The mobility function traditionally has had minimal
involvement in talent acquisition, but that could be changing soon.
A massive and growing
skills shortage is mandating creative approaches to sourcing, attracting
and hiring skilled talent – and mobility professionals are well-positioned to
bring some solutions.
Principal/Partner Ed Hannibal, GMS, Deloitte Tax LLP points
out: “Historically, global mobility professionals have had clear swim lanes
around cross-border assignments, but now they are being pulled into areas like
talent acquisition.” Hannibal is one of
the 21 thought leaders who contributed to Worldwide ERC®’s new report, The Perfect Storm:
Talent Mobility Leaders Decode the Future, which foretells a closer
strategic partnership between talent acquisition and mobility.
Global Employee Mobility Director Kerwin Guillermo of Hewlett
Packard Enterprise (HPE) shared two examples of how he is cultivating such a
When he scrutinized HPE’s declined offers, Guillermo found that
many of the candidates were choosing to accept roles with start-up tech
companies. Aware that international experience is valued among candidates—he
began to emphasize an appealing feature to potential recruits: HPE has
opportunities for global mobility supported by a mature system for managing it,
as well as a good reputation as an established global company.
Guillermo also notes that the key to keeping mobility
relevant is to “focus on revenue generation and fulfillment of business goals.”
At one juncture, he identified revenue-generating jobs in HPE’s largest
business group that had gone unfilled for 120 days. He approached the head of
HR to propose that mobility work with talent acquisition to fill some of those
roles with one-way moves. The cost of such moves was more than offset by the
savings from recruitment fees and the revenue generation that resulted from
filling those roles more quickly.
A key strategy for spotting skilled talent involves knowing
where the skills reside within an organization’s existing workforce. Adobe’s Head
of Global Mobility Jacquie Davidson notes the strategic role mobility
professionals can play if they can contribute to workforce planning by
identifying where talent resides and which people can be moved, to where, how
quickly, and at what cost. Expectations are increasing that mobility
professionals have the skills and knowledge to provide this insight.
Related: A New Era:
Global Assignments, Global Leaders
Managing Partner Sean Collins of Talent Mobility Search indicates
technology is beginning to solve this talent-location problem: “Organizations
will start looking at their global talent supply to fill skills gaps and rely
on technology to track where that talent sits. That will open up a lot more
mobility. Companies will be able to look at a business need and the skills and
competencies required for it and instead of just looking locally, they will
search globally to see where the needed skill sets and talent reside.”
Mike Piker, head of global talent rewards/people technology
for Naspers, agrees, emphasizing that “the analytics and people technology
platforms are improving dramatically to define, identify and deploy the people
skills you require in a specific location and role.” He is currently working
with third-party HCM/mobility platforms to identify how many people with a
specific skill set reside within a particular labor market –
intel that is especially helpful when opening new markets and determining
whether to hire locally versus relocating talent to that location. Mapping
talent demand versus supply is part of the future strategic journey of
As skill shortages increase and technology advances, the
relationship between mobility and talent acquisition will strengthen to best
meet the organization’s talent and business needs. For more future-forward
insights from thought leaders on the strategic role of mobility and how skills
shortages can be addressed, read Worldwide ERC®’s report: The Perfect Storm:
Talent Mobility Leaders Decode the Future.
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