Global Payroll
February 10, 2024

What Is Global Talent Mobility? And Why Do So Many Companies Suck at It?

Global talent mobility optimises workforce management, fills skill gaps, and boosts retention, engagement, performance, and growth for organisations.

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Formalities over—why do so many companies suck at talent mobility? That’s really the question worth asking.

Before we answer it, let’s onboard the ‘what is?’ question a little more thoroughly. "Talent mobility" refers to a movement within an organization, while "global talent mobility" specifically focuses on movement across international locations.

An effective Internal mobility strategy is essential for companies operating in a global marketplace, as they enable organisations to manage their international workforce more efficiently and effectively, Which in turn helps alleviate any skills gaps in an organization.

What is Internal Mobility and Why Matters to Your Company's Success

Internal mobility is the practice of moving employees within an organization to different positions or departments, and it's a critical component of global talent mobility. Internal mobility can provide numerous benefits to both employers and employees, such as increased employee engagement, retention, productivity, and the development of a diverse and skilled workforce.

However, many companies struggle with internal talent mobility due to a lack of clear career aspirations and paths, underinvestment in employee talent development, and the associated costs of external hiring. By prioritizing internal mobility, companies can reduce external candidates hiring costs, retain top talent, and create a culture of continuous learning and development.

To improve internal talent mobility, companies can:

  • manage talent
  • leverage technology to facilitate cross-functional skills development and internal and external job matching
  • create a talent pipeline to help international employees advance their careers within the organization

Global Mobility Services Meaning

If plain talent mobility is an organization’s ability to move talent between roles, then ‘global talent mobility’ is exactly the same, except with its bags packed and a round-the-world ticket in hand.

Global mobility in single-country organizations

If you’re a single-country business or organization, your talent mobility framework can be as simple as promoting your smartest alecs from one department into another—perhaps via a trip up a couple of floors in the company elevator.

At worst, it may be a cross-country journey to another office in another state, county or province. All your HR team need to do is arrange their transport, and possibly accommodation, and hope their new teammates embrace them without interpersonal politics and the ensuing HR debacles.

Global mobility in multinational organizations

For multinational businesses and organisations—or expansion-ready ones about to break into a new country for the first time—global talent mobility instantly takes on new flavors,  not all of them palatable.

Suddenly, relocating talent means more than an elevator trip in the same building, a taxi ride across town, or a flight across the country.

Read about Remote-Readiness Checklist: 5 Tips to Harness Global Talent Mobility

What are the challenges when mobility goes global?

Both talent mobility and global talent mobility are about one thing: Placing the right people with the right skills in the right roles at the right time.

In both cases—whether local or global—an organization’s ability to mobilize talent strategically is a direct measure of its ability to remain competitive, resilient to change and innovate to sustain growth.

The difference is, the moment your talent needs to go global, you say ‘hello’ to a cluster of new hurdles in the relocation process for moving employees to other countries.

  • New-country employment law and local-compliance risk
  • Payroll changes and employee classification by region
  • Possible visa and work-eligibility admin
  • Mounting costs, known and unknown
  • Additional hires for local payroll and tax

Is it any wonder so many employers won’t budge to accommodate employee requests to let them take their job with them when life plans take them overseas?

To make a global mobility program successful, organizations need to proactively address the challenges mentioned earlier. They must:

  • Comply with local laws and regulations
  • Establish fair and competitive compensation and benefits
  • Provide comprehensive support for relocation
  • Foster an inclusive and supportive workplace culture

Ultimately, talent mobility is the intersection of global mobility and talent management that can help organizations navigate the complex and dynamic global business environment.

Download our guide: Strategies used by South African leaders to mitigate the impacts of the brain drain.

Why Do So Many Companies Suck at Global Mobility?

Much like the relationship status between global mobility talent management and the talent whose relocation requests get turned down—it’s complicated.

The truth is, it’s often not the employers' fault. It’s not so much a case of ‘sucking’ at global mobility, it’s more of a case of being petrified by the risks involved.

Unless new market opportunities overseas are irresistible and fully scoped out, then many employers simply aren’t willing to stomach the risk of:

  • Creating new employer entities or physical offices
  • Doing the local employment-law legwork
  • Hiring local payroll and tax agents

If your talent mobility program is incorrect, your company could potentially face being slapped with fines for having  overlooked crucial details in employer obligations.

With all of that hanging over employers like a grand compliance piano, is it any wonder they say ‘all the best in your new endeavours’ to existing employees forced to choose between job and life plans?

Don’t sign that ‘sorry you’re leaving card’ just yet.

Here’s a global mobility bombshell—it doesn’t have to end that way. What if you could say ‘bon voyage!’ instead of ‘adios’?

Businesses savvy enough to enlist the help of an Employer of Record partner can let loose with a talent mobility strategy free of escalating cost and compliance risk.

How Does an Employer of Record Partner Help Improve Global Mobility Strategy?

Your Employer of Record partner has one core responsibility—to accept legal liability as the on-paper employer they help you hire. Don’t confuse an EoR partner with a professional employer organization (PEO).

PEOs: act, in effect like an outsourced HR team. More ‘service provider’ than ‘global expansion partner’.
EOR partners with fully-owned entities: such as our humble selves, to shield and enable your global talent mobility strategy through ready-made, compliant employer infrastructure. It’s worth adding that an EoR partner can also offer HR services like payroll and benefits management.

With an EoR partner like Playroll, your global talent mobility team can truly grow wings, unrestrained by the usual cost, complexity and compliance strings usually involved in relocating talent.

A thorough global mobility talent strategy is essential for organizations looking to stay competitive in today's globalized world.

A robust talent mobility strategy should also be aligned with the company's business goals and values. In today's dynamic and ever-changing business environment, a comprehensive talent mobility strategy is not just a nice-to-have but a must-have for companies looking to succeed and thrive in the global marketplace.

An effective talent mobility strategy requires well-planned approach that considers factors such as cultural differences, language barriers, immigration requirements, and local labor laws.

Benefits of Global Talent Mobility

  • Facilitates access to a global talent pool
  • Allows employees to expand their skills and gain international experience
  • Creates mutual benefits for organisations and employees
  • Enhances companies' ability to attract, retain, and develop top talent globally
  • Maximises operational efficiency and reduces risks
  • Fosters cultural intelligence and diversity within companies
  • Leads to improved decision-making and problem-solving capabilities
  • In addition to facilitating global talent mobility, an EOR partner can also offer HR services such as payroll and benefits management, freeing up resources for the organisation to focus on its core business while streamlining processes for hiring managers.

    Read more about the top 3 benefits of global talent mobility.

    Employer of Record partner with added ‘SaaS’ = Seamless Global Talent Mobility Solutions

    Besides all the on-the-ground legal support delivered by in-country specialists, Playroll’s global employer infrastructure—25 years in the making—is geared into a free, slick SaaS dashboard.

    That’s where HR teams and hiring managers, payroll pros and internal recruiters can start planning HR costs by country for relocating top talent or hiring new talent.

    To get started, do the ‘demo’ thing and we’ll show you the ropes before creating your free Playroll EOR toys to play with—you won’t be billed a dime until you make your first hire.

    We offer a comprehensive and effective global talent mobility program to help you navigate the intricacies of international business and ensure compliance with local laws and regulations. Our program includes visa and work permit assistance, tax and payroll compliance and relocation support, among other global workforce services.

    With our global talent mobility program, you can expand your business into new markets and access top global talent from around the world, while also providing your employees with opportunities for career growth and development.

    Our aim is to assist our clients in navigating the complexities of international business and providing their employees with a seamless talent mobility experience. Our global mobility program is the ultimate ally for anyone seeking to expand their business globally, attract top talent from around the world and provide their existing employees with opportunities for growth and talent development. Contact us today to discover how we can assist you in achieving your internal talent mobility objectives.

    With our deep expertise and comprehensive approach, our global mobility consultant is an ultimate ally for anyone seeking to navigate the complex world of hiring globally.

    Formalities over—why do so many companies suck at talent mobility? That’s really the question worth asking.

    Before we answer it, let’s onboard the ‘what is?’ question a little more thoroughly. "Talent mobility" refers to a movement within an organization, while "global talent mobility" specifically focuses on movement across international locations.

    An effective Internal mobility strategy is essential for companies operating in a global marketplace, as they enable organisations to manage their international workforce more efficiently and effectively, Which in turn helps alleviate any skills gaps in an organization.

    What is Internal Mobility and Why Matters to Your Company's Success

    Internal mobility is the practice of moving employees within an organization to different positions or departments, and it's a critical component of global talent mobility. Internal mobility can provide numerous benefits to both employers and employees, such as increased employee engagement, retention, productivity, and the development of a diverse and skilled workforce.

    However, many companies struggle with internal talent mobility due to a lack of clear career aspirations and paths, underinvestment in employee talent development, and the associated costs of external hiring. By prioritizing internal mobility, companies can reduce external candidates hiring costs, retain top talent, and create a culture of continuous learning and development.

    To improve internal talent mobility, companies can:

    • manage talent
    • leverage technology to facilitate cross-functional skills development and internal and external job matching
    • create a talent pipeline to help international employees advance their careers within the organization

    Global Mobility Services Meaning

    If plain talent mobility is an organization’s ability to move talent between roles, then ‘global talent mobility’ is exactly the same, except with its bags packed and a round-the-world ticket in hand.

    Global mobility in single-country organizations

    If you’re a single-country business or organization, your talent mobility framework can be as simple as promoting your smartest alecs from one department into another—perhaps via a trip up a couple of floors in the company elevator.

    At worst, it may be a cross-country journey to another office in another state, county or province. All your HR team need to do is arrange their transport, and possibly accommodation, and hope their new teammates embrace them without interpersonal politics and the ensuing HR debacles.

    Global mobility in multinational organizations

    For multinational businesses and organisations—or expansion-ready ones about to break into a new country for the first time—global talent mobility instantly takes on new flavors,  not all of them palatable.

    Suddenly, relocating talent means more than an elevator trip in the same building, a taxi ride across town, or a flight across the country.

    Read about Remote-Readiness Checklist: 5 Tips to Harness Global Talent Mobility

    What are the challenges when mobility goes global?

    Both talent mobility and global talent mobility are about one thing: Placing the right people with the right skills in the right roles at the right time.

    In both cases—whether local or global—an organization’s ability to mobilize talent strategically is a direct measure of its ability to remain competitive, resilient to change and innovate to sustain growth.

    The difference is, the moment your talent needs to go global, you say ‘hello’ to a cluster of new hurdles in the relocation process for moving employees to other countries.

    • New-country employment law and local-compliance risk
    • Payroll changes and employee classification by region
    • Possible visa and work-eligibility admin
    • Mounting costs, known and unknown
    • Additional hires for local payroll and tax

    Is it any wonder so many employers won’t budge to accommodate employee requests to let them take their job with them when life plans take them overseas?

    To make a global mobility program successful, organizations need to proactively address the challenges mentioned earlier. They must:

    • Comply with local laws and regulations
    • Establish fair and competitive compensation and benefits
    • Provide comprehensive support for relocation
    • Foster an inclusive and supportive workplace culture

    Ultimately, talent mobility is the intersection of global mobility and talent management that can help organizations navigate the complex and dynamic global business environment.

    Download our guide: Strategies used by South African leaders to mitigate the impacts of the brain drain.

    Why Do So Many Companies Suck at Global Mobility?

    Much like the relationship status between global mobility talent management and the talent whose relocation requests get turned down—it’s complicated.

    The truth is, it’s often not the employers' fault. It’s not so much a case of ‘sucking’ at global mobility, it’s more of a case of being petrified by the risks involved.

    Unless new market opportunities overseas are irresistible and fully scoped out, then many employers simply aren’t willing to stomach the risk of:

    • Creating new employer entities or physical offices
    • Doing the local employment-law legwork
    • Hiring local payroll and tax agents

    If your talent mobility program is incorrect, your company could potentially face being slapped with fines for having  overlooked crucial details in employer obligations.

    With all of that hanging over employers like a grand compliance piano, is it any wonder they say ‘all the best in your new endeavours’ to existing employees forced to choose between job and life plans?

    Don’t sign that ‘sorry you’re leaving card’ just yet.

    Here’s a global mobility bombshell—it doesn’t have to end that way. What if you could say ‘bon voyage!’ instead of ‘adios’?

    Businesses savvy enough to enlist the help of an Employer of Record partner can let loose with a talent mobility strategy free of escalating cost and compliance risk.

    How Does an Employer of Record Partner Help Improve Global Mobility Strategy?

    Your Employer of Record partner has one core responsibility—to accept legal liability as the on-paper employer they help you hire. Don’t confuse an EoR partner with a professional employer organization (PEO).

    PEOs: act, in effect like an outsourced HR team. More ‘service provider’ than ‘global expansion partner’.
    EOR partners with fully-owned entities: such as our humble selves, to shield and enable your global talent mobility strategy through ready-made, compliant employer infrastructure. It’s worth adding that an EoR partner can also offer HR services like payroll and benefits management.

    With an EoR partner like Playroll, your global talent mobility team can truly grow wings, unrestrained by the usual cost, complexity and compliance strings usually involved in relocating talent.

    A thorough global mobility talent strategy is essential for organizations looking to stay competitive in today's globalized world.

    A robust talent mobility strategy should also be aligned with the company's business goals and values. In today's dynamic and ever-changing business environment, a comprehensive talent mobility strategy is not just a nice-to-have but a must-have for companies looking to succeed and thrive in the global marketplace.

    An effective talent mobility strategy requires well-planned approach that considers factors such as cultural differences, language barriers, immigration requirements, and local labor laws.

    Benefits of Global Talent Mobility

  • Facilitates access to a global talent pool
  • Allows employees to expand their skills and gain international experience
  • Creates mutual benefits for organisations and employees
  • Enhances companies' ability to attract, retain, and develop top talent globally
  • Maximises operational efficiency and reduces risks
  • Fosters cultural intelligence and diversity within companies
  • Leads to improved decision-making and problem-solving capabilities
  • In addition to facilitating global talent mobility, an EOR partner can also offer HR services such as payroll and benefits management, freeing up resources for the organisation to focus on its core business while streamlining processes for hiring managers.

    Read more about the top 3 benefits of global talent mobility.

    Employer of Record partner with added ‘SaaS’ = Seamless Global Talent Mobility Solutions

    Besides all the on-the-ground legal support delivered by in-country specialists, Playroll’s global employer infrastructure—25 years in the making—is geared into a free, slick SaaS dashboard.

    That’s where HR teams and hiring managers, payroll pros and internal recruiters can start planning HR costs by country for relocating top talent or hiring new talent.

    To get started, do the ‘demo’ thing and we’ll show you the ropes before creating your free Playroll EOR toys to play with—you won’t be billed a dime until you make your first hire.

    We offer a comprehensive and effective global talent mobility program to help you navigate the intricacies of international business and ensure compliance with local laws and regulations. Our program includes visa and work permit assistance, tax and payroll compliance and relocation support, among other global workforce services.

    With our global talent mobility program, you can expand your business into new markets and access top global talent from around the world, while also providing your employees with opportunities for career growth and development.

    Our aim is to assist our clients in navigating the complexities of international business and providing their employees with a seamless talent mobility experience. Our global mobility program is the ultimate ally for anyone seeking to expand their business globally, attract top talent from around the world and provide their existing employees with opportunities for growth and talent development. Contact us today to discover how we can assist you in achieving your internal talent mobility objectives.

    With our deep expertise and comprehensive approach, our global mobility consultant is an ultimate ally for anyone seeking to navigate the complex world of hiring globally.

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