Global Talent Mobility Is Strategic Priority


The 22nd Talent Mobility Trends Survey, which explores how employee mobility is transforming to better support overall corporate growth strategies, found senior human resources leaders are approaching talent mobility with a new sense of purpose and support from the top. Sixty-three percent of respondents to this survey by BGRS, a leading provider of talent mobility solutions, indicate that employee mobility is high on their organizations’ leadership agenda. Eighty-five percent of respondents have recently made, are making, or are planning to make strategic changes to the way employee mobility is managed in their organizations, largely to align their primary remit with overall business strategy, develop innovative talent strategies and help business leaders achieve their objectives. Cross-border employee mobility can have a positive impact on the bottom line — whether it’s expanding into a new market, filling a skills gap or planning leadership succession.

More than one quarter of respondents (27%) say that international work experience is a prerequisite to joining their company’s senior leadership team. In an increasingly globalized business landscape, this indicates a clear generational shift. Today, only 22 percent of Fortune 100 CEOs have international work experience. Further, of the ten oldest Fortune 100 CEOs, only two have taken international assignments, but among the youngest ten, eight have worked outside of their home country.

Nearly half of survey respondents (49%) indicate the primary reason they are making enhancements to the mobile employee experience is to improve their satisfaction. This reinforces the importance of overall career management if companies want to continue to attract top-tier candidates for strategic leadership assignments and retain high-performing employees in whose development they are investing. Employee experience is no longer one-dimensionally focused on compensation package and satisfaction with the relocation service, but now encompasses impact on the long-term employee career.

With global mobility on the senior leadership agenda, having robust, accurate data is an imperative. Sixty-seven percent of respondents to BGRS’s 22nd Talent Mobility Trends Survey say that in the last three years the amount of data, analytics and benchmarks requested by top management regarding mobility has increased. Yet, 57 percent of respondents indicate they don’t have sufficient access to data that allows them to gain the insight they need into their company’s mobility program. The top three most significant data gaps reported are mobile employee retention statistics, aggregated cost of mobility programs and employee career progression data.

“We are seeing a seismic shift in the changing nature of work — from demographics, innovation and digital disruption, to globalization versus protectionism and employee outlook. Flexibility in practices and innovative work arrangements are paramount,” says Ellyn Karetnick, vice president and global head of Talent Mobility Consulting at BGRS, noting the focus is on contribution to business growth and how mobility can be an effective lever to drive the bottom line. 

Changes Made/Planned to Mobility’s Alignment to Other Functions in the Organization

Improving career management and repatriation 43%
Integrating assignment-specific goals and evaluation 42%
Increasing integration with the HRIS technology 39%
No changes to mobility’s alignment to other functions 21%
Scaling compensation/benefits to assignment value 19%
Optimizing leadership development programs 18%
Formalizing candidate selection process 18%
Implementing global competency assessments 14%
Other 8%

(Source: BGRS. Respondents provided multiple answers.)


Changes Made/Planned to Enhance Mobile Employees’ Experience

Develop mobility intranet pages/portals 55%
Work with leadership to promote mobility 52%
Launch employee satisfaction surveys/focus groups 51%
Increase transparency into the career benefits of mobility 46%
Improve frequency of employee communications 43%
Invest in employee-facing technology/apps 39%
Set up a mentor/sponsor program 39%
Publish more success stories 29%
No changes to enhance mobile employees’ experience 10%
Other 0%

(Source: BGRS. Respondents provided multiple answers.)

BGRS develops and implements comprehensive talent mobility solutions for corporate and government clients worldwide, blending global perspective with local market strength. Its 22nd annual Talent Mobility Trends Survey reflects input from more than 120 talent mobility human resource professionals, representing more than 12 million employees worldwide.

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