Global workforce

A Deep Dive into Global Talent Mobility and Its Importance

Mayank Bhutoria

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In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, organizations are dealing with the pressing reality of the skills gap. According to McKinsey & Company, 87% of organizations know they already have a skills gap or will have one within a few years.

To address the skills gap, organizations are tapping into the pool of global talents and building international teams, a trend that has been accelerated by the effects of the pandemic.

However, finding the right talent is not enough. Organizations need to manage their talent globally, ensuring that they deploy them to the right roles and locations where they will succeed and grow.

This is where global talent mobility comes in. It's a process that involves moving employees across national borders for work-related reasons. Besides bridging the skill gap, global talent mobility also enhances the organization's international expansion, fosters employee development and growth, and improves talent retention, to name a few perks.

This blog gives you a basic understanding of what global talent mobility is, its benefits and challenges, and how an Employer of Record (EOR) can help. 

What is Global Talent Mobility?

Global talent mobility is an HR function that involves relocating employees with valuable skills and expertise across borders. While internal mobility is about moving employees to different organizational positions or departments, global talent mobility entails the same concept but requires moving to another country.

Global Talent Mobility: How Do Businesses Do It?

Global talent mobility takes various forms, depending on the business's needs and goals. It could be:

Long-Term Assignments

Companies send their top talents to work in a different country for an extended period, usually one to three years. They are undertaken for strategic reasons such as establishing a new business unit, managing a significant project, or transferring knowledge.

Short-Term Assignments

These are temporary relocations of employees for a specific project or task for a few weeks, which might last up to a few months. This type is commonly used for specific projects, training, problem-solving, or knowledge transfer that can be accomplished within a shorter timeframe.

One-Way Transfers

This involves transferring employees to a different country for an indefinite period of time. Companies opt for one-way transfers to support global expansion, fill skill gaps, or offer career development opportunities.

International or Locally Hired Foreigner

This involves hiring talent from outside the host country, either an individual abroad or a local expatriate. Companies hire international or local foreigners to benefit from skills, qualifications, and experience that may not be readily available in the local talent pool. 

Localization and Local Plus

Localization and Local Plus aim to integrate global talent into regional settings, but their approaches are different. While localization involves offering expatriate compensation packages that match local standards in the host country, Local Plus blends a local compensation structure with expatriate benefits or allowances.

Business Travel

This involves sending employees on short-term trips to conduct meetings, attend conferences, or complete projects in various locations.

Virtual Assignments

Virtual assignments involve working remotely from anywhere in the world, usually outside the organization’s home country. Here, talent relies on technology to communicate and collaborate with their team.

What Are Global Talent Mobility Benefits?

Global talent mobility offers several competitive advantages to organizations operating in a global market. They include:

Access to a diverse talent pool

Global talent mobility allows you to work with talent all over the world, exposing you to a diverse range of skills, experiences, and perspectives. For example, you can transfer a coding genius from India and an experienced marketing manager from the US to work on a big project in London. This dynamic mix of employees can boost your business performance, make your business more adaptable to changing market conditions, and improve your edge in today’s increasingly competitive global market.

Improved employee engagement

Employee engagement is a constant challenge for employers. With global talent mobility, you allow your team to explore new horizons, set new goals, and take on exciting challenges, making them feel more connected to the company's vision.

Easier market entry

International employees are a rich source of insights for businesses that want to expand into new markets they are familiar with. With employees’ firsthand knowledge of local laws, regulations, consumer preferences, and business practices, businesses can streamline their market research, competitor analysis, and branding strategy, making international expansion smoother. 

Easy knowledge transfer and skill development

Relocated employees bring a wealth of knowledge and experience from their home country. When they work with other employees in a new country, they can exchange ideas and best practices, fostering a culture of professional learning and development. 

What Are the Global Talent Mobility Challenges?


Organizations that send employees abroad have to navigate the complex immigration rules of different countries, which can be time-consuming and costly.  

This challenge is further compounded by the fact that immigration rules are constantly evolving. For example, the UK recently announced a plan to increase the minimum salary threshold for sponsored workers from £26,200 to £38,700 by spring 2024. 

So, employers need to stay updated on immigration laws, choose the correct visas, work permits, collect documentation, pay the relevant fees, and submit renewal applications on time to avoid penalties or fines.

Tax and Compliance

Organizations face the complexity of adhering to different tax systems in different countries when relocating employees internationally. In addition, they have to comply with local business regulations, labor laws, and other governmental requirements.

So the employer must navigate through various laws around income taxes, minimum wages, reporting requirements, and statutory benefits to avoid legal consequences.

Relocation Logistics

Relocating talents across borders involves tiresome tasks such as shipping personal belongings, arranging transportation, providing accommodation, offering work tools, and handling legal and administrative formalities. Meanwhile, when hiring remotely, you just need to ensure the employee is equipped with the resources required for work.

Permanent Establishment Risk

Companies that send employees abroad face the risk of accidentally creating a permanent establishment in a foreign country, exposing them to corporate tax liability. 

To avoid creating a permanent establishment, companies may choose to set up a local entity in the country where they operate. However, this process is lengthy and costly.

Social Integration

Apart from adapting to a new work environment, employees who relocate have to adjust to the culture of a foreign country. Imagine an employee moving from India to Japan. They’ll have to navigate differences in language, communication styles, and social norms. As a result, they may struggle to build meaningful connections in the new country, giving rise to feelings of loneliness and displacement. 

How To Plan for Global Talent Mobility

Implementing a global talent mobility program requires careful planning and coordination. Follow the steps below to craft a strategic roadmap that ensures smooth employee relocation.

Assess your current and future talent needs

Do a comprehensive analysis of your current workforce to learn if there are gaps and know where your company stands on the path to attaining company growth and goals.

Then, find out what skills are in demand now and what you might need down the road. This evaluation is the foundation for strategic talent planning.

Develop and implement your global talent mobility policies

Create an international talent mobility policy defining these initiatives' scope, objectives, criteria, processes, and benefits.

You should also consider the legal, regulatory, cultural, and logistical aspects of moving and developing talent across different countries and regions.

Engage your stakeholders and communicate your value proposition

Actively involve key stakeholders in the global talent mobility initiative, including executives, managers, and employees. Building understanding and garnering support from key stakeholders is crucial for the program's success.

Monitor your global talent mobility outcomes

Track how well your global talent mobility program is working. Are your employees performing well in their new roles? Is the company benefiting from the diverse perspectives? Regularly check in and tweak things if needed.

Foster a culture of global talent mobility

Instill a mindset that moving around globally for work is something every employee in your organization can look forward to. Encourage employees to think globally and show them a clear path for growth within the organization.

Hire the best EOR to simplify global talent mobility

Does the process of implementing global talent mobility sound hectic? You can avoid the hassle by partnering with an experienced Employer of Record (EOR) like Gloroots, which is an entity that specializes in providing comprehensive employment solutions for companies engaging in international or cross-border business activities.

How Can an EOR Help With Global Talent Mobility?

Payroll Services

Many countries mandate that salaries to their residents be paid from bank accounts within the host country for tax and management of foreign exchange purposes. So, when you move an employee to a different country, you must ensure you set up a legal payroll process. Here, the EOR manages end-to-end payroll tasks.

Labor Compliance

The labor laws are getting stricter every year. You must know the ground rules before your employees start working in a new country.

For instance, in the UAE, working hours change during Ramadan. So, you must know what hours employees are allowed to work, their overtime pay rules, and their discrimination laws.

Employee Benefits

Each country has mandatory and recommended benefits for your employees. So, after onboarding them with the necessary work permits, you must provide them with the required benefits. 

Visas and Work Permits

EORs facilitate the process of applying for visas and work permits for your employees, ensuring compliance with local immigration laws and policies. This allows you to access a wide global talent pool without dealing with legal and administrative burdens.

Handle Global Talent Mobility Better with Gloroots

Make global talent mobility implementation a breeze with Gloroots, a reliable Employer Of Record. Hire anyone from India to France to Italy to the USA without hassle and with full compliance.

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