When I started working in Global Mobility, it was pretty vanilla. There was really only one way to deploy talent internationally: the long-term international assignment. Everyone got the same set of benefits on the same policy. Mobility’s client was the employee, and the function worked largely on relocating and supporting employees and their families on assignment. Most operations were performed in-house with limited support from outsourced partners. 

Things progressed over the years to be more Neapolitan: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. Mobility started to support more assignment types: short-term and permanent moves, as well as the traditional long-term assignment. The primary client was still the employee, but the function started to rely on outsourced partners, and it became more common to employ a co-sourced partner model.

Fast forward to today: working in Mobility is like walking into a gourmet ice cream shop! Not only are there dozens of ice cream flavors, but there is also an infinite choice of toppings from hot  fudge sauce to gummy bears… as well as choices about whether to put said ice cream on a sugar cone, waffle cone, or in a cup! Ice cream is pretty delicious, but I admit to some anxiety when faced with so many choices and I often don’t know where to start!

And that is what it can feel like working in Mobility these days: a dizzying spectrum of activity which includes supporting multiple ways to deploy talent -- internationally or domestically — across a diverse client base of the employee, the business, HR, and talent acquisition… all while trying to satisfy an array of business investment and employee experience preferences.

To address this spectrum of activity, Global Mobility Teams are having to:

  • Offer flexible policy approaches (a flexible choice of ice cream and toppings)
  • Advise the business on the best way to deploy talent (recommendations on the right ice cream and the topping combinations)
  • Rely on technology and data to help make good decisions (picking the right ice cream based on readily available facts)
  • Select and manage a bevy of external partners (the people who supply the ingredients and help make the ice cream)

Next in this blog series, we look at how GM can advise the business on the best way to deploy talent.


Because there are so many factors to consider when deploying talent, Global Mobility is increasingly playing an advisory role. In this role, Mobility is advising the business, talent acquisition, HRBPs, and talent leadership on the best ways to leverage mobility to meet business and organizational goals. These “clients” are often not mobility experts, and they crave subject matter expertise (SME) to help make informed decisions. These clients are asking for Global Mobility to get involved earlier in a mobile talent deployment to help pick the right approach before any deployments are authorized.

When this works, it works well. Cue the business standing in the ice cream shop overwhelmed by choice.

Enter Mobility to say: “Hey! Based on what you are telling me, I would pick the rocky road with hot fudge sauce, in a cup!”

The result is a happy customer with exactly the ice cream that they wanted.

Read more in our latest download.


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Download: Why is Mobility Like Ice Cream?


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