Global Mobility

Fulfilling expatriate assignments is not trivial. Global Mobility has moved from a niche field into a global phenomenon in rapid time. It requires a range of skills including elements of traditional HR, Finance, Legal, Recruitment, Vendor Management and compliance.

Global Mobility professionals are required to extend employee support structures across borders with significant challenges to align with best practice:

  • they should develop policies for expatriate assignments that cover relocation, adjustment, compensation & benefits, HR support / wellbeing and repatriation.
  • they should integrate their policies with company-wide programs for career development, compensation and OH&S.
  • they must ensure compliance with tax, immigration and employment regulations in all relevant jurisdictions.
  • they should practice localisation and other cost control measures
  • they should record and benchmark key metrics to measure ROI.
  • they must manage external vendors 

Organisations expose themselves to significant risk with international projects as they stretch across jurisdictions and can incur significant costs. We see the biggest challenges facing global mobility professionals comes from managing this risk (financial and legal). Additionally every organisation working with international assignees is using external vendors for some aspects whether that be immigration attorneys, outsourced payroll or managed services

How do global mobility professionals balance risk, compliance, transparency and delivery?

In our experience this is through

  • careful planning
  • establishing strategies by region and globally
  • open channels of communication with assignees
  • heavy use of metrics and benchmarking 
  • transparent and consistent vendor management. 

Additionally there is often tension between the 3 main stakeholders :

  1. The Line of Business – typically needing staff / skills to support immediate demand and growth
  2. The Employee – individual requirements for relocation, support, career development and repatriation.
  3. Corporate – managing cost whilst building global capabilities in skills, leadership and mobility policy.

These are a complex series of tasks and it is unrealistic, even in the largest corporations, to expect in-house resources to perform all these functions.

Companies wanting to get the most business value from their international assignments provide internal resources with the necessary support to run best of breed mobility programs. As part of this process it is necessary to separate functions which are strategic and commercially sensitive from those which can be outsourced to a specialist provider. 

Specialist local providers can deliver the in-country operational requirements of an effective global mobility program. In particular by providing:

  • subject matter expertise in their function (either by locality or service)
  • compliance with local immigration, tax and employment regulations
  • awareness and response to local regulatory changes

Internal resources can then focus on the higher value and strategically valuable functions.

Managed service solutions are a popular way to achieve this.

If you want help with your global mobility needs in immigration, taxation, compliance, benefit plans, global strategies, benchmarking, insurance, etc contact us with your requirements and we'll give you a free assessment of your options with some recommendations. If you choose to go through one of our partners we will receive a commission - but this only happens if you are happy with the service you have received.


Client comment

"Great advice and excellent service on contracting and immigration solutions in the UK. I would highly recommend Tim and the team to assist you with accurate, clear and concise contracting advice in the UK or any other country for that matter."

Prishen Pillay,Global DBA Operations Lead

Shell International Trading & Shipping