Mobility: It’s Your ‘Exotic Specialty!’

Anita Brienza, GMS - Jul 26 2018
Published in: Ask the Experts

Immigration. Real estate issues. Tax and legal considerations. Family needs. Household goods shipping. Duty of care concerns. Destination services. Productivity. Data analytics. Temporary housing. Pet transportation.  

The list of essentials that mobility professionals must wrap their arms around on a given day is long and varied. It requires a solid knowledge of multiple services and professions that’s comprehensive enough to address a range of employee needs, align with the corporate budget, negotiate pricing and navigate obstacles.

Mobility’s Unique Space

It’s this range of capabilities that prompted John Pfeiffer, GMS-T, associate client partner at Korn Ferry Hay Group, to share this thought in Worldwide ERC®’s “Perfect Storm” report: The extreme expertise, the strategic vision and insight that are required, and the ability to troubleshoot rapidly in a complex environment makes the mobility profession “an exotic specialty.”

Staying ahead of the issues that employers and employees value has been a hallmark of the mobility profession. As employers think more holistically about sourcing, hiring, moving, engaging and retaining talent, they’ll need to better understand their talent, fold in more flexible and remote work possibilities, and engage in more collaborative solution-finding—based on both analytics and empathy—to build a workforce that serves current business needs.

At the same time, the pool of talent is seeking more purpose, adventure, training, career pathing, leadership opportunities and work options. As the Perfect Storm report notes:

“…this is a call for mobility professionals to demonstrate their superpowers as a strategic partner within the HR circle and to drive closer alignment with all the talent-related players, internally and externally.”

Keeping those “superpowers” current and safeguarding one’s exotic specialty also means maintaining a strong connection to industry issues, building an understanding of analytics, and connecting with other mobility peers for information exchanges and solutions.

Related: A Future Must-Have: Integration of Mobility, Service Provider and HR Databases

The expectations for the future are high for mobility, which often hums along with quiet competence in an organization, then is called upon for strategic insight and problem-solving. Future-proofing the mobility profession will incorporate marketing the mobility function internally to showcase its abilities as a strategic adviser and educator to talent management and business leaders.  

Mobility thought leaders agree that to be sought out as strategic advisors, practitioners must disengage from the task-oriented, administrative mindset that traditionally dominates mobility.

Jacquie Davidson, Head of Global Mobility at Adobe, agreed:

“Some of this is a change of perspective and confidence: We have to see ourselves as strategic partners before others will see us that way. Mobility has traditionally been skewed to the operational and transactional. We need to change our brand, because we’re so much more than that.”

Find out how other mobility experts define their exotic specialty! Download Worldwide ERCⓇ’s report: The Perfect Storm: Talent Mobility Leaders Decode the Future.