During a recent event that I attended in London, a panelist asked the crowd how they measure return on investment for talent mobility. Not to my surprise, no one could answer the question. In fact, one attendee stated that return on investment and the ability to show quantitative value of talent mobility wasn’t even a topic their company was able to discuss.
For almost every other function within the 21st century organisation, including those in HR, the ability to track cost and measure success with real-time access to information is essential to operating in an optimal manner. So, why is talent mobility treated differently?
According to PwC, only 36% of organisations currently have access to the right data in order to manage their globally, mobile employees and only 8% believe they have a world-class system in place. This means that 64% of companies struggle with manual and labour-intensive processes for extracting data and translating it into actionable insight.
Data is powerful because it equips companies with valuable information to make more informed and educated decisions that drive better results. This is as true for the business stakeholders as the employees who move. Even what you call ‘gut feeling’ is based on experience accumulating data from repeat decisions and learning from their outcome time after time.
In a mobility programme there are many areas that are ripe for improvement including policies, processes, vendor management, compensation approach and tax planning.
The recipe for mobility success
The great thing about driving improvement is that regardless of the target area, the approach is the same and includes these straightforward steps:
- Collect data
- Establish a baseline
- Identify areas that needs addressing
- Implement changes
- Track results.
With many different data points to collect for mobility, it can appear daunting at first, but luckily there are many different technology solutions that are making the process of tracking mobility much easier to do in a timely and accurate manner. Some of the data points you will want to collect include vendor spend, management fees, employee satisfaction and exceptions to policy. It is also important to segment these metrics by policy, country, and business unit, so you can clearly identify trends and potential areas for improvement.
The benefits of an optimised talent mobility programme can be worth the investment in time and effort. Such benefits include:
- Delivering better value to mobility stakeholders
- Ensuring the best employee experience
- Avoiding cutting corners regardless of budget pressures
- Enabling more informed decision-making.
The key takeaway is that developing a successful mobility programme is not possible without access to accurate, transparent, and timely mobility data. And as one of the most time consuming, costly and complex HR functions, it is time to empower talent mobility with the resources it needs to become a strategic business partner and drive global success.