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Businesses failing to link mobility to talent management, says EY study

More than half of mobility executives working in multinational companies said their mobility teams played no role in talent management and wider business objectives, according to a new EY study.

This is despite 83% stating that mobility has a positive impact on career progression, helping to create future leaders and drive competitive advantage for their organisations.

The study showed 42% of the respondents said they do not even have a global talent management agenda.

EY global director human capital Dina Pyron said as companies becomes more globalised, it is important to have talent that understands how to compete in these diverse markets.

"Mobility professionals can play a more effective role in strategic business planning, rather than focusing on immediate needs, to drive competitive advantage for their organisations," Pyron said.

"Mobility needs to be seen as a tool to enhance the talent pool, not simply an easy way to fill a vacancy without any strategic insight. The function must be connected or integrated with the talent management team, combining their specialist skill sets to improve the retention and development of top talent and potential future leadership."

The study, Your talent in motion: Global mobility effectiveness, found 78% of the 264 mobility executives interviewed reported that their mobility function did not measure return on investment (ROI).

Employers also failed to track an employee once an assignment is finished, such as employee retention, performance rating and career progression – with 16% of assignees leaving the company within two years of returning.

The study found many employers do not have the adequate procedures in place to track tax, payroll and immigration issues for those employees on global assignments.

Stephanie Phizackerley, EY partner in the UK and Ireland global mobility practice, said: "For companies deploying more of their people into emerging markets, such undeveloped mobility policies and processes are restricting their ability to manage talent and run an effective program."