Leadership’s Role in Transforming Mobility

Leadership support is critical as organizations are reassessing and recharacterizing the talent profiles needed to meet their global business objectives.

Even as companies are at varying stages of functional maturity for their mobility programs, there is one simple notion which is widely accepted as truth: leadership endorsement drives global mobility evolution. Leadership buy-in is critical to effect change, and change, in turn, is essential for both functional and organizational growth.

Leadership buy-in yields ongoing return

The respondents to the 2017 Talent Mobility Trends Survey indicate the number one enabler of success is having senior leadership support to promote change efforts.

Mobility teams are expected to possess a working knowledge of many multinational processes including, but not limited to:

  • Compensation and benefits
  • Recruiting
  • Talent development
  • Career planning
  • Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS)
  • Global and domestic payroll processes
  • Legal compliance
  • International tax
  • Vendor management
  • Integration/harmonization of mergers and acquisitions

Managing any significant change to talent mobility functions or programs will inevitably be a complex undertaking. An informed and educated leadership endorsement can build a comprehensive and persuasive business case for change. Their understanding of mobility’s inherent value will drive and maintain organizational awareness and continuous commitment until the journey has concluded. It can also contend effectively with stakeholder resistance, direct the necessary resources for the change projects, and support targeted messaging to the wider organization to embrace the change.

In the words of one of the 2017 Talent Mobility Trends Survey respondents:

At the onset of our most recent transformation initiative, the recently appointed Chief Human Resources Officer knew first-hand the potential of global mobility. His most recent role was leading International Human Resources, a position that exposed him to the complexity of moving talent across borders and retaining those professionals. His sustained endorsement of the change initiative broadened the organizational awareness and allowed the global mobility team’s remit to expand.

Leadership can secure stakeholders commitment

According to the 2017 Talent Mobility Trends Survey, 85% of the respondents indicate their organizations have recently completed, are in the process of or will soon start down the road toward transforming the talent mobility function and its programs. Many mobility professionals recognize their HR peers and business partners do not possess comprehensive or even general knowledge of mobility programs and processes. The specialized nature of the function can serve as an impediment when soliciting stakeholder and peer support to evolve the function and program. Leadership endorsement can bridge this divide and serve as a conduit to align parties to work collaboratively toward a shared vision.

Leadership’s vested interest in Talent Mobility transformation

Senior leaders are often graduates of global experience themselves, and many organizations are recognizing that globally competent employees will optimize the company’s chances of future commercial success. So, not surprisingly, senior leadership teams are prioritizing mobility today more than ever. Over one-quarter of survey respondents (27%) say that global experience is a prerequisite for joining their company’s senior leadership. In addition, 63 percent of survey respondents report global mobility is now high on their senior leadership agendas. Now that mobility is on their agenda, they have a greater appetite for transformation and change.

As strategic global talent sourcing and development becomes a business imperative, leadership education, involvement and buy-in regarding talent mobility is more essential than ever. Savvy talent mobility leaders looking to transform their functions recognize the importance of leadership buy-in and are actively seeking to engage executive support as they continue to evolve.

Visit the 2017 Talent Mobility Trends Survey microsite to learn more about how mobility is transforming in today’s organizations.