Innovation Spotlight

Hey, HR! Your New Talent Acquisition Partner Is Next Door

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.

Mobility and Talent Acquisition in Action

Global Employee Mobility Director Kerwin Guillermo of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) shared two examples of how he is cultivating such a relationship.

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.

Mobility’s Global Solutions

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 mobility.

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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