It’s no surprise that organizations that offer a diverse global culture are some of the best places to work, and these companies have less trouble attracting top talent to fill their vacancies. They know the highest-performing organizations today are successful because they’re people-centric, agile and diverse, and they approach talent acquisition, recruitment, and retention from a global perspective.
This is in stark contrast to even just a decade ago when talent management often centered around specific geography—companies recruited from within a commuting radius of their physical locations. Global mobility was reserved only for the most senior executives at many organizations.
Now that moving from place to place has become easier, and technology makes remote work accessible from anywhere, borders are no longer a consideration for many HR teams and employees.
In fact, the pendulum has swung soundly in the opposite direction: recruiting and maintaining a diverse workforce is critical for business success. Plenty of studies show the benefit of diversity on business performance, and it’s also become a critical ingredient in leadership—for example, 72 percent of CFOs have worked internationally – according to a study by Forbes. That’s why talent mobility has become a critical enabler of global diversity. The ability to easily move people wherever they need—or want—to work can be a strong differentiator for both recruiting and developing talent. Even for organizations that aren’t necessarily looking to develop a global footprint, a strong mobility program that fosters diversity is a must-have business strategy. And, it will become increasingly vital as the business landscape becomes more global.
Now that moving from place to place has become easier, and technology makes remote work accessible from anywhere, borders are no longer a consideration for many HR teams and employees
If you’re not focused on this yet, you could quickly get left behind. Here are five reasons why 2020 is the year to go global for any organization.
- Mobility is expected. Employees are increasingly looking for mobility opportunities. In fact, 70 percent of employees say transferring to another location within their company would advance their careers, according to our study. Perhaps even more telling, 22 percent have left a company because they were denied a mobility opportunity. In today’s tough recruiting and retention market, not offering mobility opportunities could mean that your best and brightest employees will find them somewhere else.
- Mobility is more valuable than money. Many employees are eager to take advantage of a mobility opportunity purely for the experience and career-building benefits, even without an increase in salary or job title. They value mobility itself as a reward or recognition.
- Mobility preserves and propagates institutional knowledge. Offering mobility opportunities not only helps to preserve institutional knowledge by retaining top talent, but it also helps to leverage that knowledge throughout the organization. Sending experienced, innovative and ambitious employees on assignment to another location gives them a chance to share their experience and insight with coworkers in that office, thus spreading that unique accumulation of knowledge.
- Mobility expands your talent pool. If you’re only recruiting within your local market, you’re extremely limited in the talent and skills you can attain and in the cost of that talent. For example, if you’re only recruiting in San Francisco, you’re up against steep competition for the same talent pool. By expanding your recruiting on a global scale you can tap into a much larger pool of skilled candidates.
- Mobility enables cultural diversity. Encouraging team members to live and work in a different location creates a much deeper understanding of their co-worker’s cultural perspectives and can help with customer interaction as well. For example, if your US team routinely interacts with your team in India, there may be some cultural differences that may make communication a challenge. Allowing those staff members to become immersed in one another’s culture can help smooth some of those edges and make collaboration much more effective.
This can substantially benefit customer relationships as well. Topia has a large customer base in France, and we’ve noted that interpersonal communication is much different in the French culture than in the US or UK. Once the differences are understood, partnerships can improve dramatically. It’s also possible that certain locales are better suited for specific types of talent development. For example, Topia has a strong engineering presence in Tallinn, Estonia, and we’ve grown our headcount there by nearly double this year alone. While it started out with mostly Tallinn locals, it quickly became clear that the market was becoming increasingly competitive and we had an opportunity to find great talent abroad while living our own values. So, we began moving employees there to immerse them in that environment. Now, only 40 percent of our employees in Tallinn are native to that area; the rest are from India, Turkey, Brazil and other regions with a total of 12 different nationalities represented on the team.
Companies that top the charts of best places to work are putting global culture and talent mobility first, including mobility across both roles and geographies. In order to keep pace in the coming decade, organizations must assess their current diversity and make a concerted effort to develop a plan to cultivate a global culture. Start by making sure that current global staff feels empowered to speak up, share their perspectives and are heard by their teammates. Begin an exchange program to send staff to work in offices around the world to give them a new perspective on the co-workers they interact with every day. Expand your recruiting efforts to draw talent from different parts of the world to gain a more global perspective.
Companies that top the charts of best places to work are putting global culture and talent mobility first, including mobility across both roles and geographies
All of these strategies will not only benefit your innovation, product development, customer relationships, and overall business performance, but it will give you the edge you need to remain competitive as the market goes global around you.