How global talent mobility is powering the future of work

Presented by Topia


If there’s anything that COVID-19 has shown us, it is that managing talent today is truly a global endeavor. When the pandemic hit, multinational companies quickly realized they had no way of clicking a button and seeing a single dashboard that gave an accurate representation of their global employee footprint. And we’re not just talking about who works in a given office, but who was on assignment in another location, or even who has traveled to an impacted area in the past two weeks.

This isn’t too surprising given that the typical global enterprise organization still has highly fragmented employee data spread across a patchwork of systems. And even those with a single global system of record for employment data are often missing a real-time lens on location and travel history.

The COVID crisis didn’t create this problem — it merely brought it to light, quite starkly.

Delivering an increasingly global talent strategy isn’t easy — and knowing where your employees are is just one piece missing in the global talent puzzle. As we look to a future of work where teams rapidly form and reform to complete strategic tasks, business and HR managers need to quickly evaluate scenarios and make decisions about the best way to fill roles in order to have the right person, in the right place, at the right time.

To move into a world where these questions can be answered in a matter of minutes you need a technology solution that approaches talent management with a truly global perspective. You need a platform that can connect across every HCM, payroll system, and ATS across an organization as well as a global set of relocation service providers.

That’s exactly what Topia has built with our new Global Talent Mobility platform, Topia One.

As businesses expanded internationally, employees working outside of their “home” locations have become the norm rather than the exception. And in many cases, companies needed to look internationally to fill talent pipelines and then relocate new staff to critical locations. While there have been plenty of travel management systems, relocation vendors, and service providers, these have only solved the logistical problem of getting employees and their belongings from point A to point B.

To this end, the strategic aspect of talent mobility has largely been unaddressed, leaving companies to create their own DIY approach with mixed results. Strategic talent placement — getting the right talent to the right place — has been mostly a guessing game and tracking outcomes for both the business and the employee has been a challenge. Spreadsheets and point solutions have offered extremely limited visibility into the global talent landscape, and labor and tax compliance has been difficult at best. All of this has made it nearly impossible to accurately budget and forecast, much less control, mobility costs.

At Topia, we set out to create a solution that addressed these global talent management challenges. The result was creating an entirely new category of HR tech — Global Talent Mobility — and a standard-bearer for the category with Topia One — the first cloud-based, open platform that provides a comprehensive, strategic and extensible solution to power the future of global work.

In this new global normal, enterprises that want a competitive advantage will need the ability to:

  • Know their global employee footprint at all times
  • Stay proactive with compliance risks to avoid being caught off guard
  • Execute talent planning at a global scale, understanding the complex cross-border cost of options
  • Stay agile with continuous adjustments, scenario planning and fluid teaming models
  • Benchmark their talent strategy across multiple geographies, eliminating data silos and inconsistencies for better business intelligence
  • Enhance employee experience by providing visibility, communication, and support for globally mobile employees
  • Accommodate increasingly complex work arrangements with staff regularly working from multiple locations across state and international lines

Yes, 2020 will be an outlier year in mobility with borders closed for so much of it, but global talent mobility shows no sign of slowing down as the world opens back up. The need to put the right talent in the right place is still there. And, as the economy hums back to life in the wake of broad lockdowns, companies are already gearing up to pull the trigger on strategic moves.

But the COVID crisis has, in dramatic fashion, exposed huge gaps in global talent management for even the largest and most sophisticated companies. Simultaneously, it also provided a unique opportunity to fix the problem. Now that we recognize global talent management isn’t just about business strategy but also about protecting the health, safety, and welfare of our employees. We must fill those gaps before the next crisis arises.

This comprehensive approach to global talent management will change the way companies leverage talent in the future and provide the platform for building a truly global talent strategy.

Steve Black is Chief Strategy Officer at Topia.


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