Talent mobility and training in the new year: a look ahead

Robert Horsley looks at the trends that will drive strategy in 2020.

Reading time: 4 minutes

People management experts agree that talent mobility is a key success factor for companies seeking a competitive edge in today’s global economy.

Amid political, cultural and economic headwinds, global mobility is reshaping the way companies attract, train and deploy their workforces.

As competition for top talent increases, HR and talent professionals need to ask themselves: how should training strategies evolve to address emerging demands?

As 2019 winds down, HR professionals are looking ahead to trends that will drive strategy in 2020.﷟

2020 trends to watch

1. Sticker shock

The economy in the US remains relatively strong, though the manufacturing sector is lagging, and warning signs are blinking in other areas.

For this reason, it’s likely that cost-consciousness will be heightened in the next year, and that could have wide-ranging effects on the competition for talent.

During times of slow down, talent leaders may look to mobility solutions to source current talent rather than finding new local talent.

If costs become a concern, HR and talent professionals will be required to take a strong stance when advocating for the value of everything from training and development budgets to relocation packages.

2. Adapting to change and redefining mobility

Talent management strategies will continue to adapt to changing times in the new year. Organisations should be ready to roll up their sleeves and get more creative about optimising their workforce.

On the global workforce front, we’ll see a continued broadening of the definition of mobility. It is no longer a strategy limited to a singular team, but a mentality that can be implemented across the entire organisation.

Mobility enables and amplifies the ability for companies to grow; it’s time to make it a part of the larger HR conversation.

Mobility and training programmes should be positioned as a perk for new talent

3. Integration across HR

That conversation also needs to be about taking an integrated approach to meeting workforce needs as companies compete for the best and brightest employees, and contend with economic, geopolitical and compliance pressures.

To succeed in this environment, everyone involved in talent management will have to think of themselves as part of a team and work together to put resources in place.

What this means in real-world terms is that all talent management professionals – talent acquisition, training and development, total rewards, procurement, mobility professionals, compensation experts, HR generalists, etc – will have to organise around an overarching workforce strategy and work together to identify and fulfil needs.

The pace of business is accelerating, so the underlying support structure has to be agile too.

4. Experiences for the next generation

Millennials are now the dominant workforce demographic, so talent management professionals will continue to focus on creating a positive experience to attract sought-after talent.

This demographic seeks fulfilment beyond a paycheque, including new experiences, such as the opportunity to work abroad and grow professionally.

Mobility and training programmes can also meet that need and should be positioned as a perk for new talent.

Tips for thriving in 2020 and beyond

1. Welcome collaboration

In the coming year, collaboration will be more important than ever as organisations seek out the talent they need. Moving talent smoothly across roles, projects and borders will require teamwork.

Training professionals should reach out to colleagues in other roles, such as business leaders and HR partners, in order to build bridges and offer services.

By creating partnerships, talent managers can support their organisation’s shifting needs.

2. Embrace transparency

Greater transparency will be imperative in building a more responsive talent management. When training and development professionals are included in the process of identifying workforce needs, assessing current resources and workforce planning, they can add significant value to the process.

Each player should sing the praises of their strategies and make them more accessible for others to leverage.



3. Harness data

Leveraging data is another key to thriving in a rapidly evolving environment. At many companies, talent management data is siloed across different departments and initiatives.

Just as product development, marketing, sales, operations and other business units are consolidating data to drive innovation and improve efficiency, talent data from across departments can yield valuable insights.  


It’s difficult to predict what 2020 will bring, but one thing is certain: new challenges will emerge, and old assumptions will be overturned.

A multifaceted talent management strategy that brings together professionals from training and development, mobility, compensation, employee relations and so on will be better prepared to meet those challenges. 


About the author

Robert Horsley is executive director of Fragomen and board member at Worldwide ERC.


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