It is that part of the year, when most are taking stock of the larger picture, and strategising about the plans for 2017. As a member of an international recruiting network, with over 500 partners across 40 countries, I have been fortunate to be on multiple conference calls over the past week, across industries and continents & comparing notes.
The calls this week -to me- seem a vindication of a report by PwC, Talent Mobility: 2020 and beyond, forecasts that the number of people on global assignments will increase by 50 per cent by 2020.
The direction of mobility is changing, with emerging markets becoming important. There are generational differences when it comes to mobility,
- 71% of millennials wanting and expecting an overseas posting during their career.
-short-term assignments, often lasting a year or less, have become more popular; 20 % of assignments now last less than 12 months, compared with 10 % in 2002.
It is interesting to see the patterns changing. If the expat assignments of 2-5yrs stints were the norm in 1970-90, the period 1990-2010 saw the growth of offshoring & growing emerging markets perpetuating a lot of talent flow from the West to East.
Future View -2020?
Global mobility continues to grow in volume. Within the context of closely aligned international regulatory frameworks, the growth of cross-border acquisitions by sovereign wealth funds, lingering public investments in private business concerns, greater security cooperation between nations, and information technology that canidentify and connect talent in an instant, global mobility becomes part of the new normal.
Some of the scenarios that are increasingly emerging :
-Mobility of talent is fluid. For example, a Chinese company may engage a European team to manage an investment in Africa. Another US Major is setting up a theme park in China in 2019, and is looking for professionals who can join in Florida, & willing to beget deputed to Beijing for about 18 months!
-Western employers are losing their appeal. More skilled workers from emerging economies will return home to exploit their new-found skills in the lucrative domestic markets. Local workers with international experience are often far more attractive to domestic employers than foreign workers in the same market.
-Pressure of pay. Economies, living standards and compensation levels are beginning to harmonise across the globe. Some organisations have already adopted ‘destination pay’ and ‘local plus’ remuneration methodologies across many of their locations, allowing employees to be more quickly and easily deployed in a cost-effective way.
All these trends emphasise - a borderless workforce. If companies are to become nimble enough to respond to unexpected changes, they should see their workforce as essentially borderless. That could mean developing talent where the jobs are, relocating talent to the jobs, or moving jobs closer to sources of talent, within the constantly shifting constraints of international immigration law.
What does it mean for a hiring professional like me? I am privy to several exciting roles being shared by specialist partners -from different continents & it is becoming clearer the world would be a better place only if one were to collaborate. The jobs are becoming increasingly complex as the businesses evolve.
As an employee, it is time to change one's mindset. Constantly reinvent oneself to remain relevant in the changing times. Or even pick up cues from a millenial who is quick to share “I expect to travel and my career will be more about enjoying the experience than earning money.”