New RES Forum report reveals HR global mobility challenges

A new report from the RES Forum, the independent network for HR and mobility professionals, has shown that diversity and data mastery are the key challenges facing the global mobility sector today.

New RES Forum report reveals global mobility HR challenges
Age diversity and how companies are exploiting – or not – the benefits from the identification and visualisation of global mobility information are just two of the key challenges facing global mobility (GM) professionals, according to the 2017 Annual Report from the RES Forum, the world’s largest independent community for GM professionals.Written by Michael Dickmann, professor of International Human Resource Management at Cranfield University School of Management, the Annual Report – the sixth from the RES Forum – looks in depth at the most relevant HR challenges facing global mobility today.The research was conducted amongst its 1,300 members from over 650 organisations and 40 countries.

The data challenge

Effective data analytics allow organisations to arrive at evidence-based conclusions. Some of the report's key findings on this issue include:
  • Multinationals are not exploiting IT and integration opportunities that may reduce cost and lead to a more standardised, possibly higher-quality, GM service provision
  • Almost all companies consider that general data analytics will be important to their GM programme management over the next three years
  • Organisations plan to move forward in terms of analysing assignment success, retention and performance to predict success elements and patterns. Half aim to predict future assignment compensation, reward trends and costs and 40 per cent to predict assignment types and movements and want to draw up lists of identified future GM candidates
  • GM teams are starting to report on performance trends, nationality and the ethnicity breakdown of assignees versus the general employee population. Additionally, they will strive to compile an age breakdown of their assignee population
  • In the next three years, the biggest growth is expected to be in measuring ROI, retention of assigned talent after and during assignments, career progression of repatriated assignees post assignment and the early return of assignees
The GM data analytics field is still immature and currently relatively neglected. However, GM professionals are beginning to see its potential and there is likely to be rapid development in this area in the future.

The age issue

Some of the key perceptions of the companies surveyed surrounding employee age categories include:
  • Multinationals offer more developmental assignments to younger expatriates and more business needs/strategic assignments to older assignees
  • As potential assignees get older, companies believe that it becomes more difficult to identify suitable candidates and to motivate them to accept postings. Different sets of drivers motivate the different age groups
  • Early/mid careerists (Gen Y, Millennials) change employers more often (36 per cent) and are more frequently promoted (25 per cent) than their older peers
  • Mid/peak careerists (Gen X) are seen to fit more successfully into host teams and facilitate knowledge transfer more than their younger peers
  • Business learning is seen as more extensive for mid/peak than late stage careerists (Baby Boomers). However, there is no real indication that the performance of late stage careerists is inferior to younger generations
The report finds evidence of bias in terms of how the different generations are perceived in the workplace. More on these issues and findings can be found in the full report, which looks specifically at the following:
  • The Brexit effect and what this means in the broader, uncertain geo-political environment in which GM operates
  • Age diversity and its effect within multinational corporations
  • Pertinent organisational development and talent management considerations in GM
  • GM data analytics opportunities and the potential benefits
  • Reward package design and key trends in remuneration and benefits
The RES Forum is an independent community of more than 1,350 in-house HR professionals in over 40 countries around the world. To join for free and to view the full RES Forum Annual Report from which this article is taken, go to the RES Forum’s website and click on ‘Join’.In the Summer 2017 issue of Relocate magazine (out June), Michael Dickmann and Andrea Piacentini, co-founder of the RES Forum, will share the research’s insights into how the UK’s decision to leave the European Union may affect global mobility. For related news and features, visit our Mobility Industry 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 Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centre

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