What You Need to Do to Become a Global Mobility Manager

What are the things you need to have or do in order to excel as a global mobility manager? You might have finally landed in this position after years of hard work and planning. Or you could have been appointed into this role by your executives. There is also that other possibility that you just somehow “slid” into it because of an opportunity or because of the call of circumstances.

Regardless of how you got into that position, you have assumed the post now — and your leaders and assignees do expect you to deliver. More important, you like this job and you want to stay in it and make your mark for a very long time. So how do you do it?

First, it would help if you have a background in human resources or a related discipline. A degree, although not required, would certainly help. That piece of advice comes from Mobility Exchange.

It is true that many global mobility managers now working in the field graduated with another degree, or do not have that HR experience. But learning about the fundamentals and the core subjects in that field would eventually become a prerequisite. As a global mobility manager, you would have to become adept in many aspects of the HR job like compensation and benefits, employee recruitment and retention, taxes, and relocation.

If you did not have a formal background in any of the above subjects, enrolling in an online course or two might do the trick.

Second, you should also boost your knowledge in the other areas that your profession needs but are not necessarily related to HR. Elliot Scott names these ancillary subjects or courses:  accounting and finance, business development, IT and technology, logistics, and the supply chain.

If HR is your “major,” these subjects are your minor ones. Global mobility managers today are also called upon to have a business sense, and be able to project the return on investment to the company of their efforts.

They also have to be able to use the latest technology to fulfill their objectives. They also need to have an overview of how the various global industries run, and how they can find the qualified assignees in them that will further the objectives of the company.

Elliot Scott also advises enrolling in a mentorship program or learning through a mentor either through formal or informal channels. You will learn a lot from the job itself when you hit the ground running. Having a mentor who has gone ahead of you to teach you the ropes will accelerate your learning curve and reduce the number of mistakes you are certain to do.

Fourth, Shield Geo recommends building your communication skills. This is perhaps where global mobility managers differ a little from the traditional HR role. You are expected to liaise with a lot of stakeholders, and planning, conceptualizing, and finishing all those reports in your cubicle make up just one part of the job.

Remember that your leaders and colleagues — most of whom work on the domestic scale — expect you to make them understand the benefits of going global to the company. You would also have to explain the challenges of doing so when the time comes.

For example, you might have to convince your leaders why it would be smarter and cost-effective to recruit from Asia, instead of Europe, at this point in time. You might also have to outline how the current immigration laws are slowing down your recruitment efforts. You would also have to be at the forefront in emphasizing how certain corporate values usually found in Northern California — diversity and inclusion, transparency, and a level of comfort with technology — should also be present in your organization.

A global mobility management position can become a great adventure as well as an exciting career. Starting with the right foundation is the most successful way to launch it.