Insights into global expansion & employee retention

Published: December 14, 2022

Building a Global Talent Mobility Framework to Retain Your Best People

Retain your best people with a global talent mobility framework. Learn why employee relocation is important, costs involved, and how to make it work

For global workforce companies, that means retaining existing employees and the best talent is just as important as acquiring new ones. And with relocation on the rise, a global talent mobility strategy that allows you to keep your top talent, even when they move, is more important than ever.

The good news is that there are ways to avoid losing people to life plans and changing jobs with talent mobility strategies. An Employer of Record partnership is arguably the best one. But before we get to that, let’s explore the importance of talent mobility and talent management for business success.

The importance of talent mobility for business success

In today’s fast-paced business world, the global mobility landscape has become increasingly important for companies to achieve success. It is a crucial aspect of talent development and career growth, enabling employees to gain a new international experience, knowledge, and skills that can benefit both the individual in their new reality and the organization. However, there are several challenges that companies face when trying to develop a talent mobility framework for a global workforce.

Factors to consider when developing a global mobility strategy

Social security and well-being

One of the most important factors to consider when developing a global talent mobility framework is the security and well-being of your employees. It’s a fundamental human right and should be a top priority for companies when relocating their employees to new countries. Employees who relocate to a another country will need access to healthcare, education, and other social services. It is essential for companies to provide adequate support to their employees to ensure that they can adjust to their new environment and maintain their well-being.

Employment laws and regulations

Another crucial factor to consider is the impact of laws on decision-making. They vary greatly from country to country, and companies must ensure compliance with local regulations. Failure to comply with local laws can result in legal and financial penalties, as well as damage to the company’s reputation. Therefore, it is important for companies to work closely with legal experts to understand the local employment law and regulations.

Remote work

Remote work is becoming increasingly popular, and it is vital for companies to consider this when developing a global talent mobility framework. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards remote work, and many companies are now considering offering their employees the option to work remotely. This has many benefits, such as reducing the cost of office space and allowing employees to have a better work-life balance. However, companies must also consider the impact of working remotely on talent mobility. For example, employees who work remotely may be less likely to relocate to a another country, which could impact the success of the talent mobility program.

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation has had a profound impact on the way we work, and it is important for companies to embrace this change and adapt their talent mobility programs accordingly. For example, companies can use technology to facilitate communication between employees in different locations and provide virtual training and development opportunities. This can help ensure employees remain connected and engaged, regardless of their location.

Cross-border business travel

Full-time employment is not the only option when it comes to talent mobility. Companies can also consider cross-border business travel as a way to develop their employees’ know-how and work experience. Business trips can provide employees with the opportunity to learn about new cultures, work with colleagues in different locations, and develop new skills. It can also help to build relationships with customers and partners in different parts of the world, which can be crucial for success.

Business leaders and talent mobility

Finally, it is important for leaders to take an active role in developing a global talent mobility framework. Leaders must be committed to investing in their employees and providing them with the support they need to succeed. This includes providing training and development opportunities, ensuring that employees have access to the resources they need to succeed, and fostering a culture of inclusion and diversity.

Employee relocation makes a comeback

In an age where it’s possible to hire anyone, anywhere, it may not be immediately obvious why companies would want to send employees elsewhere or retain those who choose to move. But there are, in fact, very compelling reasons to do so.

Firstly, as we mentioned earlier, talent retention is a vital priority in the era of global mobility. The more valuable an employee is, the more important it is to have a framework that can accommodate them should they choose to relocate.

With the resumption of international travel, relocation figures are up once more, and the ability to keep their jobs when moving to their dream location may soon become an expectation among highly skilled workers. 

Secondly, while remote and hybrid work is certainly here to stay, there will always be great value in having boots on the ground in every territory where your company operates. Whether to test the waters in a global market or to create a more substantial presence, an on-site employee can be an invaluable asset. 

Talent mobility not only allows organisations to tap into a global pool of talent, but it also enables employees to broaden their horizons, develop skills where there are skills gaps and gain valuable international employee experience. 

The costs of employee relocation

There’s no getting around the fact that relocating talent is expensive, with long term assignments beings much more expensive than short term. And given that around 40% of relocations don’t work out, getting it wrong can be disastrous for companies. To succeed, global mobility programs should take into account a wide range of costs.

Getting there and setting up

When it comes to international mobility, getting there and setting up can be a complex and challenging process. Relocation logistics and costs are the most obvious: travel costs and visas at the beginning, and housing costs at the end. Depending on the benefits package offered, there may be ongoing supplemental costs to consider. 

New country, new role?

Salary and contract adjustments may also have to be made, depending on conditions in the new markets, and the length of service that the company expects from their now remote workers. In addition, HR professionals need to ensure that employees who make the move are not negatively impacted by any differences in laws or regulations. They need to ensure that the employee’s rights are protected and that they receive fair compensation and benefits. This can be particularly challenging if the laws in another country differ significantly from those in the employee’s home country.

Handling compliance issues through local entities

Last, but definitely not least, are the steep costs of incorporating local entities to employ within a new territory and comply with tax and employment local laws and regulations. This varies from country to country, but it invariably absorbs a great deal of time and money.

For a company sending a small number of people abroad, or trying to accommodate employees’ elective relocation, this simply may not be feasible. 

Beyond the bottom line: steps to making relocations work

While a well-executed global talent mobility program can provide significant benefits to businesses and mobile workers alike, it is important to recognize that there are additional steps beyond the bottom line that can help ensure the success of international assignments.

One key factor to consider is the mindset of mobile workers and local employees. Effective communication, cultural sensitivity, and a willingness to adapt are critical for success in a new environment. Providing pre-departure training and ongoing support can help both mobile workers and local employees adjust to new cultural and work norms.

Another consideration is the legal and tax obligations associated with international assignments. Employers should work with tax professionals and legal advisors to ensure that all relevant tax and immigration laws are followed, and that employees understand their obligations.

Employers should also carefully consider the skills needed for international assignments. While technical skills are important, soft skills such as communication, adaptability, and cultural awareness are equally critical. Employers may need to invest in training and development programs to ensure that mobile workers have the skills needed to succeed in their new roles.

Ultimately, a successful global talent mobility program requires a comprehensive approach that takes into account the needs of both the business and the individuals involved. By addressing factors beyond the bottom line, such as mindset, legal and tax obligations, and skills development, employers can increase the likelihood of success for international assignments, while also supporting the well-being and growth of their mobile workers and local employees.

Drive success with a global talent mobility program

Building a global talent mobility program is critical for companies with a international workforce. A well-designed program can facilitate employee career growth, increase employee engagement and retention, and provide opportunities for knowledge transfer and cross-cultural learning. To build a successful mobility program, HR teams must collaborate with leaders to identify key talent and career development goals, assess the organization’s mobility needs, and design policies and procedures that align with the organization’s goals and culture.

Global mobility services, such as immigration and relocation support, are essential components of successful internationally mobile employees. Companies can also leverage technology solutions to manage mobility program data and streamline processes. By implementing a comprehensive mobility program, an HR team can strengthen their talent management strategies, enhance their global workforce’s capabilities, and gain a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.

In summary, a well-executed mobility program can enable companies to attract and retain top talent, support their employees’ career development, and enhance their global workforce’s skills and knowledge. HR teams play a critical role in developing and implementing a mobility program that aligns with the organization’s goals and culture. By leveraging global mobility services and technology solutions, companies can create a mobility program that meets their unique needs and drives success.

Streamline employee relocation with an Employer of Record

For a multinational corporation, a global mobility policy needs to be well thought out, from all of these angles. One way to simplify the process, cut costs and reduce risks, is by partnering with an Employer of Record (EOR).

By leveraging the existing in-country entities of an EOR, businesses can sidestep the cost and risk of incorporating their own and move employees strategically into new, untapped locales. 

Through our own network of international subsidiaries, Playroll enables our clients to hire in over 170 countries with built-in compliance, guaranteed by our in-country legal support. Employees who relocate can simply pick up where they left off, with payroll and (HR) human resources management administered through our technology-enabled platform.

With Playroll, you never need to choose between talent management and budget: your jet-setting employees can simply pick up where they left off, wherever they land. That creates new vistas of opportunity – and we’d love to talk more about them.

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