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School’s out for summer, which means around 58% of us Brits will soon be packing our suitcases for a holiday abroad. While sun-kissed beach holidays in Europe remain the most popular choice, travelling further afield to cities and international destinations is becoming increasingly popular among those in search of a more culturally enriching experience.

Today’s border-free world, where geography poses few boundaries, has got me thinking about the benefits of talent mobility and the importance of offering high potential executives the opportunity to undertake an overseas assignment. Overseas assignments can provide a depth of insight into a different culture that no holiday can ever offer. With the globalisations of markets, having talent that understands, relates to, and can compete in diverse markets is becoming an increasingly important factor determining an organisation’s long-term success.

Forward-thinking organisations are using talent mobility to help prepare their talent for global leadership roles. And it’s not just those leaders at the top of the organisation that need to think and act globally. More organisations today expect middle and junior managers, as well as employees without managerial responsibility, to act as leaders. This makes understanding different cultures an increasingly desirable skill across businesses today.

Research by PwC shows that talent mobility, the dynamic process of moving talent at the leadership, professional and operational levels across the organisation (including projects, divisions, roles and locations), has increased by 25% over the last decade and is set to grow by 50% by 2020. Employees are helping to drive this growth, with 71% of Millennials wanting and even expecting an overseas assignment during their career.

Talent mobility is essentially all about ensuring that talent is moved to where it is needed when it is needed. In the case of overseas assignments, it is proving a valuable process in helping multinational companies drive forward fast growth in emerging markets. Meanwhile, the individual not only stands to gain expertise working in a different foreign culture, but is likely to be stretched beyond his or her comfort zone, resulting in fresh perspectives for the business. As part of today’s talent management and succession planning strategies, talent mobility offers a powerful weapon for attracting, engaging, developing and retaining high performers, and helping to build a more adaptable, agile and enduring organisation.

As economic power continues to shift to emerging economies and the East, the need for international leadership capable of driving overseas expansion and operating competitively in these foreign markets is set to increase among Western companies. Organisations that plan ahead and have the right development and talent management strategies in place will be most likely to win through competitive advantage and long-term growth.

However, in EY’s recent Global Mobility Effectiveness Survey, nearly half of respondents said that their company does not have a global talent management agenda. EY’s report highlights the fact that the first crucial step organisations need to take is to identify the top talent and their needs. It also emphasises the importance of HR and business unit leaders working together with the right processes and technology in place to achieve a company-wide talent management strategy and the successful implementation of developmental assignments.

So how do you ensure success in today’s globally connected business environment?

1. Know your talent
Assess your talent bench strength by undertaking strategic talent audits and identifying HiPos (high potentials). When you know which individuals are going to be most critical in helping your organisation execute growth strategies now and in the future, you can direct learning and talent development efforts where they will create the most value.

2. Grow your talent
In order to help HiPos develop and grow, you need to provide the right tools for employee learning, performance management for team leaders and cr0ss-organisational measurement for decision-makers.  An integrated software solution for learning, talent and performance management can help you strategically develop talented people on a global scale, with ease and flexibility.

3. Track performance
Maximise your talent by aligning desired employee competencies with organisational objectives, whilst tracking performance against strategic goals.  The right performance management solution will give you instant visibility of your top performers and key talent gaps.

4. Plan for the future
Succession planning can help you think ahead and retain flexibility. By identifying candidates from your global talent pool who are willing and able to relocate (either in the short-term or long-term), you can ensure business continuity of critical positions regardless of geographic boundaries.

Do you have a global talent strategy in place? Are you ready for a more global marketplace? We’d love to hear from you. Comment below, Tweet us @Kallidus, visit our LinkedIn page, or send us a postcard!

OnDevice Research. 2014
Talent Mobility 2020 and Beyond. 2012. PwC
Global Mobility Effectiveness Survey. 2013. EY

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