A significant majority of companies have not yet adopted the practices that create tighter alignment between their employee mobility and talent management goals, according to findings from the Brookfield Global Relocation Services (Brookfield GRS) 2016 Global Mobility Trends Survey.
Brookfield GRS, a leading provider of global mobility services, surveyed Global Mobility and Human Resources leaders from 163 multinational companies and found that for 90 percent, the journey to fully align the global mobility function with their talent management objectives – and thereby maximize their investments – is still ongoing. “We found that 10 percent of responding companies are further ahead in realizing the benefit of closer alignment with wider workforce planning goals,” said Diane Douiyssi, Director, Brookfield GRS’ Global Consulting Services practice and co-author of the survey report. “Cross-border employee mobility can be a key contributor to the larger human capital plan and enable efforts to attract, develop and retain talent to help organizations navigate the increasingly complex global business landscape – simultaneously achieving other vital business objectives.”
Attributes of the 10 Percent Achieving Valuable Outcomes
The survey results and Brookfield GRS experts point to six key commonalities among those companies who have gained the greatest results aligning mobility with advancing their talent management strategies. Accordingly Brookfield GRS recommends the following for companies looking to leverage their investment in international assignments for maximum impact:
- Integrate global mobility into employees’ overall career planning thereby improving engagement and retention
- Track and measure mobility program performance and leverage the data for more insightful conversation with internal business leaders
- Focus on candidates with necessary leadership attributes
- Maintain a candidate pool for future international assignments
- Provide support for employee acclimation – both on assignment and during repatriation
- Build the pipeline of future leaders: engage millennials for international positions
The Key Findings report examines in detail how the leading companies derive better outcomes by improved structure of their employee mobility program and alignment to the talent agenda. Download the report: http://globalmobilitytrends.brookfieldgrs.com
The survey findings address many important areas of consideration for employee mobility teams and talent management, notably the critical contributions the global mobility team and program can make when it’s in proper alignment with the overall talent objectives of the organization,” said Gill Aldred, Director of Brookfield GRS’ Global Consulting Services and co-author of the survey report. “Evolution like this naturally takes time, and today’s economic backdrop creates significant challenges for companies focused on delivering more with less. Yet opportunities to align strategically and achieve greater ROI abound.”
Additional Survey Key Findings
Other key findings from the 2016 survey demonstrate the varied stages companies are in while evolving to achieve more through their mobility programs. Among the results: Only 51 percent of companies track actual total costs of international assignments, yet 69 percent say there is an effort to reduce mobility program costs. The survey authors question the success rate of cost cutting efforts while deeper understanding of costs overall seems elusive. Respondents estimate that 26 percent of candidates sent abroad for a leadership position do not possess the necessary skills to be successful in the host location.
Just 23 percent of all respondents have a specific process for career planning from the time an international assignment is accepted. Just over a quarter (33 percent) of companies do not have a formal means for individuals to designate themselves as a potential candidate for international assignments. This year’s respondents reported that 25 percent of international assignees are female, the highest ever reported in 21 years of this study. Nearly one-third (32 percent) state that spouse / partner concerns related to moving internationally have significant impact on their ability to attract first-choice candidates for international roles. Despite research that shows a true appetite among millennials for international opportunities, Millennials are not strongly represented in international assignments, hovering at 11 percent of assignees from respondents’ companies.