By Olivier Meier
Mercer / Munich, Germany
What’s coming next?
||Managing an international distributed workforce
|Expatriate versus locals
||A mix of assignees, locally hired foreigners, third country/virtual assignees and locals with international responsibilities, working together
|Managing individual moves
||Managing an international talent network
|Clearly defined purview for mobility and HR teams. Fixed teams manage pre-defined groups/categories of employees.
||Mobility and HR as advisors for the company. Internal gigs/ad-hoc temporary teams (“flash teams”) to manage specific groups of mobile employees and projects.
|Mobility teams collaborating with career management, benefits teams, risk, compliance and other HR teams
||On-going monitoring of the situation of employees
|Integrating assignees in the host location. Managing culture shock and expatriation/repatriation transitions
||Fostering collaboration, team building and addressing cultural issues in dispersed teams
Talent mobility has always been a work in progress. The COVID-19 crisis is exposing weaknesses and inconsistencies in current in mobility management practices. It shows the limit of rigid organization models and policies. It also forces HR teams to be more reactive, innovative, and agile to address the business’s needs and support assignees. If talent mobility professionals can retain some of this reactivity and agility born out of the crisis, they will be in a good position to help organizations recover and become more resilient in the future.
HR teams face daunting challenges to mitigate the impact on the business of the Covid-19 crisis and manage the repatriation of a large part of their mobile workforces.
HR will face fundamental questions about the future of talent mobility as organizations finally overcome the crisis.
Will the number of international assignees decrease?
Will some governments be tempted to restrict movements and further complicate compliance?
How to manage mobility costs in the context of a potential recession?
These considerations are important and will have an impact on HR activities.
But the crisis also offers an opportunity to reflect deeper on the talent mobility model itself and question how we manage and perceive talent mobility, its actual effectiveness, and its contribution to the resilience and success of the business over the long term.
Revealed: Mobility teams rise-to-the-challenge, leverage expertise to help the business.