Global Mobility Function Has Become More Flexible But Data is Needed

The changing times has certainly made global mobility increasingly more complex. Organizations today clearly need to be more flexible. For example, the function is no longer limited to compliance-related issues; it has expanded its scope to include talent strategy, remote work, and employee experience. As organizations use international opportunities to attract and retain talent, the need for flexibility in mobility hiring has become more apparent.

With flexibility come challenges and its continuous evolution. A 2023 Mobility Outlook Survey by AirInc reported that about 37% of individuals are feeling that the global mobility function has fundamentally changed since the pre-pandemic era. Mobility’s responsibilities now extend beyond traditional cross-border mobility concerns. 

For instance, 17% of organizations deliberately employ global opportunities to draw and retain talent, a number that is projected to rise to 48% in the future, even in the current state of the world. Aligning the mobility program with talent strategy is a top priority in the next few years, demonstrating its value in this aspect. There’s hope.

Cost predictability and speed prevail

Global mobility professionals need to balance administrative ease with offering innovative solutions to meet the changing needs of the business. So far, the biggest requests from the business world continue to be speed and cost predictability. 

To achieve this level of service, mobility programs should continually look for ways to improve operations. Using new or enhanced technology to achieve more effective mobility program administration is the top response. 

However, technology solutions need to address the inability to connect with larger HR information systems and difficulty obtaining insights and metrics. One must leverage technology, streamline processes, update policies, collaborate with vendors, enhance the employee experience, promote the talent agenda, and be a trusted advisor to the business. These ambitions represent the depth and breadth and its enthusiasm for the year ahead.

Changing mobility landscape 

The changing mobility landscape demands a flexible approach to mobility management that takes into account the evolving needs of the business. There is pressure to meet a wider set of demands for compliance, operational and strategic understanding as its role has expanded into advising and planning business operations. 

Global mobility professionals must also know where they can add value and display their skills to best advantage. To do this, they need to be clear about who their customers are and communicate with them efficiently and effectively. Policy design requires a dynamic and flexible approach, and policies should be customized and tailored to support both the business need and the employee experience. Flexibility requires leveraging technology and data solutions, and global mobility professionals must understand data analytics.

Fostering curiosity and innovation

Fostering curiosity and innovation and creating an opportunity-focused environment can lead organizations through uncertain times. 

This is because global mobility professionals play an increasingly important role in the resourcing of positions both internationally and domestically, as well as in advising and planning business operations. Enhancing the employee experience is critical to attracting and retaining talent, and global mobility professionals must understand data analytics to leverage technology and data solutions effectively.

The Global mobility function will be required to facilitate more innovative approaches, such as splitting a role into two parts, one hybrid and the other not mobility-related.

The next phase of development will focus on flexibility in service delivery, using technology to create an agile service model and adapting to individual customer preferences. This will involve using artificial intelligence to offer fully digitalized or hybrid human services, depending on customer preferences.

Flexibility will be critical in responding to the volatile and uncertain business environment. More agile processes, tools, and operating models will be required to cope with ongoing crises. Despite having already implemented a system for flexibility, there is still room for improvement, and further steps will be taken.

Collaborating with company leadership and managers to provide training on permissible locations for work travel and work-cations, as well as the reasons behind certain restrictions, will be crucial in maintaining compliance with local regulations in various regions.

Focus on data

Scrutinizing budgets, including their global mobility programs, are crucial but so is focusing on data to justify policies. 

Data can aid in predicting the duration and cost of relocations, conducting a cost-benefit analysis of relocating versus remote work, determining the typical duration of remote work, and identifying popular destinations for assignments. 

Therefore, data will need to become increasingly important in formulating effective global mobility policies, especially in light of the recent mass tech layoffs.

Add compliance and employee experience into the mix. This entails staying informed about where employees are working from and educating them on the compliance requirements in each region, enhancing their experience as a result.

Establishing a solid groundwork that enables your organization to swiftly identify feasible options and identifying suitable partners such as Employer of Record (EORs), visa service providers, and settling-in service providers is imperative. 

Flexibility in global mobility doesn’t necessarily imply granting the freedom to work from any location, but it requires framing your program with a well-defined structure and managing expectations in a realistic manner. It involves placing trust in your employees to act responsibly while setting boundaries that safeguard the company’s interests.