Strategic tech in global mobility: INEO webinar

Earlier this month, Ashley Daly and Mike Gatto of INEO global mobility solutions joined Relocate Global’s Fiona Murchie to talk about technology’s strategic and practical role in the global HR and mobility space.

Laptop overlaid with finance data
The “Think Global Mobility Webinar: Insights and Solutions” session was the latest in a series of webinars linked to an in-depth exploration of Relocate Global’s Think Global People remit.Introducing the interactive hour-long session, managing editor Fiona Murchie said, “We were keen to introduce this session and design it this way because we are aware that some people are not up to date on the issues around what technology can do in global mobility. This is to top up their knowledge.“There are also others who are starting from a different perspective and looking to get up to speed. This is why we are concentrating on and reviewing key vocabulary alongside looking at case studies of common scenarios.”

Compliance still a critical issue

Whichever camp the close to 100 participants in the session put themselves in, the live surveys throughout the webinar offered useful insights into the type of challenges they are facing.For example, when it comes to having adequate processes to address host-country shadow reporting requirements, only 32 per cent said yes while 68 per cent said no. 

Catch up with Relocate's Think Global Mobility Technology Webinar

Commenting on this finding, INEO’s Ashley Daly, who spent her career in global mobility before joining the company last year, said that for many companies – and of all sizes – compliance is necessarily a work in progress. Companies are looking continually to improve their approach.“The aim is to understand your exposure,” said Ashley. “The intent is that you as an organisation and your expatriates are not found to be out of compliance.”

COVID-19 and its impact on tax liabilities

One of the benefits of live webinars is that it allows key issues of the day to be addressed.Among questions asked by participants around the INEO’s Global Mobility Technology Suite and its new Net-to-Net Calculator feature – which is helping employers and transferring employees on short- and long-term assignments best understand the options and make more informed decisions from the outset – was about the impact of the Coronovirus pandemic on tax status and compliance.INEO’s Mike Gatto again brought first-hand experience in his response. With many countries now in lockdown and international travel very limited, some internationally mobile workers are finding themselves stuck in their host country.“This has come across our desk recently,” said Mike. “In these days of coronavirus is the question of what if someone is forced to remain at home and therefore crosses the line between short- and long-term residency.“INEO’s system can handle that if a country decides to be extremely compliant. It can look at the impacts on assignees in that location. Things are developing on a daily basis around the globe. We keep our software up-to-date as far as how each country will treat a particular assignee, including around the difference between short- and long-term residency, and how it is maintained and broken.”

Leveraging global mobility technology for strategic insight

As well as discussion around the details of how INEO’s Global Mobility Software can help global mobility professionals on a day-to-day basis, there were also insights into how technology and analytics lend themselves to the agility and strategic oversight increasingly demanded of the function.Specifically, do software packages and approaches like INEO’s offer global mobility teams the opportunity to take their place at the top table and offer strategic insight to the c-suite? “I think yes and I certainly speak from experience,” said Ashley Daly, who has worked in global mobility in multinational companies as well as in international assignment consultancy at Big Four professional services firms. “Mobility sometimes doesn’t have a logical home. We have wavered every few years from being part of compensation and benefits to finance, talent, recruitment and other functions. There is always some question of ‘where does mobility sit?’ “Part of that is a lack of understanding of what the profession does, the complexities involved and the value it brings to an organisation,” continued Ashley. “Any opportunity to help global mobility professionals get out of the weeds and leverage automation and processing in my view and personal experience really brings mobility programmes into the strategic realm.“Technology and services to support them, like INEO’s, arms organisations with tools to put context around offers. Technology can add a layer of sophistication to some of those conversations. It arms global mobility teams with information that prepares them to have good conversations with expats and to respond to their challenges. Psychologically, for expats it’s good to see the facts and figures behind their assignment offers.“Everyone is different. I’ve seen a spectrum from people wanting to understand every figure and eventuality to those who trust everything the company tells them. Having flexible technology addresses all of this. This is critical at the moment. Survey after survey shows that if individuals feel brought into assignment it helps its success. Particularly in this challenging environment, this is all the more important.”

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