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Administration overload impedes HR professionals

Some 40 percent of HR and in-house global mobility professionals believe they should be spending their efforts on strategic activities; yet only one in ten (11 percent) are currently managing to do so.

The Global Mobility Survey 2014 the world’s largest study of Global Mobility professionals with 1,269 respondents from around the world reveals that professionals’ time is taken up by tasks relating to immigration compliance (48 percent), tax compliance (43 percent) and conducting general administration (40 percent).

ROI neglected for international assignments

According to 92 percent of respondents, measuring Return on Investment (ROI) is an important part of managing a successful global mobility programme. Surprisingly however, the survey identified that managing ROI is being neglected as mobility teams struggle to get to grips with both defining costs and measuring success:

  • At an assignment level, the costs of assignment are often ‘blurry’ at best. One third of global mobility functions (32 percent) are unable to calculate the total costs of assignments. Some even appear to have given-up trying in the first place one in ten (11 percent) don’t estimate the costs of assignments before they take place.
  • And if costs are ‘blurry’, measuring long-term success of assignments is virtually opaque. Fewer than half (47 percent) of global mobility programmes are linked to talent management, and post-assignment employee retention rates are unknown for over one third of mobility functions (34 percent). Perhaps this goes some way to explaining why one third (32 percent) of the global mobility professionals we interviewed aren’t even trying to measure the success of assignments.

So despite the need to be more strategic, global mobility professionals appear to be held back by a sea of tactical tasks and administration. Now is the time for global mobility to take control, define ways of working efficiently and become more proactive!

Key industry experts are urging global mobility to take a more forward-looking role in their organisations. With most businesses anticipating a higher rate of growth in assignment activity than ever before, the alternative is that we see global mobility departments trailing the business.

About the Global Mobility Survey

The 2014 Global Mobility Report includes a main focus section, commentary from an expert panel of highly respected Global Mobility commentators, and full-detailed results. It is the largest and most robust review of multinational mobility programmes worldwide. The results are collected from companies from across North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Asia and the Pacific region and span a wide range of industry sectors.

The Global Mobility survey is commissioned by the Santa Fe Group, and conducted by independent research company Circle Research. Visit www.globalmobilitysurvey.com for more information.

Mike Brazier / Expatica

Mike Brazier is the Global Mobility survey research editor for the Santa Fe Group in London, UK.