Want top talent? Then get mobile

Rafael Moyano


written on January 9, 2018

Why talent mobility is necessary for future proofing your business.

Over the last few years, employers have poured significant investments into exploring and implementing workplace mobility practices. This year, as globalisation continues to drive radical change for employment markets in Australia and overseas, we’re seeing a greater focus on how employers can enable talent mobility.

Rapid advancements in technology have given rise to an increasingly mobile workforce in recent years that seeks flexibility in the roles they’re expected to fill, as well as the options afforded to them in terms of cross-cultural opportunities.

This phenomenon has primarily been driven by the growth of the millennial workforce, coupled with the first wave of Generation Z graduates entering the workplace. Born digital natives, these generations are arguably impacted the most by the effects of globalisation, and won’t settle for the geographical boundaries and restrictions faced by generations past. As a result, they seek to experience the world via their professional careers.

The workforce of today and tomorrow want the ability to access opportunities without being confined by geographical boundaries. But what’s really in it for businesses and the broader economy?

The next frontier of mobility

According to a report by the World Economic Forum, demographic projections for the upcoming 15-20 years predict the next employment crisis to be a result of skills shortages, due to declining birth rates and an ageing population.

For businesses, it’s important to recognise that there are other ways to maintain a sustainable and successful business in the face of uncertain job market changes. While upskilling, flexible working conditions and competitive packages will help to attract and retain local talent, talent mobility is the way forward to address these skills shortages and promote collaboration, which will drive economic growth.

When referring to talent mobility, we look at traditional expatriate placements and more importantly, the rising trend of moving jobs to where talented people are located.

This redefinition of mobility is essential to understanding one of the key factors that have driven certain nations to emerge as the world’s “talent champions”. These are markets that have a long-standing tradition of immigration, and economies that have a clear focus on becoming talent hubs by attracting external know-how.

Besides being an excellent way to attract and retain top talent, regardless of where they are located, talent mobility has also increasingly become a crucial tool that countries apply to address skills shortages, and it will continue to be the case.

Bolstering talent mobility

So how can we effectively foster and drive talent mobility?

Businesses, for their part, must drive increased diversity and training, fostering inter-cultural environments and an atmosphere of exchange, so all employees can recognise the value of foreign talent and benefit from it. While not always possible, moving jobs to the talent, rather than talent to jobs makes better sense on many levels.

Today’s workers are more mobile than ever. Millennials and the incoming surge of Generation Z workers now see mobility as a prime factor for consideration when selecting a potential career path and in choosing an appropriate employer. Given the above, mobility clearly deserves specific attention and investment from businesses – those that fail to notice these signals do so at their peril.

Ultimately, with this surge in mobility, businesses need to think about casting the net further when attracting new talent. As a result, the recruitment search should extend far beyond the local talent pool if employers want to have their pick of the most promising talent.

Rafael Moyano is CEO of The Adecco Group, Australia.

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