Talent and technology: creating a modern, mobile workforce

A positive mobility experience can pay dividends for employers, who will benefit from a more diverse and engaged workforce, explains Peter Clarke, practice leader at PwC Global Mobility Services.

Merging talent and technology
Peter Clarke, practice leader at PwC Global Mobility Services – joint winner of Relocate's 2017 Technological Innovation award – explains how producing a more diverse and engaged workforce can pay dividends for employers.Earlier this year, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, a number of themes emerged which have a direct impact on the talent agenda and global mobility matters. There’s no doubt the overriding theme in Davos was the unprecedented uncertainty in the current global environment.

Combining talent with technology

Rising geopolitical tensions, Brexit, and significant uncertainty resulting from the new US administration top the worry list of global leaders. Nevertheless, our 20th annual CEO survey reflects a rising sense of short-and medium-term optimism on the part of CEOs. US CEOs are especially confident about growth.The challenge is whether this confidence can be translated into business results, as the long-term challenges above coalesce on the global stage.
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One theme that remains constant is that business leaders are continuing their focus on the talent agenda. Despite obvious opportunities resulting from technology – including robotics and artificial intelligence – CEOs recognise that human talent is the one distinctive element that will drive their businesses forward in the future.They see the value of marrying technology with uniquely human capabilities. The skills they consider most important are those that can’t be replicated by machines. CEOs rank creativity, innovation and emotional intelligence as some of most valued skills in the workforce, but also the hardest to find.

Creating a talented and globally mobile workforce

So how do these themes relate to talent deployment and global mobility? As I’ve said before, innovation and creativity will not be driven from behind a virtual-reality headset or through endless videoconferences.Innovation and breakthrough thinking come from the human interaction that happens with face-to-face collaboration and the sharing of diverse ideas of people from different perspectives and diversity. There is simply no substitute for the value of global mobility experiences ─ for both employees and organisations.Therefore, despite the rise of the machines, global mobility will continue to be an important tool for building workforce capability with the skills to complement emerging technology.The results of our PwC survey show that CEOs recognise the need to create greater talent diversity in their workforce through more global mobility and changing employment structures that facilitate talent mobility.
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Global mobility teams should strive to make their organisations’ movement of talent across borders as seamless and as frictionless is possible. This is a goal we are constantly striving to achieve at PwC as well. Helping us meet these goals is a ‘mobile first’ mindset.Mobile goes a long way in driving positive user experiences with its anywhere, any time ease of use. To that end, we recently launched our myMobility app, which assists employees with managing their tax, social security and immigration information in one secure and convenient place. It simplifies the processes of storing and sharing information, saving time and improving accessibility to information flow.Demand for these applications is growing. At PwC, for example, we’ve seen a fivefold increase in the user base of MyMobility in the last 18 months.We believe that employers who can create a positive mobility experience will create a more diverse and more engaged workforce that will feed their organisation’s innovation and creativity needs.
Relocate Magazine front cover Autumn 2017
Read more about how technology is changing global mobility in the Autumn issue of our magazine
For related news and features, visit our Talent Management section.Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory  Get access to our free Global Mobility Toolkit © 2017. This article first appeared in the Autumn 2017 edition of Relocate magazine, published by Profile Locations, Spray Hill, Hastings Road, Lamberhurst, Kent TN3 8JB. All rights reserved. This publication (or any part thereof) may not be reproduced in any form without the prior written permission of Profile Locations. Profile Locations accepts no liability for the accuracy of the contents or any opinions expressed herein.

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