Global Mobility Transformation

Managing global business moves – everywhere


Increasing globalization is prompting companies to consider more international assignments than ever before. Unfortunately, many are relying on workforce mobility programs that were designed for different times. The result? Elaborate and expensive expatriate packages. Exceptions become the norm. Soaring program and administrative costs, with escalating regulatory and compliance risks. It becomes all but impossible to execute a business strategy that requires putting the right talent in the right position at the right time—and at the right cost.

We’ve helped some of the world’s largest multinational companies transform their global workforce mobility programs, providing insight and experience across the full spectrum of talent management, total rewards, technology and tax. Learn more about the offering.

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Meet our people

  • Gardiner Hempel, Partner, Deloitte Tax LLP
  • Jonathan Pearce, Principal, Deloitte Tax LLP
  • Rick Wildt, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP
  • Doug Carey, Director, Deloitte Consulting LLP

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A grasp that matches your reach
As global competition accelerates, companies can no longer afford to treat international deployment as a niche activity that provides high-touch and high-cost services to a small group of employees. The problem is aggravated when all expatriates receive the same package, regardless of the assignment’s value or the employee’s level within the organization. This one-size-fits-all approach often results in high costs that may be impossible to rationalize.

A smarter approach transforms global mobility (GM) into a configurable model that’s fast, flexible, cost efficient and aligned with changing business and talent strategies. This requires integrating global mobility with the organization’s Human Resource (HR) and talent strategies and service delivery model while considering the unique challenges of managing a worldwide workforce. That’s no small task.

How we can help

We’ve helped some of the world’s largest multinational companies transform their global workforce mobility programs, providing insight and experience across the full spectrum of talent management, total rewards, technology and tax.

  • Business and HR strategy alignment. HR is there to support a company’s growth by managing talent within the context of the business strategy and by providing the right mix of career opportunities and rewards. A smart workforce mobility program aligns with that goal. A clear plan, with measurable goals, will help leaders evaluate performance and rationalize spending.
  • Streamlined service delivery. Freeing-up the global mobility staff to focus on high-value activities can increase productivity and decrease administrative costs. That means asking in-depth questions: Which routine services can be outsourced? What can be centralized? Are support specialists required, or can HR generalists do the job? How should the work be divided or consolidated among functions: global mobility, human resources, finance and tax?
  • Global employee rewards alignment. Companies that provide a one-size-fits-all package may find that the reward packages often don’t align with the employee’s level within the organization or the overall value and objectives of the assignment. How do you bring them in line? What’s fair and reasonable varies from assignment to assignment and from country to country. Plus, special considerations extend far beyond cost-of-living expenses to availability of health care plans, incompatible retirement benefits, double taxation and more. And once compensation plans are aligned, how do you transition valuable employees who have been enjoying a rich expat package? You’ll need a plan to retain and develop talent globally while meeting your business objectives.
  • Technology solutions. We help clients leverage their existing HR technology where it makes sense by limiting specialized global mobility solutions only to processes that have requirements unique to the GM workforce. We help clients integrate market-leading global mobility technology with existing HR systems including developing and deploying technology that provides visibility to the entire global workforce. This also includes leveraging globally consistent technology where possible to support the end-to-end GM lifecycle processes.
  • Legal and regulatory compliance. Not too long ago, the cost of complying with local regulations could easily outweigh the penalties for non-compliance. That’s all changed as regulatory enforcement in most countries has become more strict and complex and the penalties more severe. We help companies navigate the sea of immigration restrictions, tax filings, local labor laws and pension and benefits requirements in all the countries where business is conducted.

Bottom-line benefits

An integrated strategy for global mobility transformation can help companies in their efforts to:

  • Align global mobility program with the talent and business strategies
  • Measure the ROI and value delivered by the global mobility program
  • Identify and deploy the right employees faster
  • Improve parity and cost efficiency among employee compensation, rewards and pension packages
  • Provide a more consistent employee experience across countries
  • Establish governance policies for making exceptions
  • Standardize service delivery processes and reduce administrative costs
  • Reduce and mitigate compliance and regulatory risk
  • Leverage existing technology solutions to improve service delivery

Three ways to get more value now

A three-step approach to transforming global mobility capabilities can help increase value, decrease cost and mitigate risk.

Refocus. Create a new vision for global mobility that is aligned with the HR and talent objectives to help drive the overall business strategy.

Transform. Support the vision with new global mobility capabilities that are fast, flexible, repeatable, scalable and efficient. For many companies, this may require new systems, policies and processes. It may also require global mobility staff with distinct training and experience.

Rebrand. Change the way your business thinks about global mobility. Communicate how the program creates value for individual employees and for the overall business. Global mobility programs can only add value to the business when employees and business leaders are aligned.

Global Mobility Transformation in action

  • A global consumer products company wanted to develop future global business leaders with on-the-ground international experience. They also wanted to build bench strength by dispatching talent capable of developing local employees. Achieving these goals required expanding the vision for global mobility to support HR’s talent strategies, communicating that vision to business leaders and providing selection guidelines and evaluation processes to make it happen.
  • A global consulting company traditionally offered employees on long-term international assignments a high level of support, regardless of the role they were expected to fill or the value created by the assignment. Global mobility policies were redesigned to assign packages based on the employee’s expected contribution, rather than the length of the assignment. Redesigning the policy and setting employee performance expectations helped reduce global mobility costs by $150 million within six months.
  • A life sciences company’s business managers were dissatisfied with the service provided by the global mobility function. They wanted advice on leveraging international assignments, but the global mobility staff was occupied with coordinating expat services. Turns out, many of these services could be better handled by the HR function and the finance shared services organization (SSO). The work was redistributed, with specialized international support provided by outside vendors, freeing-up global mobility staff to provide the guidance business managers needed.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries.