Three Pillars of Effective Talent Mobility Programs
Talent mobility leaders utilize effective mobility programs to support their organizations in achieving their global objectives; but, what makes a mobility program effective?
Compliance and Risk Management
Running a complex, cross-border mobility program represents a significant compliance risk. Talent mobility leaders need to focus on achieving their talent and program objectives instead of spending time scrambling to react to incidents that pose potential compliance threats. Proper assessment and a supportive program structure with ensure the company, relocating employees and the company’s significant investment in talent mobility are safe. Effective mobility programs need to thoroughly address basic areas of risk, ensuring requirements such as tax, immigration and U.S. domestic home sale assistance are thoroughly addressed in policies and process.
Global policies and procedures help reduce risk, and companies should strive to standardize mobility programs on a global basis. If deviating from standardized practices is unavoidable, be sure to document approved local procedures. A centralized decision-making authority builds an extra layer of compliance in the program, allowing adequate oversight. Well-documented processes and procedures cover audit and business continuity requirements, and when accompanied by robust training make day-to-day tasks easier.
Moreover, managing exceptions through an established framework will create alignment between the mobility team and the business. This inherently safeguards compliance requirements and can extend to any supplier managing exceptions on the mobility team’s behalf.
Finally, a compliant approach to supplier selection is an area that supports an effective mobility program. The selection process itself should scrutinize the compliance practices of potential suppliers, and understand the controls in place to appropriately vet their sub-supplier network.
To stay competitive and retain key talent, talent mobility leaders should routinely benchmark their program’s policy suite structure, benefits and administration with industry peers or competing companies.
In addition, stakeholder feedback, from all parties that interact with the mobility policies, is critical to establish that the policies are adequately meeting needs. Relocating employee satisfaction surveys from suppliers sometimes only focus on service delivery, so incorporating policy-related questions or devising a way to get specific policy feedback helps understand where gaps exist in the policies.
Employee focus groups, at distinct stages in the assignee lifecycle, can yield rich and diverse input on mobility policies. Business and line managers also provide key input about the policy’s effectiveness from budget, implementation, and candidate recruitment perspectives. Furthermore, business and line managers can funnel feedback to the mobility team from other internal stakeholders and relocating employees that might not otherwise be visible.
External consultancies and industry peer groups can provide insight on emerging trends and industry best practices, allowing talent mobility leaders to ensure their policies are well-designed and are keeping pace with the rapidly changing industry.
Strong cost management practices
The high cost of talent mobility programs means increased visibility. Like their business peers, talent mobility leaders are expected to find savings and realize efficiencies in their mobility programs. Even though the pressure to contain cost continues to be an ongoing concern, many companies still do not have robust cost planning and management practices. BGRS’s Global Mobility Trends Survey indicated only 61 percent of companies prepare cost estimates for all assignments. Furthermore, the survey revealed only half of respondents (51 percent) said they track the total costs of assignments.
Estimated and actual assignment costs are required to achieve optimal cost results. They offer holistic program data and facilitate key internal discussions with the business. With the increasing demand for accurate data and analytics, talent mobility leaders are increasingly pressed to prove their program’s effectiveness and demonstrate their program’s performance. Having the technology and related cost management processes to support this is fundamental.
As talent mobility leaders look to change the conversation, asserting talent mobility’s integral contribution to the organization’s success, they need to demonstrate the value of their mobility programs. Strong, compliant programs with competitive policies underpinned by robust cost management practices ensure the mobility programs are operating efficiently and optimally.