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Alongside the ongoing collection of metrics about program performance, policies and delivery platforms, the current work program of the ETF is geared towards the challenges of talent mobility.

Globalisation and the need for talent
In order to succeed and sustain growth in an increasingly globalised world, companies need to penetrate new markets and manage their operations in a global context. In addressing this need, successful global companies are using a diverse and increasingly mobile workforce and most companies are predicting significant increases in global mobility in the coming years. There is, therefore, a growing need for competent managers who can operate successfully in the international arena. In this environment, a key success factor will be a company’s ability to identify and manage talented individuals.

Current problems in managing talent
In many organisations, talent management in an international context is comparatively undeveloped. Companies are unsure how best to use international experience to protect and enhance their investment in talent. For example, following an international assignment, there is inadequate measurement of success and, so,
little opportunity to refine or tune approaches and procedures.

There is also a concern in many companies about the operation of the mobility and talent functions at a strategic level. Do these functions have an agreed, clear understanding of the business needs and how these are likely to change as the business develops? And, how good is the fit between international talent
strategy/delivery and current business needs?

Challenges in achieving an effective talent pipeline
Achieving an effective talent pipeline is not an easy task. There are many challenges facing managers of global mobility and talent functions, including:


  • The concept of a global talent pipeline, which is geared to the strategic, international organisational development needs of the business, is not advanced in many organisations;
  • International assignments are a crucial element in developing a global talent pipeline, but cost may restrict their use where the benefit is unclear;
  • There is a lack of understanding of the factors that lead to successful international assignments;
  • Few organisations have established metrics to analyse the effectiveness of their international mobility and talent programs; and
  • Talented individuals are in short supply and it is, therefore, important that international experience is targeted and effective.

What needs to be done?
It is clear that, in the future, successful global companies will be the ones that identify, develop and nurture talent and obtain real value from international experience. In a globally competitive environment it is vital to be amongst the best in this area. In order to achieve this there is a need to:


  • Use international assignments to develop managers and strengthen their leadership qualities;
  • Facilitate a diversity of talent across the organisation;
  • Introduce metrics to help ensure that HR processes are integrated and work effectively;
  • Ensure that global mobility and talent leaders work closely together; and
  • Ensure that the global mobility and talent functions are seen as strategic business partners.

The Forum's 'Global Talent Pipeline: Criticial Metrics, Effective Strategies' project aims to help companies address the problems, challenges and needs described above.


For detailed information on current projects and how to take part, contact a member of the management team on +44(0)1344 898007 or by email to team@etf-online.com