Adam DeSanges Jun 10, 2022 4:05:26 PM 10 min read

What Is Global Mobility?

This is a quick read on workforce global mobility. If your business is looking to expand internationally, this brief article will clarify a few things for you.

Why Has A Global Workforce Become So Important?

The global workforce is expanding across international borders. With a digitized, hybrid, or remote workforce, employees can (and want to) work from anywhere. Along with this trend, many companies are venturing into markets outside their home countries. They’re creating new business branches to capitalize on international markets, promote innovation and development, and improve outreach to customers worldwide.

Summary: The globalization of the workforce is a trend that’s here to stay. The COVID-19 pandemic sped up an already growing trend in employees choosing to work from home, and that has empowered them to also make choices about what country they wish to work in.

Here are just some reasons that remote working is going to play a larger part of our working future.


It Empowers Flexibility

Virtual work is the new way of getting work done. Recent studies have shown that workers report more creativity and productivity when working remotely. We also know that cross-border virtual working is what the future of work looks like. With a sped up future work state, global mobility allows teams to embrace the future. At the heart of empowering flexibility is global mobility.

Summary: We used to think that a rigid 9-5 at a single location was the only way to get things done. Since the invention of the internet and broadband internet, it’s become obvious that working remotely is going to be a larger part of our working future.


It Fosters Inclusivity And Belonging

A recent Deloitte study into Global Mobility found that Millennials will comprise 75% of the workforce by 2025, and 59% are willing to work abroad. Although women represent more than 40% of the global workforce, only 1 in 5 international assignees are women.

Family concerns are the number one reason for assignment refusal and assignment failure. Only 6% of business leaders actively encourage mobility to minorities despite 88% of business leaders reporting concerns about finding suitable candidates.

When organizations integrate global mobility into their diversity initiatives, employees feel a stronger sense of belonging.

It also allows organizations to develop their existing talent.

Organizations everywhere are struggling in this war for talent. We know employee retention is top of mind for company leaders. At the helm of retention is the ability to upskill and develop existing talent. Employees have shared that growth and learning opportunities will make them more likely to stay with their current company.

But what if global mobility enabled more upskilling opportunities for your organization? The above mentioned Deloitte report notes the importance of international mobility programs and talent.

However, for talent growth to happen, programs need to be in place to empower upskilling and learning. Without learning opportunities, and the ability to go to new locations in new roles, employee talent and growth is stunted.

Summary: Most of the bottleneck is being created at the corporate level. Lack of trust, proper planning and formal programs within the business are to blame for stunted international growth.


The Challenges Of Global Mobility


Talent Identification

The first and the foremost challenge related to global mobility that companies face is about talent identification and difficulties in implementing talent strategy. Talent strategy is basically the use of business resources to attract, develop and keep employees with integral skills and values to the company. This also involves certain benefits for the employees, such as competitive wages, flexible work environment, etc.

Global mobility worldwide can have an enormous influence on the talent strategy, given that at least 66% of companies undertake some form of global mobility as part of their operations and over half of them know that they lack in having proper relocation programs.



Another challenge associated with Global mobility worldwide is how the companies factor in the costs related to relocation. Overspending is quite commonplace in the international moving world, but what poses a major issue is the widespread failure among corporations in the management of global mobility economics.


Technology And Data

Historically, Global mobility technology has been basic workflows and data management. With the accelerated growth of the Global workforce, today’s technology is truly transforming how areas of global mobility and shadow payroll work.

Today’s technology is allowing companies to understand what is happening with their workforce around the world, leveraging connected data to provide better processes, to inform strategic decision making and help companies stay on the right side of increasingly complex compliance legislation and administration.

In terms of technology and operation processes, global mobility management is moving from manual tasks, rigid reports, and in-person services to fully streamlined process automation and enhanced employee experiences.


Poor Resource Management

As companies grow their staff member tally, the complexities and costs increase. This problem is further exacerbated when the growth is beyond borders. The growing number of staff members and a lack of consistency in the system can generate whole new challenges that were not previously seen.

It’s often as a company grows beyond its borders that the gaps in processes and inefficiencies in hiring new staff members become vivid. In most cases, it’s only when annual reconciliation is conducted that the cost of international staff members becomes visible and by that time it’s usually too late to do anything about it. Issues like time zone differences, and differences between local Social Security rules and VISA rules, can be compounded.

At some point, management along with company culture will dictate a method of reconciliation depending on the level of discussion happening internally. This can be quite drastic because at the point where top-level management is discussing these issues, often the only remedy is drastic. It’s nobody’s fault, in particular it’s just an inefficiency built into the system that wasn’t designed to work the way it works. Therefore, working with an EoR Would be beneficial since they have already laid the groundwork for globally mobile staff.


Stakeholder Alignment

Global mobility can be seen as an unnecessary additional cost to some companies who don’t believe in globally mobile staff. One of the key issues here is to package the entire offering as an expansion of the company, therefore an expansion of profits, therefore cost saving.

The benefits of global mobility can be very difficult to explain on a day-to-day basis, too. It's hard to convince some stakeholders that it is a necessary part of the company’s growth unless they are already well versed in working with a globally mobile business.

Since the stakeholders have broad goals and also individual goals, it’s important to remind them that this move is for their benefit. Occasionally in the short-term and most definitely in the long-term. Compliance, especially with tax, Social Security and legislation, can be a real hindrance for some stakeholders. They simply think it’s a risk not worth taking. It’s important to build a broader picture of global mobility that favours expansion, growth and sometimes aggressive actuation of business goals. It’s less about risk and more about reward.


How Can An EOR Solution Help?

Thankfully, there’s a solution to the expanding issue of global mobility, it’s called an Employer of Record. A third-party business, takes the responsibility and burden of global mobility, and lets you grow the business exactly as you were before.

  • Emerald’s end to end Global expansion solution gives you access to best talent globally without the risks.


  • An EoR is a cost-effective solution. You can test the waters of an overseas market without sinking an irretrievable amount of time and resources into what might be a failed venture.

Contact Emerald today to find out how our team can grow your team… globally.

Adam DeSanges

Part of Emerald since 2006, Adam has personally developed an Executive Search process that has been incorporated throughout the entire Emerald Technology business and has enabled our team to offer an unrivalled, collaborative service to our clients. As one of our Company Directors, he is responsible for leading, training and mentoring this methodology.