The Many Hats You Need to Wear As a Global Mobility Specialist

The intern caught napping at his desk with his mouth wide open has become an overnight meme sensation. Unless you crave that type of public attention, you know you have to be quick on your feet about what exactly it is that you do as a global mobility specialist, which is not easy to define if you are new to it, or overwhelmed by many of the hats you have to wear to make sure you don’t miss a thing.

Being a global mobility specialist means knowing a general sense of how a lot of things work on a surface level, at least. If you’re in human resources looking to understand the job, here is an overnight guide or, if you will, a cocktail knowledge of an increasingly complex yet rewarding assignment.

Task: Assignee briefings

Expertise needed: Human resources

This should be familiar terrain as a hiree is often briefed or oriented about the job, but in many cases, is not handled with due diligence. You would be surprised to know how some specialists just send out a bunch of papers for a potential hiree to read, disappointing him in the process. He will actually need to be briefed about the company’s hiring process, the potential areas of concern for both sides, and how they can both work together. If the meeting is happening over the phone, the more it is crucial for the candidate to know what you have to say. You’re pitching to him.

Task: Find property for assignee                    

Expertise needed: Real estate agent

You might balk at the idea of  being a real-estate broker, but you’ll have no choice. You will need to find the ideal property for your assignee and his family, making sure you also secure the property and — get this– pay for and maintain it. Fortunately, California Corporate Housing works with global mobility specialists in managing payment of deposit and money rent, among others.  

Task: Work on his work permit                       

Expertise needed: Immigration lawyer

Make sure you know the ins and outs of hiring foreign employees. If you’re dealing with international relocation, it means knowing the difference between an L1 and H1B and why in both cases, the assignee will ask how long it will take him to get his GC (Green Card). Your company should have a lawyer to give you the gist of it all.

Task: Acculturating the assignee                      

Expertise needed: Culture guide

Your assignee will need to integrate and assimilate in his new environment quickly, but this is easier said than done. He may come from a country with a different work culture. In most cases,  the assignee will only realize the nuances of his move once he starts working there, because no amount of explaining can replace an actual working atmosphere while interacting with the employees there. Sometimes this is based on something unforeseen — an accent that throws off someone near his desk, or just absolute foreignness can someone in unwarranted trouble.

Task: Knowing the basics of money                    

Expertise needed: Accounting

You don’t have to crunch the numbers yourself, but it behooves you to learn something about the financial aspects of your business. After all, it is going to be one of the most talked-about concerns between you and you assignee. And it goes beyond just telling your hiree his salary, you need to know if it makes sense in the city where he will be deployed. You’ll have to work with tax advisors– in your country and the tax advisor where your assignee is coming from — in order to make sure tax returns are submitted on time. There’s also the matter of compensation if the assignee decides to ask for more money. You should negotiate this just as well. (DC)