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Global mobility still has a long way to go

Thursday 12 April 2012

The ability to move the right employees across international boundaries is fast becoming an essential skill for multinational companies exploring new markets – but achieving this “global mobility” is far from simple.

The pace of change has been so rapid that many companies are only just beginning to come to grips with the challenges.

Strategic Moves, a recent survey by professional services firm Deloitte of more than 140 organisations around the globe, found that 75 per cent anticipated global mobility would become “important or significantly more important” over the next three to five years. But 40 per cent felt that their global mobility programmes needed “significant or radical improvement”.

The responses from human resources departments and the rest of the business were similar, says Deloitte, except on one important question. Half of the non-HR business executives felt “mobility is underperforming and not fulfilling the business and talent requirements”, compared with only a third of those inside HR.

The survey concluded that “there is a significant disconnect between the perception of those within HR and those within the business in terms of whether global mobility is fit for purpose” – which matters, because global mobility is a significant investment, one that can easily top $30m per 100 assignees, according to the survey.

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