The qualities of an effective global mobility professional

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What does the ideal global mobility professional look like?

“HRDs can increase the strategic impact of the global mobility function by ensuring it’s better aligned with the business,” says David Collings, professor of HR management at Dublin University. “Bring diverse talent in – people from an international HR background.” Here are some of the qualities the experts suggest you need to look for in an effective mobility professional:

Numerical skills

“Everything is so technical, you need to be numerical,” says Danone’s international mobility director Dorothy Ewing. “That means it’s a scary place for a lot of HR people.”

Ability to challenge

Mobility professionals needs to be able to challenge the business on bad decisions about moving people, such as when a manager hasn’t considered someone’s family situation, for example, says KPMG Ireland’s Michael Rooney, director of its global mobility practice.

Ability to see the bigger picture

“You need to be able to connect the dots,” says KC Sin, Blackrock’s global head of rewards operations and talent mobility. “Understand the external factors, such as financial regulation, immigration and tax, and the impact they will have on your function. Be mindful of the external environment and how that plays into your agenda.”

Collaborative nature

“You need someone who can bring the different parts of the business and different stakeholders together,” says Rooney. “I think about optimising the horizontal as well as the vertical,” adds Sin. “Am I a partner? Am I adding value to reward, talent, the HR BPs?”

Internal credibility

Having credibility and understanding the business and HR from a broader context is critical in getting support from business leaders, says Ewing. “You have to empower the business and have people who will support you,” she adds.

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