HR Global Mobility: the corporate target for 2020

Mariano de las Heras

Director of the Postgraduate Course in HR Global Mobility 

Academic Coordinator and Professor of the Master in Human Resources Management in Organisations

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  • With around 70% of business activities in large companies conducted abroad, over 34% of Spanish businesses have expanded their presence in these new international scenarios. There is no doubt about it: today’s client base is global. 
  • Such a shift in paradigm has led to an upsurge in employee mobility, with the challenge facing companies evolving from traditional expatriation programs to the sending of workers abroad on a project-by-project basis.
  • The need has emerged to train new professional profiles in the skills critical to their survival in these new global environments and markets.

Regardless of a company’s size, competing and consolidating a presence in these new global scenarios is no longer merely a question of strategy but a pressing obligation.

Company internationalisation projects are no longer an exception and have instead come to play a vital role, just as in the saying “think global and act local”.

The new business opportunities generated in these environments have paved the way for new internationalisation processes that allow the main needs of each expansion project to be quickly and easily met, resulting in new methods for displacing people that are wholly distinct from the classic expatriation models.

This new shift in paradigm requires a consideration of several relevant and novel aspects that are set to significantly affect these new international mobility projects.

Traditional mobility has evolved. The new international business opportunities open to companies have inspired new processes for employee mobility.

Key features for Human Resources to take into account in 2020:

  • First of all, international mobility must be considered as an ongoing process whose needs – whether for the company or the employee – will vary according to the stages of Before, During and Upon Return.
  • The presence of new generations has sparked new challenges such as motivating and retaining professionals, which must be tackled by methods not covered by the traditional systems. A new knowledge economy is required for new abilities and talents with different skills: fresh tools must be developed for attracting, selecting, training and promoting professionals and developing their career plans, in order to seize hot international talent. The focus must be on knowledge transfer.
  • An uptick is expected in new destinations in emerging markets in Africa and Asia-Pacific, with sensitivities highly distinct from those traditionally accounted for.
  • New challenges have emerged on elements such as regulations, tax, labour, migration and security, as well as intercultural aspects.
  • New regulatory compliances and policies for responsible action in each of the various destinations have come to light.
  • Projects will be much shorter in term, with a particular upsurge in the profile of the nomad.
  • A highly significant increase in business travel has occurred among professionals with the profile of commuter.
  • A greater focus must be placed on the need to reduce costs for all projects, with the corresponding analyses and ROI measurement.
  • Gender equality and an increase in diversity and inclusion must be taken into account in a multicultural context.
  • A focus is required on the Expat Experience. Support and infrastructure for mobile workers must be present during all of the project phases (Before, During and Upon Return).
  • New technologies and digital transformation processes have exerted a real impact, as have HR analytics tools. New technological solutions must be devised for supporting these mobility strategies.

In light of this new environment and the shifts in paradigm, one of the main targets set by universities and particularly business schools is to maintain contact with companies in order to help train new professional profiles with the vital skills allowing them to survive and thrive in these new global environments and markets, characterised as they are by an unprecedented rate of change, involving significant exponential growth and marked by a high level of uncertainty and complexity (VUCA).

These are three of the main arguments for having professionals trained with skills and abilities that are increasingly specific and complex.

This requires the ad hoc designing of tailored programs for specialist training delivered by professionals and experts in a variety of fields. The aim is to bring the working environment to the classroom in order to transfer skills by means of professional key activities that allow trainees to adapt to these new environments of change and specialisation.

In this light, programs such as the Postgraduate Course in HR Global Mobility meet all of the mentioned targets and recommendations, helping organisations to train professional profiles that will ensure the success of their International Business Projects and consolidating the professional profile in HR Global Mobility as an expert at devising and establishing International Mobility Plans.

 

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