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Talent mobility – the next frontier of HR excellence by Brynne Herbert featured on Changeboard


This piece was originally featured on Changeboard.

This month, MOVE Guides and the RES Forum launched new research on the critical role that talent mobility plays towards the success of the 21st century organisation.

The paper is based on the findings from our recent joint survey of 80 HR professionals from some of the most influential companies around the world.

Defining success

Success in the 21st century requires a new perspective on managing, developing and retaining global talent. A successful 21st century organisation is one that consistently outperforms its business and talent objectives. And there are five core pillars that can drive that success: global reach, learning culture, employee engagement, technology enablement and financial efficiency. These equip companies and their workforce with the skills, systems and data to succeed amid a changing macroeconomic landscape.

Talent mobility plays an unprecedented role in supporting success for the 21st century organisation as it underpins all of the five key pillars. However, our survey found that companies are struggling to implement a world-class talent mobility programme that delivers successful outcomes for all stakeholders involved – from employees to finance to the boardroom. 

Are you getting the most from talent mobility?

Shockingly, yet not surprisingly 0%, of respondents said their talent mobility programme exceeds expectations, and only 18% said their talent mobility programme meets expectations.

Our research also found that 25% of respondents believed that talent mobility was the most time-consuming and complex HR function. When comparing the way that respondents rated how time-consuming and complex the other HR functions were, talent mobility scored greater than learning and development, recruitment, reward and performance management, combined. 

As companies face continued labour and skills shortages in their local markets, the ability to attract and retain top talent has become a key competitive advantage for the 21st century organization. According to our survey, 49% of companies believe sourcing staff from a global talent pool is important for company success, but only 12% of companies feel they do it effectively. 

Additionally, less than 6% of responding organisations said they are highly effective at managing the process of developing appropriate career opportunities abroad for their employees. Matching the right talent with the right career opportunities – at the right time, location and cost – is a fundamental component of talent acquisition, talent management and career development. 

The 21st century organisation is also being transformed by technology. Cloud technology has fundamentally changed the way that employees work in all departments. Employees can now access files and data from anywhere, making physical presence in the office less important than ever before. Global teams can collaborate on projects and processes, and integrated systems share information cross functionally, helping companies make business decisions and identify cost savings.

Our survey shows that almost 72% of companies don’t use cloud technology for talent mobility management and 43% don’t have any technology solution for their programme – still using excel and email to manage the processes, communications and reporting of talent mobility.  

Their top three challenges with talent mobility programmes are high costs, compliance risks and too many points of contact – all critical problems that can be reduced with the right technology in place. We observe that in the companies that have not yet adopted technological innovation, information is fragmented and teams are laden with administrative burdens, while employees are underserved during critical professional and personal transitions. Cost efficiencies are virtually impossible to identify or capture. 

Get to grips with technology

Cloud platforms are enabling HR and mobility teams to better meet business objectives with significant cost savings, so that resources can be reinvested into strategic initiatives. Of those companies that use technology, 76% agreed that they are much more able to manage compliance risks, 69% agreed that they have a much better handle on cost control for programmes and 76% agreed that administrative tasks have been greatly reduced through cloud platforms. 

We believe that talent mobility is at a turning point. Companies can no longer delay the necessary investment in technology, processes and people to deliver a high performance talent mobility programme and meet their business objectives. Is your organization ready to drive success in the 21st century? 

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