With the growth in business and competition, companies need more
and more of their assignees to travel abroad wherein the role of
technology tools and global mobility software become a vital
component for a successful relocation program.
As the global assignee population is increasing constantly it is
important to understand how technology is utilized in managing
mobility programs. Global Mobility Managers must adopt make use of
an array of practical, insightful and value added services,
software or programs covering areas such as programme, vendor and
cost management; global tax and social security services;
immigration compliance; business traveller services; and incentive
tracking and withholding. If they already have the software in
place, they must gage whether it being used consistently and if it
is meeting the company's need.
Certain Factors affecting Technology Adoption by Global
Global Workforce size: Workforce size being the
obvious factor – a multinational company with only a small
percentage of employees working outside their home country would
have different needs from an employer with thousands of expatriate
assignees to manage.
Attitude towards Outsourcing: If a company
tends to manage all aspects of HR management internally, then more
reliability is placed on data, metrics, software and processes
managed in-house. But if this aspect is already outsourced a
company may be more likely favourable for a relocation agency to
manage foreign moves and payroll compliance, attorneys to
facilitate visas and work permits and consultants to monitor
expatriate workforce attitude.
HR Staffing: Most companies believe that if
they have a dedicated team of HR management, they can substitute it
for a robust, technology based strategy for managing human resource
Technology sophistication and ease of use:
Simple, modular programmes and software are accepted more quickly
than complex, fully integrated ones that require customization
before use. From a company's perspective, the risk of adopting
a new technology increases with that technology's difficulty
Industry: The use of technology to support
global mobility varies from industry to industry. Tracking simple
to more complex patterns may require more technical tools than just
an excel spreadsheet.
Compliance continues to be crucial, adding another layer of
complexity for mobility. As regulatory pressures increase and
governments around the world are stepping up enforcement of laws
and regulations, mobility leaders must be increasingly vigilant
about ensuring their programs are compliant.
Playing a vital role in a company's talent management
strategy and maintaining cost effective, successful global programs
while meeting the challenges brought on by forging into difficult
markets will require a fresh approach to mobility management.
The challenge for mobility will be to continue to innovate while
bringing an upskilled level of business intelligence to discussions
of mobility program effectiveness that will enable them to
articulate a powerful value proposition not necessarily focused on
cost alone. It will be up to global mobility leaders to offer
solutions and develop innovative approaches to mobility practices
that bring demonstrable value to the business.
Mobility must be aware about the challenges inherent in
international assignments, work to attract the right candidates,
and look at cost reduction as a strategy. In other words, global
mobility managers must bring a newer, more mindful approach to
their practice. In this way, they may ultimately be much more
successful in harmonizing these often competing objectives in this
changing and complex business environment.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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