR-related systems; analytics that come from effective use of big data shed light on employee effectiveness, retention and recruiting; and leadership and performance assessment tools aid in succession planning.
There is powerful and positive change in the making – global employers have learned lessons about recruiting and retention at a dizzying rate in recent years. But there still is a significant disconnect that my industry hopes to influence through our talent management work. Bersin by Deloitte notes that though 75 percent of companies say they’ll increase their mobile workforce, only two percent think they have an exceptional mobility function. Over the last 30 years, HR has moved from operating as a personnel department to more strategic HR, and now is navigating waters that include integrated talent management, steering toward business-integrated HR. The majority of companies, says Bersin, are still fixed in an “operational reporting” phase (where they are more reactive, and their focus is on such issues as data, compliance, consistency, and timeliness) or an “advanced reporting” phase (where they are a bit more proactive and incorporate more decision-making, trend and benchmarking analysis. The goal? To get companies to these top levels, which not quite 30% of employers have reached: “managed talent relationships” (where companies have an analytics-rich, clear talent strategy) or an “inclusive talent system” (where we find fully developed and integrated talent activities aligned to desired strategic outcomes).
Fortunately, the world’s talent pool has never been more mobile, and we see that trend continuing. Most young professionals believe they will have global assignments throughout their careers – that’s an essential characteristic of this group, because they are the next wave of leaders. It’s important, in this environment, for companies to be able to segment talent and identify their top employees; to learn who their emerging leaders are, and where they have employees with the highest potential or exceptional performance track records. Mobility professionals can help companies position for these needs by aligning with their human resources counterparts in the collective goal to empower HR with mobility knowledge.