Workforce mobility is a rapidly evolving commercial reality and, in my experience, risks and opportunities associated with this evolution present themselves frequently. As a functional lead, it is my responsibility to mitigate risk or seize such opportunity as I see fit and in line with business interests.
To start with, the burgeoning number or greater diversity of cross border employment models facing multinationals today is both a risk and an opportunity.
Some companies, for example, define themselves or their employer brand through the international working opportunities they offer as a key attractant for talent; particularly, perhaps, for those employers whose employees are at an age where moving overseas is not excessively disruptive. Furthermore, I’m sure that most organisations are also very conscious of the simple reality that with the growth of commercial globalisation with employers of all sizes going global themselves, cross border working is fast becoming the norm.
Increasingly, however, some organisations are seeing resistance to traditional cross-border opportunities such as the short-term assignment, expat deals and permanent moves. People want the opportunity to see the world but on their terms; be it duration or even location.
“A local package in Amsterdam? No thanks – but I always wanted to live in Paris…’’
This is fast becoming the framework within which mobility managers must work today and I believe it comes down to expectations. In a challenging employment market, employees have more leverage to state what they want and where they want it. The ongoing ‘war for talent’ and a new, multi-generational workforce with its own demands, realities and personal circumstances add fuel to this fire.