Exciting Times for Global Mobility Managers as they Serve as Business Partners

One trend that is powerfully impacting the human resources field is also sweeping across their counterparts in the global mobility movement sector: recruiters and people managers — which HR professionals prefer to be called — must think of themselves as business partners.

Their tasks, mandate, and with it, their roles, have evolved beyond the usual process of talent acquisition, compensation and benefits, performance benefits, termination, and the prerequisite legal support and action to all these functions.

It is not that they will stop doing what they are good at. The change comes in wearing a different set of glasses that will make them see their traditional roles in an entirely different light. They will also have to acquire a business-like mindset and align their objectives with the overall long-term goals of the company.

Workology accurately describes this newfound specialization in one of the job descriptions it gave for the vice-president of HR. The functions, services, and deliverables of the people hired and employed by the company must be integrated with its business operations. Human capital must also be aligned and viewed as to how it affects the efficiency, productivity, and ultimately, success of the organization.

Not too long ago, the HR professional — on a manager or executive level — usually operated as an island that frequently connects with the other regions near it.

They do have numbers and quotas that they do have to fulfill and report on, e.g. the number of candidates hired this particular quarter and the monies expended to secure and sign them up.

Every year, they also have to report to executive management the percentage of employees who remain with them as consistent performers, and who, on the other hand, either resign or are booted out. While they may be competent in these areas, their perspective and concerns remain limited to them.

Today, the HR professional must look at how their efforts impact the bottom line of the company. They have to justify their recruitment-related expenses and the workforce’s compensation and benefits by showing how each individual employee contributes to the organization’s success.

Before creating another job advertisement to acquire the talent that a certain department needs, they have to sit down with the manager of that particular department and assess how the newly hired staff can work more harmoniously and collaboratively with the rest of the group.

Take the view from a more elevated level. The Chief Human Resource Officer works closely with the Chief Executive Officer to determine, for example, how hiring 200 new talents this particular year can directly advance the company’s objective of penetrating new global markets.

They must be able to answer how raising the salaries of all the IT specialists in the organization can boost the quality of service, which in turn will support customer engagement and customer service. That increased IT assistance to these frontliners is then expected to help push sales and its related revenues.

Now that HR professionals and leaders are beginning to think as business partners, it is only a matter of time before the global mobility managers have to follow suit.

The trend does seem inevitable. Like their homegrown colleagues, global mobility managers do have to account for their budget and explain why and how an international pipeline of talent is crucial to the company’s bottom line.

They might even have a challenge explaining why recruiting from foreign cities is necessary, given that its costs are higher than that of domestic recruitment. On top of that, they also have to elaborate why securing assignees is worth the time and trouble in contending with the current immigration laws.

One advantage that global mobility managers do have is that no CEO or business owner will go against the need for or the goal of global expansion.

As of 2016, even the small-to-medium-sized enterprises are getting into the act. One survey conducted by Small Business Trends says that about 58 percent of these companies have active international customers in their database. This number is expected to grow to 72 percent in the next few years.

Capturing a portion of the international market means understanding the minds, hearts, inclinations, buying behavior, and sometimes language of the foreigners living in that area. Who can better advise the CEO than an assignee who originated from or has ties to that region? And who is more qualified than the global mobility manager to search for and recruit the most suitable assignee for their company?

The next step then for the global mobility manager who wants to be integral to his company’s success is to think like a business manager. The HR Technologist makes the following suggestions on how to evolve into one:

Develop a business mind and acquire the skill in sharpening your business sense. It starts with understanding the particular industry or field that your organization is servicing. Dig deep into its streams of revenues, and the strategies designed to make the company earn. Learn to think in terms of profit and loss. If numbers and economics are not your strong suit, take a few online classes, or have frequent meetings with your colleagues in sales, marketing, and finances.

Strengthen your relationship with your stakeholders. Global mobility managers are excellent in developing a network and building long-lasting building relationships. These include chambers of commerce, relocation firms, schools, lawyers, and housing companies like California Corporate Housing.

Leverage on these connections to find out how certain elements or aspects in pricing can be reduced, or how certain assets can be optimized. Because trust has been established, it would be easy to get cost-effective arrangements that will give you significant savings that can make the company bottom line healthier and more robust by end of the fiscal year.

Finally, dig deep into data and use analytics for more informed decision-making.  At the end of the day, the business decision you make has to be backed up by numbers. That includes forecasts, projections, cost-per-hire, valuation of assignee hires, and return of investment of recruitment campaigns.

Anecdotal reporting has to be replaced by analytics, which can be your strongest ally. No one can argue against facts and statistics once you use them to back your campaigns and business-related recommendations.