More and more companies today are employing people from different countries, opening branches all over the world, and working together in a market that is more global than ever before. Technology has made it possible for employees to communicate with one another and with HQ from anywhere in the world. The global economy means there’s a wider talent pool, not demarcated by national borders but open to all, where employees can work for companies based outside of the countries they live in.

Companies are hiring employees from different parts of the world with different skill sets and abilities. They are also mobilizing their workforce and sending people to other countries with the resources, laws, and infrastructure necessary to do the job. Workforce mobility can help cut down operating and overhead costs by allowing employees to work remotely, and increase productivity by improving access to resources.

Although it has been steadily growing in popularity, workforce mobility still has its challenges. Dealing with the legalities of moving workers, relocation costs, and the potential for security breaches are just a few of the factors that may dissuade some companies from exporting or importing talent.

Benefits of Global Workforce Mobility

  • Broader talent: Imagine finding people with different expertise, expanded knowledge, and new ways to approach tasks to improve business from all around the world. Having the opportunity to hire people from different areas multiplies your talent pool, allowing your company to hire the best candidates, wherever they may be.
  • Cost savings: Workforce mobility can help you save on operating costs, by allowing employees to work remotely. It can also reduce costs by transferring business to areas that have more economic resources, like raw materials or installations. It can also reduce costs in wages if a specific location has a lower cost of living.
  • Increased productivity: Through workforce mobility, you can enhance economic development and improve employee work-life balance, by allowing for remote working options. This leads to increased productivity through a workforce that’s more mobile and working from wherever it’s most convenient for them and the company.
  • Improved access: Moving your workforce to a different location can mean better access to resources like raw materials and existing infrastructures, which can prove quite beneficial to your company’s operation and bottom line.

Challenges of Global Workforce Mobility

  • Legal issues: An important factor to keep in mind when hiring employees overseas or when transferring employees to other countries is the importance of complying with all legal requirements. Employees must fill out all of the necessary IRS paperwork for tax purposes needed by your company, as well as any payroll or tax information needed in the country where they will reside. They will also have to qualify and apply for visas so they can work abroad.
  • Relocation costs: The legal ramifications of workforce mobility may also mean added costs. You may have to hire a lawyer to apply for visas. You might also be responsible for relocation costs – covering the cost for movers, travel, and housing in many cases. These can quickly add up, so make sure they don’t offset the financial benefits of moving your workforce.
  • Security: The technological advancements that make workforce mobility possible can also create challenges. Using servers located in countries that are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks or infiltration means that you have to be better prepared by upping your security measures. Physical security can also become a concern if your employees are transferred to a country that’s going through social unrest, for instance.
  • Embracing culture: Finally, whether you’re hiring employees in other countries or relocating employees, making sure that they all embrace your company’s culture, and vice versa, can be challenging. It’s the HR department’s responsibility to research work policies in the countries where employees are hired or relocated to, as they are often quite different from one another. Also, make sure to respect local holidays and consider offering language training for employees.

Workforce mobility has been a real game-changer for many companies – allowing them to expand their talent pools and customer base around the globe. Like with any business strategy, the pros and cons of hiring foreign talent or mobilizing employees must be weighed to determine whether your business can truly benefit. Has your company dived into the world of workforce mobility? What are some of your motivations or hesitations?

How to Turn Your HR Department
Into a Well-Oiled Machine

If you’ve ever wished things ran more smoothly in your HR department, our downloadable report provides practical tips and strategies to do just that. Learn about how to encourage communication so employees feel more engaged; promote a higher sense of responsibility and greater productivity; and maximize the potential in each team member.

View Now
Andreea Hrab

International HR Director for OSF Global Services, Andreea is a veteran recruiter who has seen them all. She developed HR recruiting strategies and retention programs that guarantees the success of the company. She is a people person and she handles very easy new relationships with new employees, but her most interesting challenge is to find the middle way between company’s best interests and employee’s needs. To learn more about Andreea contact her on LinkedIn.


  • Avatar Cappy Pears says:

    I think it’s great that we live during the times, in which people can work remotely and live in different countries. Personally, I work (and love it) with people from all over the world. We have weekly skype meetings and share our ideas on a variety of subjects. Such an exchange of ideas from different employees is very useful, especially in solving some difficult issues.

  • Avatar Clare says:

    In my opinion the most important aspect that an employer should take into consideration when it comes to hiring people from different cultural backgrounds is to ensure a complex process of integration for the new employees. Working remotely has its advantages, but it can slow down integration process and this can make company to lose a talent for not making him feel integrated to the team.

  • Avatar Alan Dill says:

    I agree that workforce mobility is great, as people from different countries would bring new fresh ideas to the table. Today’s technology makes it possible to communicate with one another and be constantly in touch. People with different cultural backgrounds is likely to give different interesting approaches to things, which is very beneficial for every company.

  • Avatar Michael says:

    Despite of all the challenges, global workforce mobility is a “border breaker” and I really like this. Connecting with people from different countries, cultures is an incredible way of growing personally and professionally. From my point of view, future is about networking and workforce mobility is the best thing that could have happened to our global world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Topics

  • Subscribe to Our Blog

  • Improving Your Recruitment Strategies with Social Media

    With millions of daily users, social media opens a whole new world of recruitment opportunities and offers unique ways to directly source, recruit, and hire candidates. If you want to stay abreast of the times, you need to learn and apply social recruiting strategies as soon as possible.

    View Now

  • Latest Posts

  • Stay Social