Global Mobility: A Win-Win For You And Your Employer

Global mobility is on the rise, and many employees want a passport filled with foreign-nation stamps to bolster personal growth and career development. Increasingly, they’re seeking expatriate, commuter, rotational or other alternative assignments to build their resumes. International assignments are a great career development tool and, at the same time, help organisations address talent shortages, close skill gaps and accelerat

No company wants to send talent around the globe without purpose. But for those organisations that do have multinational operations, increasing the availability of international assignments can help draw talent to the organisation and secure the talent already in place – all while providing individuals with new skills, opportunities for international travel, new challenges and the experience needed to progress their careers & business growth – making it a win for both parties.

The trend is riding a global wave. BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, the UAE and Qatar, are emerging as talent hot spots, driven by shifting economic growth. By 2025, the Gross Domestic Product of Shanghai and Beijing will be larger than Los Angeles and London, yet global companies operating in China already find it difficult to find and retain talent.

Professionals need real-world experience to advance their skills to thrive in a global economy and meet requirements of the future. Just like the need for HTML5 developers didn’t exist 15 years ago, professionals need to consider the skills they will need for the future to succeed. In a global business environment, cross-cultural proficiency – the kind gained through globe-trotting assignments – is at a premium.

Against that backdrop, employees with international experience become an even greater asset to their organisation. International assignments can help increase cultural literacy, facilitate the mastery of foreign languages, expand the professional network, and broaden perspective.

But it’s not all about what employers are looking for to fill their skills shortages. Personal motivation of individual workers is a key factor behind the pursuit of international assignments, whether it’s to increase exposure to exciting experiences and new cultures or to support and advance the career trajectory. And it’s not just senior staff who want these assignments – employees at all levels may be interested in overseas work to accelerate their careers or travel the world.

But whether it’s for lifestyle or career reasons, organisations are focused on getting the right individuals in place. And there’s flexibility beyond the traditional expectation of expats to relocate for five to seven years, making global assignments all the more appealing. Commuter assignments and extended business travel, are available and often preferred because they provide international mobility experience while removing the stresses associated with uprooting the family. Through social connections, employees enter the assignments exposed to more diverse backgrounds, easing the integration into workplace culture, enabling employees to work and learn together.

Individuals pursuing international assignments are making an important step in their career development and the opportunity to live an enriched life that comes from experiencing a different culture. As companies seek to expand their global capabilities and cultivate leaders to run their multinational operations, providing field experiences that enable the acquisition of new knowledge, skills, languages meets the individual need for more global experiences and helps to achieve competitiveness and growth goals.

We found this article by Sylvia Vorhauser-Smith on, 31 October 2013.