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Key Workforce Mobility Challenges Addressed at UN and Spring Virtual Conference

Lynn Shotwell, GMS, SHRM-SCP - May 20 2022
Published in: Mobility
 Event-Filled Week Showcases Conversations on Industry-Wide Issues

What an amazing week this has been for the global mobility industry. In New York City at the United Nations (UN) on Monday, May 16, migration experts from across the globe, as well as the Worldwide ERC® global immigration policy forum co-chairs, Azmina Aboobaker from Meta and Jurga McCluskey from Deloitte, and myself, presented the case for efficient, flexible, and transparent migration systems that use modern technology to help companies access the skills needed to move our world forward. The issues discussed at the UN were the perfect segue to the Worldwide ERC Spring Virtual Conference.

The Spring Virtual Conference highlighted the many challenges our industry is facing. As we heard from our industry vertical panels, visas and borders are just two of the things standing in our way. The fierce competition for talent intersecting with increasing demand for flexible work and low housing inventory adds to the complexity of the issues we face. This is changing the scope of mobility policies and creating new compliance concerns. Transferees expect digital tools, more control and transparency – even as privacy concerns around technology continue to rise and as geopolitical risks and continuing health concerns from the pandemic are making duty of care a table stake instead of something nice to have.

Additionally, some of these supply chain issues result from an unforeseen imbalance between supply and demand that business will ultimately resolve, but other issues require governments to act – and we are making that happen. We advocated for change at the UN, and our public policy forums are working with policymakers on tax, data privacy, e-notarization, and a multitude of compliance and other issues in the United States and abroad.

The keynote chat with John Murray, CEO of Sonesta Hotels, about how the hospitality company seized the opportunity to grow from 80 to 1,200 properties during the pandemic showed the key role that corporate housing played in their success. The type of growth they experienced could not have happened without relocation of talent.

As we identified unknowns in the nature of the role workforce mobility will play in the future, we were reminded many times over this week of the Power of our One Industry to come together and solve the tough challenges. While relocation volumes are returning to near 2019 levels, the traditional relocation market as we have known it may not ever fully return. We are updating our Transfer Volume Survey this summer to capture these changes in the market.

Regardless of volume, the variety of work in the mobility function, the evolving role of mobility itself, and the ever-complex regulatory environment indicate we will be busier than ever – and we will need to rely on each other more than ever – to learn, to laugh and to move the world forward.

And now that the Spring Virtual Conference is in the books, we can turn our attention to the Global Workforce Symposium 2022 in Las Vegas, October 26 – 28. Check out a preview here. Game On!