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Do You Have an Effective Global Mobility Program?

July 1, 2010:

There will be a further 50% growth in international assignments by 2020. Talent mobility 2020: the next generation of international assignments, a PricewaterhouseCoopers Report

Global policy and practice reviews almost always come too late! This is to be expected, especially during and after the recession. There are so many things that get loaded onto the collective Human Resources plate. Yet, what is fundamental to globalisation is having the right talent in the right place to successfully achieve corporate objectives. Experts are predicting an increase in global mobility as companies seek the right talent. Looking forward, companies will need to ensure their global mobility program supports their global objectives now and into the future by effectively attracting, retaining and deploying key talent.

From the perspective of business, neither the high unemployment nor the current crisis has mitigated the urgency of addressing the skills gap issue. (Skills Gap, Global Agenda Council Reports 2010, World Economic Forum)

What makes a Global Relocation Policy review particularly difficult is the need for corporations in the face of economic uncertainty to make sure that relocation is cost effective as well as relevant, supportive and sustainable into the future. If this is not challenging enough corporations must now ensure their program supports the needs of three generations of workers, each with distinct motivators for accepting global mobility. While the current policy may hit all of the motivation, recognition, rewards and engagement strategies for the baby boomers it is not likely to hit all of the same factors for the millennium generation.

In their report, Talent Mobility 2020, the next generation of international assignments PricewaterhouseCoopers predicted that there will be amplified pressure on human resource leaders to tackle the ensuing regulatory, compensation, and tax wrinkles, while also developing a streamlined process for the assignee and the organisation. Indeed, companies are facing increased scrutiny to ensure they are operating within the regulatory governmental requirements. This means that it is ever more important to be compliant on both immigration and tax related issues. Governments are working to show their populations that they are protecting local jobs. They are also ensuring that all revenues due to them are collected. The impact of non-compliance can be enormous. Possible repercussions of non-compliance can range from a relatively benign turnaround at the border (go home until you get all your visas/documentation in order) to huge fines (income tax fines can range from 100% to 400% of the tax bill) to the company being banned from operating in the country where the
transgressions occurred.

POLICIES ARE NOT ENOUGH! As the pushes and pulls of decentralization and centralization get played out in global companies, even the best written policy will not increase compliance unless there are internal mechanisms to communicate its importance and monitor its implementation and ongoing maintenance.

Given these factors as well as the increased speed of business, the manner in which key talent is deployed globally is also shifting. Companies today are using a combination of virtual work options, business travel, rotational work scheduling, short-term assignments, long-term assignments and local hiring to achieve their global objectives.

Are you convinced yet? Existing policies and practices should be revisited, reviewed, or in some cases, codified for the first time. Human Resources needs to balance all the many factors discussed above, arrive at its policy and practice decisions, communicate and champion them throughout the organization, and then monitor their effectiveness.

All Points approach has always been high-touch and consultative. In keeping with this we are embarking on this series as our way of assisting as you carry out this critical work. We are going to start at the start, and hopefully provide you with the tool kit you need to craft the perfect global relocation practice for you this includes everything from self-assessment of your company to the best practices, cost reduction strategies and even other sources that can help you.
CONSULTATION AS CONVERSATION: If you feel strongly about a global relocation issue TELL US, and we will make sure it is included in future issues of Navigating Relocation. Finally, we understand that your timeline may not allow for this series to unfold, that you may need answers sooner. If this occurs please feel free to contact me so that we can offer you the assistance you need.

So, I hope you enjoy the ride!

Michael Deane
VP Client Services

Posted on July 1, 2010 in Newsletter

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