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Technology Landscape For A Globally-Mobile Workforce

Technology Landscape for a Globally-Mobile Workforce

Technology has inundated the world of human resources. Hundreds of HR tech solutions exist with more coming up every day, and this is no less true of Mobility tech.  There are hundreds of service providers supporting all aspects of mobility, from planning to logistics, compensation through compliance and it seems all are leading with some kind of technology.  For an HR leader, making good decisions about technology has become a major challenge.

Understanding the mobility technology landscape and being able to match organizational needs to technology has become a core skill for HR professionals. Navigating this tech-forward HR world can be tricky. Today, we’re looking at a few areas in which you can evaluate mobility technology offerings and, in turn, how they can benefit your business.

How to evaluate the tech landscape: Some context

Back in the late 1990s, mobility technology began to emerge, with a focus on workflow and very basic data management. Mobility technology was initially developed and sponsored by the big Relocation Companies, such as Cendant (later Cartus), GMAC Global Relocation, and Prudential Relocation. Because the focus of this technology was really transactional efficiency and quality control mobility technology was bundled and billed and sold as part of the relocation transaction and therefore billed back to business as part of the overall relocation cost.

Fast-forward 20 plus years and the HR industry is buying technology as if it was still 1999. Many organizations do not have a budget or line item for technology.  The expectation is that the cost of tech will be bundled into the transaction, whereas much of the technology that exists today goes far beyond transactional efficiency.  In fact, today’s technology is truly transforming how broad areas of HR and mobility work. It is redefining the limits of what is possible in our industry.

Today’s tech is building more transparency, increased cost savings, providing better information and data, driving better employee engagement, and creating new solutions, and faster answers.   These extend far beyond just the transactional benefits, for example, a digital community that makes the family more financially sound and happier with their new location, enhances the employee experience, and also aids in deployment and reduces turnover.  Or, when an employee reviews, and books their services through Topia’s platform, it’s not just the efficiency that defines this benefit, but it’s that the experience is a better one delivering services the way the employee prefers it. These things are more challenging to quantify what that means for our organizations, however, we in HR need to take the positive step of actually quantifying this, building and demonstrating the business case for these other benefits.  It’s the only way to break free of 1999!

Topia’s technology is transformational.  Besides increasing productivity and cost savings, Topia’s transformational technology provides enhanced employee experience for both the HR administrator using it and the relocating employee. This mobility technology eases deployment, lowers employee turnover, and allows for increased mobility. It provides enhanced data-driven decision-making tools and overall scalability for your company’s global mobility program. Bottom line: it makes both your life and your employees’ lives easier.

One thing essential to thinking about tech, today’s mobility tech companies like to throw around hefty buzzwords, such as AI, machine learning, big data, data analytics, blockchain, and mobile apps. There is the temptation to forget the substantive and be attracted by the latest and greatest “shiny penny” technologies. What we must consider is what does this “cool” and “appealing” technology do to further our business goals.

Elements of business planning

Before implementing a transformational mobility technology program within your business, you should first define your strategic organizational goals. Consider the maturity of the mobility program in your company. How integrated is your global mobility program in the overall talent strategy of the business?

Some benefits that a transformational technology will bring to your business include moving mobility calculations in-house, reducing time spent on manual tasks, and streamlining year-end processes. Topia’s mobility technology will also integrate with existing HRIS systems, reduce W-2cs, and provide clearer insight on immigration and visa timelines.

Tools to evaluate tech solutions

To effectively evaluate all of the options for your business, there are many considerations.  Here are a few to consider:

Compliance. The environment has changed entirely concerning compliance. What was once an afterthought, today needs to be a core offering of the global mobility product you’re considering for your business.

Integration. Consider how the technology integrates with your HRIS systems. How has the mobility technology company demonstrated this in the past?

Data management and reporting analytics. Is it predictive? Is it visual? Is it easily accessible? Explore how sophisticated the integration is and how the hands-on experience of using the tools compares to other technology offerings.

Other criteria to consider before making your decision include:

How well does the system…

  • Adapt and evolve?
  • Facilitate the employee journey?
  • Get implemented?
  • Provide issue resolution and support for both standard and advanced issues?

In working with a prospective technology provider, you need to agree on what global mobility tech implementation looks like for your company. Work together to create a forecast and build a business plan, inclusive of your resources and requirements needed to manage the implementation. For more information on this topic, check out our webinar: The Technology Landscape for a Globally-Mobile Workforce: Evaluating Your HR Tech Options.

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