Insights into global expansion & employee retention

Published: December 9, 2021

What Is Global Talent Mobility? And Why Do So Many Companies Suck at It?

What is talent mobility? In short, it’s an organization’s ability to move talent strategically between roles. Of course, you knew that already. We threw it in for the obligatory SEO perks.
Man In A Suit Pointing To The Left And Smiling | What is global talent mobility? and why do so many companies suck at it? | Global Talent Employment

Formalities over—why do so many companies suck at talent mobility? That’s really the question worth asking.

Before we answer it, let’s onboard the ‘what is?’ question a little more thoroughly in the context of the relationship ‘talent mobility’ has to ‘global talent mobility’.

What Is Global Talent Mobility When It’s Not at Home?

If plain ‘talent mobility’ is an organization’s ability to move talent between roles, then ‘global talent mobility’ is exactly the same, except with its bags packed and a round-the-world ticket in hand.

Talent mobility in single-country organisations

If you’re a single-country business or organization, your talent mobility logistics can be as simple as promoting your smartest alecs from one department into another—perhaps via a trip up a couple of floors in the company elevator.

At worst, it may be a cross-country journey to another office in another state, county or province. All your HR team need to do is arrange their transport, possibly accommodation, and hope their new teammates embrace them without interpersonal politics and the ensuing HR debacles.

Talent mobility in multinational organisations

For multinational businesses and organisations—or expansion-ready ones about to break into a new country for the first time—talent mobility instantly takes on new flavours and not all of them that palatable.

Suddenly, relocating talent means more than an elevator trip in the same building, a taxi ride across town, or a flight across the country.

What are the challenges when talent mobility goes global?

Both talent mobility and global talent mobility are about one thing:
Placing the right people with the right skills in the right roles at the right time.

In both cases—whether local or global—an organization’s ability to mobilise talent strategically is a direct measure of its ability to remain competitive, resilient to change and innovate to sustain growth.

The difference is, the moment your talent mobility needs to go global, you say ‘hello’ to a cluster of new hurdles for relocating employees to other countries.

  • New-country employment law and local-compliance risk
  • Payroll changes and employee classification by region
  • Possible visa and work-eligibility admin
  • Mounting costs, known and unknown
  • Additional hires for local payroll and tax

Is it any wonder so many employers won’t budge to accommodate employee requests to let them take their job with them when life plans take them overseas?

Why Do So Many Companies Suck at Global Talent Mobility?

Much like the relationship status between employers and the talent whose relocation requests get turned down—it’s complicated.

The truth is, it’s often not the employers’ fault. It’s not so much a case of ‘sucking’ at global talent mobility, it’s more of a case of being petrified by the risks involved.

Unless new market opportunities overseas are irresistible and fully scoped out, then many employers simply aren’t willing to stomach the risk of:

  • creating new employer entities or physical offices,
  • doing the local employment-law legwork,
  • hiring local payroll and tax agents,

and still potentially face being slapped with fines for having innocently overlooked crucial details in employer obligations.

With all of that hanging over employers like a grand compliance piano, is it any wonder they say ‘all the best in your new endeavours’ to employees forced to choose between job and life plans?

Don’t sign that ‘sorry you’re leaving card’ just yet.

Here’s a global talent mobility bombshell—it doesn’t have to end that way. What if you could say ‘bon voyage!’ instead of ‘adios’?

Businesses savvy enough to enlist the help of an Employer of Record partner can let loose with a global talent mobility strategy free of escalating cost and compliance risk.

How Does an Employer of Record Partner Help Improve Global Mobility Strategy?

Your Employer of Record partner has one core responsibility—to accept legal liability as the on-paper employer they help you hire. Don’t confuse an EoR partner with a professional employer organization (PEO).

PEOs: act, in effect like an outsourced HR team. More ‘service provider’ than ‘global expansion partner’.

EoR partners with fully-owned entities: such as our humble selves, shield and enable your global talent mobility strategy through read-made, compliant employer infrastructure. It’s worth adding that an EoR partner can also offer HR services like payroll and benefits management.

With an EoR partner like Playroll, your global mobility strategy can truly grow wings, unrestrained by the usual cost, complexity and compliance strings usually involved in relocating talent.

Employer of Record partner with added ‘SaaS’ = Seamless Global Mobility

Besides all the on-the-ground legal support delivered by in-country specialists, Playroll’s global employer infrastructure—25 years in the making—is geared into a free, slick SaaS dashboard.

That’s where HR teams, payroll pros and internal recruiters can start planning HR costs by country for relocating top talent or hiring new talent.

To get started, do the ‘demo’ thing and we’ll show you the ropes before creating your free Playroll EOR toys to play with—you won’t be billed a dime until you make your first hire.

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Top 3 Benefits of Global Talent Mobility

Top 3 Benefits of Global Talent Mobility

At Playroll, we believe that global talent mobility provides an opportunity to align human needs with business priorities. The winners in the global race for talent are the companies who have found ways to give their people the flexibility they want, without sacrificing – and in some cases even increasing – overall productivity. And because we’re at the forefront of the shift to distributed teams and remote work, we’ve learned a great deal about how our own clients are making the most of the opportunities it presents.

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