Earlier this week, the Forum for Expatriate Management (FEM) held their APAC Summit in Hong Kong. The whole day was full of educational content, and the keynote titled Thinking Strategically: How Can Global Mobility Fuel the Talent Cycle? by Norbert Modla, Group Head of HR for JF Hillebrand Group, was a highlight. Lexicon’s Avrom Goldberg, who also presented at the event on our China Global Mobility 360˚ Survey, reported back some of the key insights from Modla’s presentation.
1. Globally, executives aren’t happy with their talent pipelines.
Modla suggested that perhaps organizations are following an outdated HR model. “Are we in love with our processes? This means are we measuring what we can versus measuring what we should?”
2. Millennials will comprise 75% of the workforce by 2020.
Seventy-one percent of millennials expect or want to go on assignment. Modla believes that the key to harnessing talent among this group is to treat them as consumers who seek transparency, independence and choice.
3. Brand management and talent management are effectively interchangeable.
Modla showed a slide with a text-book definition of brand management reading:
“Brand management is a function that includes analysis and planning on how that brand is positioned and developed in the market and maintaining a desired quality and reputation of the brand. Brand managers plan, develop, and direct the efforts for growing a brand. They are responsible for leading activities of specialists in production, sales, advertising, promotion, research and development, marketing research, purchasing, distribution, package development and finance. Brand managers are seen as the key people they are responsible for improving the value of their brands, which in turn generates profitable returns for the company shareholders.”
He then showed the same slide where “talent” replaced the word “brand” and suggested the definitions are in fact identical.
4. Companies differentiate between assignment types such as short term and long term, but they do not differentiate sufficiently the reasons behind assignments.
This has several consequences, not least for the elusive quest to determine ROI on assignments.
5. Organizations all too easily get performance and potential confused.
Modla says, most tellingly, that “assuming current performers are also future performers means we assume the future doesn’t change. But going on assignment by definition means change. Research shows that 71% of high performers are not, in fact, high potentials. If you take them out of the environment in which they are performing they are unlikely to continue performing. But 93% of high potentials are high performers. We need to separate high professionals from high potentials.”
This points to the inadequate attention paid to formal candidate assessment for assignments, which is consistently borne out by research. For example, Lexicon’s China Global Mobility 360˚ Survey shows that just 31% of companies conduct formal candidate assessment testing the suitability of prospective assignees into Tier 1 locations in China – and this percentage actually drops when companies send assignees into less developed locations in China.
It’s always valuable to spend time talking with and learning from other global mobility professionals, and Lexicon was happy to participate in this week’s event. The FEM APAC Summit had around 200 attendees, with about half of that group attending Goldberg’s presentation on the China survey.
Avrom Goldberg presents on Lexicon's China Global Mobility 360˚ Survey.
Last month’s FEM EMEA Summit in London, which drew more than 800 mobility professionals, was also an exciting educational event and venue for Goldberg’s presentation. This was Europe's best attended global mobility conference, and Lexicon was excited to attend, present and exhibit.
Lexicon's Dan Keating, Helen Grierson, Avrom Goldberg, Damon Ward and Simon Robins