Battle for Global Talent is Fierce, but Companies Admit to Not Using Tech Tools, Data

Do you know that millennials are set to represent 50 percent of the global workforce by next year and that many are eyeing international experience? The assignment of global mobility managers is to know how to attract, engage, and retain them with a varying range of expectations and priorities. One survey revealed that the majority (55.7 percent) of these organizations’ employees identified for international experience are 30-39 years of age.

However, it was revealed that the competition for the right talent is fierce across all sectors and regions, according to the second Forum for Expatriate Management (FEM) Express Reports at “Global Conferences, Summits and Chapter Meetings: The Battle for Talent” late last year.

A significant 50 percent have experienced difficulty attracting talent and 37.1 percent have had problems retaining them. Nevertheless, a good proportion (19 percent) say that they have had neither difficulty within the last 12 months. Perhaps surprisingly, given the profile of those responding to the survey, another 13.8 percent say that they don’t know whether their talents will ultimately stay with them or leave

Global mobility managers need to look into mentoring percentages as well. Nearly half (47.9 percent) do not have mentoring or sponsorship programs in place, and 13.5 percent don’t know whether they have one or not.

Those replies might prompt the question: why not? If global mobility is about placing the right talent in the right location at the right time, in order to serve the needs of the wider business, why do more than 10 percent of respondents not know how that talent is being developed? However, at the same time it is encouraging to see that 38.5 percent say that their organizations do use these methods to grow and develop talent.

How prepared are global mobility teams in improving their talent recruitment and management? Some surprising results showed how talent management make use of only 31.3 percent of technology tools in measuring employee engagement – though those that do use them for a range of purposes including measuring how their employees feel about their jobs and teams, annual performance reviews, and for setting and measuring individual goals. While not crucial in the recruitment phase, these results will be crucial once they have the talents with them.

The lack of confidence in technology stems from lack of available data. Only 1.1 percent say that their talent management data is extremely accurate. Overall, only 30 percent think that their data is either very or quite accurate – so a high percentage are lacking the quality information they need – and another 19 percent say that they don’t have any talent management data at all.

Technology appears to be under-used in terms of gathering data, but more importantly, interpreting it. Of course, multiple choice questions can only reveal so much, so the additional comments sections were especially valuable.

On the bright side, a startling: 61.9 percent of respondents say that their organization offers horizontal career progression – which seems quite a departure from the traditional model.

As for formal assignment policies in operation, global mobility management reported a 1 to 5 years or 76.4 percent rate.

Most important for talents to hear is if an organization carries out succession planning, with about 71 percent of organizations implementing them.

Overall, the picture here is one of an awareness of the need for change, with some areas such as succession planning and organizational communications much improved, but it is also clear that rewards programs need to be better linked to performance goals and that attrition rates are uncomfortably high in some companies.

This report asked under 200 senior global mobility and HR professionals at major organizations across the world how they were winning the battle for the talent they need. A lifestyle report is probably due on account of the fact that corporate housing providers like California Corporate Housing also play a role in keeping these talents happy in their home away from home.