Working abroad has increasingly become normal in the recent decades. Millenials and employers are able to find each other easily and link up. In certain parts of the world, working abroad is easier then for others.
Global mobility, what is it?
Where this term was previously used for traveling it has now become an official term in the corporate world. Business have been building global mobility teams that specialise solely in this field. But what is global mobility? It is often defined by a multinationals capacity to relocate its employees globally.
Although international assignments decreased during and in the aftermath of the pandemic, it has reverted back to pre corona levels since. And eventhough being send abroad as expat used to be a golden ticket to a glamorous livestyle of a king in a foreign country, its sobering has not diminished its popularity.
History of Global Mobility
Although people have been relocating across the globe for decades, the term and its concept have differed over the years and is still relatively new. Previously, it mostly entailed senior employees opening international offices or factories. There was no such thing as being an expat for regular, low to mid level employees, it was reserved for top level positions based on necessity.
With globalization still pacing in the early 2000’s, global mobility began taking a more important position within global companies. Early on and due to its costliness, it was mostly CEO’s deciding on the total employee relocation budget. Nowadays. strategic talent acquistion departments are delegated this vital task. Hiring and relocating employees has become a company-wide affair from top to low levels within the organization.
The global talent war
When former President Donald Trump tightned US immigration laws, a unwanted side effect was a talent brain drain due to difficulties to obtain a green card. This shows that a significant part of the intelligence of the american tech industry is fuelled by non-native americans that are drawn to silicon valley.
The battle for talent goes to great lengths with the wildest packages offered for the wishes and demands of talent. Google has built a village with dentists, day cares and so much more so that the employee can focus on work and practically never have to leave.
Global mobility has increased at an astounding rate over the last decades. Companies realize more then ever that talent is what will distinguish them from winning or losing. The wellbeing of employees is on the forefront and companies will go to great lengths to achieve this. It’s becoming the norm for companies to look beyond their borders to find the brightest minds out there.
What to expect?
Global mobility is growing due to the war on talent and is clearly here to stay. Borders are increasingly fading in large parts of the world. Even more so since the pandemic, facilities to live and work abroad, even for a short period of time, have been build or upgraded.
Even before the 2020, millennials have expressed increased willingness to try out working abroad. The number is surveys have at least doubled, with some research amount ot 85% wanted to work in another country. In combination with the talent hiring gap a lot of countries experience, this is really a shifting paradigm.
One strong example comes from the Dutch tech campus in Eindhoven. It’s a wellknown fact the campus needs to fill 70.000 new, technical vacancies for highly skilled employees in the upcoming 5 years. Although more and more dutch students choose for technical educations, it will nowhere nearly fill up all vacancies.
The talent gap in combination with an aging population will be one of the major challenges of our time. The ability of acquiring talent across borders has opened up for small and midsized companies instead of large worldwide corporations, a great trend that has sped up evenmore so since covid. Clearly, global mobility is clearly here to stay and increase in popularity for the upcoming decades to come!