Colorful passport stamps background.As more and more companies expand their operations globally the challenge to source the right talent and meet client needs is evidently growing. We find this challenge growing in the Middle East, as many companies based here begin to operate across the region.

In many Middle Eastern countries, particularly in the GCC, it is integral that strategies to improve global mobility are put into place, to ensure the right expertise is being offered to clients when needed. More so than before, regional firms are seeking candidates with international experience to assume leadership posts in different industries.

Based on a recent report entitled ‘Strategic Moves’, organizations are aware of both the requirements and the current limitations of their global mobility programs; however they are not translating that awareness into improvement and change.

In addition, according to this report, a mere 2% of organizations see their global mobility functions as world class, and only 12% perform assessments of their mobility practices and make clear links back to improvement efforts they need to make. The survey also highlights that 70% of business and HR stakeholders believe that global mobility in their organizations is underperforming and needs improvement. In addition, organizations recognize global mobility as an important tool to support the top strategic business issues and support the business in addressing the top three strategy issues: emerging geographical markets, such as the Middle East (100%), increasing globalization (99%), and increasing competition (98%). However, on average, less than 30% are using mobility to completely address those issues.

These findings are prompting both companies in the Middle East and globally to readdress their mobility strategies. There is surely room to improve on all levels.

And so, what is the way forward? The report suggests that in order to align global mobility strategies with business’ issues and goals in the longer term, “global mobility will need to support business more effectively by providing global workforce management, where they manage an organization’s global supply and demand of skills and talent. This will require the mobility function to acquire new skills and capabilities.”

If global mobility is positioned properly, with the addition of global workforce management capabilities to a company’s suite of services, it can be the key player in solving an organization’s long-term skill supply-and-demand talent gaps. In the Middle East, with many emerging markets lacking the right talent, global mobility could be the solution.

From an HR perspective, companies should firstly invest in their wider functional HR capabilities such as integrated HR, talent and global mobility technologies to facilitate global standard reporting across various employee metrics. As a result, this will then allow them to invest ahead of the talent demand curve to create the required supply of talent to meet their future organization growth aspirations.

By Maya Zaatari Rafii
Director, Human Resources, Deloitte Middle East