Topia | How to solve the complexities of having a global workforce

How to solve the complexities of having a global workforce
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Nina Breneman

Nina Breneman

Solutions Consultant



As the reach of global organisations extends to new geographies, HR teams are faced with the challenge of hiring and managing a global workforce.

According to Paul Sparrow, Professor of International HR at Lancaster University Management School, solving the complexities of a global workforce is a leading challenge for HR teams today. Even for organisations with an established global mobility team, there are specific actions that can address the challenges of having a global workforce. Data-driven insights in the following areas can help you better manage—and understand—your global workforce:

Sourcing talent from global talent pools involves a number of challenges, from understanding local labour markets to identifying individuals who possess the desire and ability to relocate regionally or internationally. A survey of over 13,000 global job seekers found that 64% were interested in finding work in another country. However, there still remains a global talent shortage with companies struggling to fill positions. Mobility teams can add value to global recruiting efforts by offering insights about the costs of employee mobility by location, job level, and length of assignment - helping to forecast the cost and time to fill global roles.

Diversity and Inclusion
Mobility teams are tasked with ensuring individuals moving between locations have the resources and knowledge needed to navigate cultural differences and be successful in their new location. They can also provide data and metrics that help organisations understand workforce demographics. As diversity and inclusion continue to be recognised as an important factor in an organisations competitive advantage, there will be a need to learn more about how diversity and mobility decisions interact. Mobility teams can play a valuable role in helping organisations track this information.

Learning and Development
International assignments are valuable talent development tools that can help any global organisation build a workforce skilled at working with a variety of cultures. In this survey of mobility professionals, building global management experience was named as one of the top reasons for sending employees on international assignments. The mobility team can be a valuable voice in talent management discussions by presenting data that helps organisations understand the impact of international assignments on an employee’s readiness for promotion or movement into a leadership position.

Organisations with global workforces need to have the capability to deploy the right people to the right roles, wherever they are based. Because of the complexity of the global labour market as well as the need to make data-driven and cost-efficient mobility decisions, HR and mobility professionals must work together to understand the rationale, benefit, and value associated with every mobility decision. When that happens, organisations are in a much better position to build a highly-qualified, diverse, and capable global workforce.

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