Cross-border Deployment of Talent in Times of Crisis

Cross-border Deployment of Talent in Times of Crisis

BGRS is proud to share the first survey report in a series of research initiatives in association with RES Forum. The series will explore innovative, evolving, and provocative insights into how the mobility community can successfully navigate the key challenges brought by the COVID pandemic.


The RES Forum was founded in 2006 as an independent community for International HR & Mobility professionals and is now one of the largest and most active networks, specializing in global mobility survey data, modeling, and analytics.

Global mobility has been immensely affected by the pandemic with many organizations forced to put international assignments on hold, halt non-essential business travel, and transition to remote work. The “Cross-border Deployment of Talent in Times of Crisis,” report presents Global Mobility professionals with the survey findings exploring strategic and operational aspects of global mobility resourcing before, during, and after the COVID-19 crisis. BGRS’s Ian Johnson, Senior Vice President, Global Business Development, was honored to share his extensive industry knowledge and insights in the foreword.

The report highlights changes in the strategic objectives for employee mobility in the medium-term. The pandemic brought an increased focus on employee wellbeing, employer duty of care, and, in some instances, reduced employees’ willingness to accept an assignment offer. The respondents report a greater future focus on mobility drivers such as foreign subsidiaries’ oversight, accelerating strategic talent pools, and focusing on the development of diversity pools. Unsurprisingly, many organizations report a greater focus on initiatives strengthening mobile employee resilience. As the mobility for knowledge or skills transfer is potentially one of the affected areas, the report findings raise questions as to whether and how technological approaches of knowledge sharing can effectively compensate.

The report further examines possible future approaches to executing global work alongside important compliance, talent strategy, and total rewards considerations, as companies assess the approaches best suited to their organizational strategy and culture. What is not changing is the need to ensure that the mobility value proposition is attractive to companies’ key talent. The need for global leadership and operational delivery also remains important. If leaders have less opportunity to gain global skills through face to face interactions, companies may consider a stronger focus on targeted global leadership development programs, as well as support the emergence of local leaders.

Finally, quoting Albert Einstein, “In the midst of every crisis lies great opportunity”, the report reviews the challenges, changes, and opportunities to manage the strategic standing and appreciation of the Global Mobility department. The report authors conclude that using this strategic opportunity could mean that Global Mobility professionals become more pivotal players within their companies, touching the lives and careers of more staff than before the pandemic.