set talent mobility up for future success

Set Talent Mobility Programs Up for Future Success

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The New Year is the perfect time to take stock of the previous year and set goals for the year ahead.

While many talent mobility leaders already completed budget planning and established specific 2018 priorities for their programs, we share four focus areas that should definitely be on every talent mobility leader’s New Year checklist.

Team Skillsets

If they have not done so recently, talent mobility leaders should evaluate their teams’ skillsets to identify if there are gaps that may hinder short or long-term program objectives.

According to the 2017 Talent Mobility Trends Survey, respondents note that the top two skillsets leaders need to have on their teams, as they transform the way mobility management in their organizations, are:

  1. The ability to secure functional alignment
  2. An understanding of strategic program design

While certain skills such as customer service, operational excellence, and compliance expertise will always be required, they are no longer enough to successfully operate as a global talent mobility function. As talent mobility leaders look to take their program to the next level, they need team members that are also skilled in, for example, consultancy, collaboration, strategic planning and data analysis.

Leadership Engagement

Starting now, talent mobility leaders should plan on meeting with human resources, talent management and executive leadership on a regular basis. Leadership support cannot be overestimated, especially for any planned change initiatives. In fact, according to the 2017 Talent Mobility Trends Survey, 63 percent of companies that are transforming mobility indicate that employee mobility is high on their organizations’ senior leadership agenda; whereas, only 28 percent of those not making changes indicate the same.

Furthermore, to elevate Talent Mobility’s role, its leaders need to demonstrate mobility’s contribution to fulfilling the company’s objectives. One way is to create a value proposition, showing clear and relevant support and facilitation of key business objectives by talent mobility. Another way to is highlight potential risk or an issue and demonstrate how Talent Mobility plans to address or resolve it. For example, although extended business travelers have been around for a long time, many talent mobility functions are not monitoring them as closely as they do other move types. By highlighting  an opportunity for increased compliance, leaders can show their initiative, address a potential issue and open up an important dialogue to engage leadership, increase visibility and elevate the role of Talent Mobility.

Strong Supplier Management

Mobility programs need a framework to support operating in a complex and ever-changing environment. Ensuring there is strong governance around how to procure, implement and manage suppliers on an ongoing basis will not only make the mobility program more compliant, it will result in an improved employee experience.

For example, every supplier needs a detailed service contract that outlines the terms and conditions of the engagement including data privacy, security and flow down requirements. However, talent mobility leaders also need to offer comprehensive guidance and training to their supply chain on service expectations, legal updates and the company’s compliance requirements. In addition, conducting routine audits of a suppliers’ data security and business continuity practices will ensure suppliers have the proper controls in place to be compliant. Read 13 Ways to Strengthen Supply Chain Management for even more ways to ensure a strong supply chain.

In addition to strong supply chain governance, focusing on creating strong, lasting relationships with suppliers can help talent mobility leaders start the year off right. The right partner and a solid relationship with, for example, a relocation management company (RMC) or a tax provider, can positively influence a mobility program in both the short and long-term.

Four items talent mobility leaders can use to improve supplier partnerships:

  • Use annual business reviews as an opportunity to build the relationship, collaborate and set objectives for the upcoming year.
  • Hold regularly scheduled meetings at all levels, with unique agendas for each, to nourish a stronger relationship.
  • Implement a two-way feedback loop to strength supplier relationships
  • Use meaningful metrics, such as Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), to measure performance and ensure suppliers are adhering to established standards.

A Broad Peer Network

An internal support system is key for talent mobility leaders looking to advance their agendas. For example, many companies want greater alignment between Talent Mobility and Talent Management, yet few have a direct reporting relationship between the two functions. Creating closer alignment will require establishing informal ties and creating an alliance with peers in Talent Management.

Engaging stakeholder peer support, such as human resources and talent management peers or leadership, can also help talent mobility leaders make the case for change and provide support during the execution phase. Talent mobility leaders should have regular touch points with their other stakeholder groups such as tax, legal, payroll, accounting, and regional human resources leaders. Keeping their pulse on the support functions helps talent mobility leaders maintain a 360-degree view of their programs.

It’s also important to establish a connection with external peer groups such as those sponsored by organizations that represent the talent mobility industry. These peer groups allow talent mobility leaders to informally benchmark programs and policies. They are a valuable resource when faced with an unusual situation. For example, when a natural disaster or political situation occurs, a peer group offers insight into how other companies are reacting and what actions or assistance may be necessary. External networks should be broad-based and should include industry peers as well as those with similar program size, scope, and global reach.

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