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Talent-Mobility Gap Drives Talent Away: Study


A new study reveals that employees’ lack of awareness about mobility and relocation opportunities within their company is driving talent away—a risk that few companies can hardly afford given the current talent crisis. This talent-mobility disconnect not only contributes to turnover and retention issues, but also robs companies of the opportunity to promote and build their leadership bench from within, which drives up talent management costs.

According to the Mobility in Focus: Identifying the Talent-Mobility Disconnect report, conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of global mobility management company Topia, more than one-fifth professionals say they have quit a job specifically because they were denied the opportunity to transfer to another location; 10 percent have done so more than once. And, among those who have considered leaving their employer, over half say they’d reconsider if given the opportunity to move to another location, even without additional pay or benefits.

Poor Communication Drives up Costs

Surprisingly, it seems the gap is driven by simple lack of communication about mobility opportunities: among the 99 percent of U.S. companies that offer transfer or relocation programs, over 40 percent of professionals say their companies don’t, or at least they’re unaware of the option.”It appears this substantial gap mostly stems from poor internal communication. Employees know mobility can help build their career and they’re willing to relocate, but the majority never get the chance, so they look elsewhere for career advancement opportunities,” said Topia founder and CEO Brynne Kennedy.

“The good news is, this situation can easily be rectified with better communication and greater focus on aligning and optimizing talent from within, which helps companies build strong talent and leaders at a much lower cost than acquisition.”

The researchers believe as, retaining and cultivating talent is a high priority for companies in today’s extremely tight market where the number of available jobs now exceeds the number of jobseekers, it means employers must be aggressively proactive in offering incentives and opportunities for growth, or else risk losing employees to other companies that offer these career advancement opportunities.

“The survey results paint a compelling picture of the gap between opportunities and awareness for too many employees, and of the need to mitigate the administrative pressure on HR with a more holistic and technologically advanced approach,” said Meghan M. Biro, CEO and Founder of TalentCulture.

“To date mobility hasn’t really been leveraged to its fullest for talent strategy, but this survey highlights the need of organizations to reexamine how and why they use mobility across their organization.”

Solving Time and Cost Challenges 

According to the survey, the time and cost involved in implementing a strategic mobility program are the biggest obstacles companies face. HR executives already spend an average of 28 hours per month—with one-quarter spending an entire workweek or more—on relocation admin tasks, such as researching work or visa requirements, filling out local tax documents or coordinating benefits for employees. And, more than half say the cost of a relocation program prevents them from adopting or advancing their mobility strategy, despite more than 90 percent recognizing that mobility improves business growth, agility and diversity and inclusion.

“The good news here is that, thanks to advancements in global mobility management technology, there are tools and solutions that overcome these obstacles, to make operating a GMM program more efficient and affordable,” Kennedy said.

“I think the evidence is clear: companies must take immediate action to better communicate about relocation and internal job opportunities, and implement modern, effective solutions to help them manage a strategic GMM program. It’s the only way they’ll win at the talent game.”

Even though the study was conducted in the US and Europe, with mobility and talent issues becoming a global phenomenon, the results and its learnings can be applicable anywhere and across industry sectors, believe researchers.

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