The value of mobility:

measuring talent mobility outcomes

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Mobility outcomes and talent management outcomes should support each other, and both should contribute to business outcomes. This model is the ideal setup for achieving the best talent mobility outcomes. Mobility outcomes include employee satisfaction and wellbeing, employee training, host business unit training, and mobility team performance. Talent management outcomes include talent pipeline management, talent pool and skill gaps, attraction and retention, and career progression. Business outcomes include business growth, client management and global expansion, and cost management and profitability.

Assessing the outcomes

For each type of outcome, several types of indicators should be used. These indicators can include quantitative inputs (e.g. figures from finance) as well as feedback from the stakeholders (employee and line management interviews).

Talent mobility outcomes and examples of indicators
Outcome category Typical indicators
Business outcomes (specific to tasks assigned) Direct and indirect costs, profitability increase, revenue growth, client acquisition, processes and compliance rules implemented in receiving unit (versus prior to an assignment, versus performance of local peers).
Mobility outcomes (specific to the action of sending an assignee) Assignee satisfaction survey, receiving unit feedback, training completion (assignee or local peers depending on the type of assignment), assignment completion rate, mobilization metrics (time to activate assignments), mobility promoter score (likelihood of former assignees to recommend an assignment to a colleague).
Talent management outcomes (specific to skill sourcing/talent brokering and career management) Retention rate, internal labor market analysis (career progression measurement), talent pipeline analysis, skills gap analysis, career parity, pay progression, diversity and inclusion metrics.

Defining the outcomes

We need to differentiate three types of interrelated outcomes:

  • Business outcomes. These outcomes are related to business growth and profitability and the acquisition of market share and new clients. This is often the priority for top management, but measuring these business outcomes in isolation does not tell much about the value of mobility itself or to what extent these business outcomes can be attributed to the action of moving employees.
  • Mobility outcomes. These are related to the process of relocating employees. The outcomes could be about the employee (satisfaction and wellbeing of the assignee and the family, as well as retention and performance) or about the receiving business unit (did it benefit from the assignment?) or the mobility teams (how efficient was the assignment process?).
  • Talent management (workforce) outcomes. These include the career of mobile employees, their skills, their experiences, and how these were affected by mobility. These outcomes affect the talent pool and the capacity of the organization to address skill gaps. It helps to reveal some of the indirect costs and benefits of mobility as well as of the long-term value.