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Talent and Mobility – Beyond 2023

A Chapman CG Global HR Leaders Forum in Melbourne

Hosted by: Aurecon

ChapmanCG recently hosted a Global HR Leader Forum in Melbourne, where we explored the marriage of talent and mobility and how organisations navigate this in the current post-pandemic conditions, looking Beyond 2023. Hosted by Aurecon, our panel included Keryn Mendes, Global Mobility Manager at Aurecon, Melissa Donaghey, Head of Talent Management – India, SE Asia and ANZ at Ericsson and Ursula Dyer Lepporoli, Global Mobility Services Lead Victoria at KPMG. 

The discussion focused on developing best practice strategic talent and mobility frameworks and initiatives to drive businesses forward. The inspiring panellists shared how they are leaning into the ‘harsh realities on the ground’ and addressing tax considerations, talent technology platforms, frameworks, and ESG. The Melbourne HR community joined the conversation, and we covered a wide range of topics relevant to the current business landscape. 

Navigating the Conditions COVID-19 has Created

The discussion opened with the panellists sharing their views on the current situation and how they work with their organisations to navigate “the conditions COVID-19 has created”.  

We have seen a shift from the traditional global mobility approach, and now organisations need to factor in hybrid and remote work as part of their standard.  

Keryn Mendes, Global Mobility Manager at Aurecon

Wider internal stakeholder groups involved in global mobility activities and lifestyle considerations are becoming increasingly significant.  With these granular conversations taking place around mobility for individuals in organisations, there is a shift towards considering a tailored mobility framework rather than a standard one.

Another significant issue that has arisen is the increased cost of mobility. Ursula Dyer Lepperoli pointed out that a standard move from Australia to the UK costs at least AU$32,000.  While leaders believe that mobility is necessary as part of a talent strategy, the rising costs associated with it cannot be ignored. For businesses that prioritise talent and mobility strategy, it is essential to review and reset cost management expectations with leaders.

The conversation then moved to the overall talent strategy for global organisations. The discussion addressed questions such as how do you build internal talent and internal mobility, where does it fit in navigating careers and retention, and what benefits can it deliver?

New Possibilities – New Policies

During the conversation, Keryn explained how Aurecon’s priorities align with their talent strategy, which has resulted in new possibilities and a clearly defined offering to their employees and future talents. These priorities include: 

  1. Defining remote/hybrid working across the business and for individuals. Mercer’s 2023 mid-year mobility review suggests that employee lifestyle choices are a major driver in this regard. 
  2. Policy recalibration. Although the pre-pandemic policies were effective, emerging factors such as cost require a review and revamp to support the business in the future.
  3. Closer partnering with external and internal partners. Keryn advocates for strong vendor partnerships and works with them to ensure that Aurecon stays at the forefront of evolving areas, futureproofing their programs and considering real-world factors such as tax.

The Harsh Reality on the Ground

Ursula shared examples from her clients and KPMG about the tax considerations of working in different countries and jurisdictions and the impact of managing those on working holidays or employees wanting flexibility on where they work.

Flexibility can also attract complex tax implications. Businesses shouldn’t create a policy without a periodic review. A set and forget’ approach when it comes to remote work is never a good idea. The approaches governments are taking are changing and you must stay informed to remain compliant.  

Ursula Dyer Lepporoli, Global Mobility Services Lead Victoria at KPMG

Ursula advised the group to seek solid advice when putting together a new mobility program; it is much harder to ‘undo’ bespoke policy on the run.  Setting up a support system of advisors so you can put in solid foundations for a future-fit program is worth the investment.

Melissa then provided valuable insights into Ericsson’s talent and mobility model, which is considered one of the best in the market. She discussed the journey, learnings, talent platform, and systems supporting this mature model. Melissa also talked about the culture and ecosystem in which leaders operate, emphasising how talent strategy is closely intertwined with mobility. Ericsson follows key hiring principles for hiring managers and employees and considers mobility for all vacancies, regardless of the role, location, or time. 

Over the past five to six years, Ericsson has implemented a talent mobility system that has revolutionised how employees think about their careers. They have ingrained career conversations into their culture and have established policies, internal forums, workshops, and career guides that encourage employees from all across the business to meet and learn from others who have successfully navigated their career journeys with Ericsson, thanks to the opportunities provided by mobility.

The New Path Forward

In influencing the business, focus on being fact-based, have a compelling narrative and leaders will align on the decision-making.

Melissa Donaghey, Head of Talent Management – India, SE Asia and ANZ at Ericsson

Melissa explained that their primary goal is to make it easier for everyone to access internal career opportunities, to build their careers at Ericsson rather than looking externally. They rely on factual data to provide valuable insights into career mobility and help employees succeed in their roles by equipping them with the necessary skills. This work program has not only improved the quality of applications but has also helped employees to be more aware of their abilities and the steps required to achieve their career goals within the company.

In Closing

Industry leaders such as Ericsson, Aurecon and KPMG may well be a utopia in terms of the marriage of talent and mobility strategy, but the balance between navigating the cost realities of the current state with a compelling employee experience as the major leading factor in the mobility approach was resounding across the panel. 

Prioritising aligning Mobility with Talent Strategy is one of the top three priorities identified in the AIRINC Mobility Outlook Survey 2023.  The key for an organisation is to make sure you understand the business dynamics, know what the business wants, collect the evidence and then be prepared to design a programme that supports talent mobilisation in all its forms. 

Lorraine Jennings, nationally recognised specialist talent mobility strategy and planning advisor 

I had a great experience participating in the Talent and Mobility discussion hosted by ChapmanCG’s team. The panel consisted on highly knowledgeable professionals from Ericsson, Aurecon and KPMG. Some valuable insights that emerged from the discussion included the importance of assessing the diversity within the mobile workforce, empowering employees to shape their own career paths, and emphasizing the use of data to address critical talent-related issues.

Ken Kwan, Global Manager Executive Talent Acquisition and Insights People & Organisation, Corporate at BlueScope

A huge thank you to our hosts Aurecon, our panelists and our HR community who attended. Watch this space for more HR leader gatherings, roundtable discussions and thought leadership forums to come before the end of the year in New York, Chicago, Mumbai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney, Tokyo, London, Shanghai, Berlin, Munich and Zurich!


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