Mobility & Expatriate Management is a niche specialisation concentrating on the movement of talent between countries within a company, usually to cover a temporary skills gap in a particular location. The field concentrates heavily on the computation of tax liabilities, cost of living allowances, Compensation & Benefits issues, as well as the attraction and retention of expatriate employees within any particular country. The role will also set the employee mobility policy within an organisation, and will work closely with HR and the business to promote the movement of specialised talent to the areas that need it most. Stand-alone Mobility & Expatriate Management roles are only common in larger organisations, otherwise the responsibility will often fall to the HR Generalist.
Pure Mobility & Expat Management professionals have often trained outside HR, usually in accountancy or even law. They typically have an analytical mindset and enjoy coordinating complex logistics regarding assignment moves. Successful practitioners tend to have flexible and adaptive personalities, as the role requires them to work with people from a wide range of cultures. They also need to be capable of dealing well with top level management, since these make up a significant proportion of people sent on assignment. In-house professionals will have often spent their earlier career in one of the big accounting firms or with specialist relocation providers.
Example Job Titles
Head of Expatriate Management; Director of International Assignment Services (IAS); Head of Mobility; Head of Overseas Assignments.