Deloitte study reveals current global mobility strategies
New York, NY, 29 November 2012 — Organizations are aware of both the requirements and the current limitations of their global mobility programs; however they are not translating that awareness into improvement and change, according to a new report by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL). This is based on the latest annual survey of almost 200 HR, talent and global mobility professionals from companies around the world, entitled Strategic Moves.
A mere 2% of organizations see their global mobility functions as world class, and only 12% perform assessments of their mobility practices and make clear links back to improvement efforts they need to make.
Brett Walsh, Global Human Capital leader, DTTL, says: “The survey results show that organizations recognise the need for a global, mobile workforce to support their business strategies. However, despite a keen awareness of worldwide mobility issues, there is slow progress to make the relevant improvements. Where organizations are taking steps, they appear to be aligning their international mobility strategies with functional needs, rather than also focusing on developing the next generation of global leaders with international experience required to run the global organizations of the future.”
Different requirements of global mobility
Organizations recognise global mobility as an important tool to support the top strategic business issues and support the business in addressing the top three strategy issues: emerging geographical markets (100%), increasing globalization (99%), and increasing competition (98%). However, on average, less than 30% are using mobility to completely address those issues.
Nicky Holt, Global Employer Services leader, DTTL, says: “Business and global mobility leaders have opportunities to deepen ties with each other, and a third of the organizations surveyed say they are planning on reviewing their global mobility strategies in the next 12 months, including reviewing the alignment with business issues and goals. Global mobility leaders must be involved in strategy discussions in order to explain the value that assignments can bring to developing talent, as well as aligning with changing business drivers that may affect the way they structure their programs and deliver services.”
Perception of the global mobility function
Survey respondents were asked whether they felt global mobility was a purely administrative function, a strategic value-add, or both. Those in business HR roles were most likely to see it as strategic (42%). However, in stark contrast, those tasked with high-level talent and reward responsibilities and the ability to elevate global mobility to the realm of strategy – were most likely to see it as just administrative (42%).
There is a widespread recognition of the need to improve the services that mobility teams provide; however the vast majority of organizations surveyed (88%) are undertaking only a limited assessment of the services that are currently being offered.
The way forward
In order to align global mobility strategies with business’ issues and goals in the longer term, global mobility will need to support business more effectively by providing global workforce management, where they manage an organization’s global supply and demand of skills and talent. This will require the mobility function to acquire new skills and capabilities.
Brett Walsh concludes: “If positioned appropriately, by adding global workforce management capabilities to its suite of services, global mobility can be the key player in solving an organization’s long-term skill supply-and-demand talent gaps. This will require a departure from the current model and a strong vision of the future.
“Organizations need to make two types of investments in order to achieve this. Firstly, they need to invest in their wider functional HR capabilities such as integrated HR, talent and global mobility technologies to facilitate global standard reporting across various employee metrics. Secondly, this initial investment will then allow them to invest ahead of the talent demand curve to create the required supply of talent to meet their future organization growth aspirations.”
To access the full report please visit: www.deloitte.com/strategicmoves
Notes to editor
About the survey
DTTL surveyed over 195 participants across all major regions across the world with Europe (44%) and North America (35%) as the main contributors. The survey was completed by senior HR professionals – heads of HR, talent, reward/C&B or mobility and senior HR business partners. More than a quarter of the organizations surveyed have an annual turnover of more than US$10 billion and virtually all industry sectors were accounted for. The organizations surveyed have an aggregate of 108,000 global assignments.
Following collation of the survey results, initial themes were developed and these findings were validated with input from major multinational organizations through in-depth discussions. This process helped to verify themes and to develop the background arguments in more detail.
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see www.deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.
Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. With a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries, Deloitte brings world-class capabilities and high-quality service to clients, delivering the insights they need to address their most complex business challenges. Deloitte has in the region of 200,000 professionals, all committed to becoming the standard of excellence.