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Breaking down barriers: The role of global mobility in fostering company diversity

When you think about the world as a whole, it is incredibly diverse. There are people of all different shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and beliefs. Each with their own morals, languages, skills, and abilities - all of which could be invaluable to any business looking to create added value.

Businesses around the world are increasingly recognizing the importance of diversity in the workplace. Some countries have even implemented laws requiring countries to track the diversity of their workforce. A few such examples include:

While there are many ways you can enhance your diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) efforts internally, such as creating fairer and more meritocratic performance and promotion initiatives, there is one area that is crucial when it comes to DE&I— global mobility programs.

In this article, we will discuss how global mobility programs can help create a more diverse team, and the ways in which employers can align their global mobility strategy with their diversity and inclusion initiatives.

The importance of diversity, equity and inclusion

Before we start, it’s important to understand why DE&I is so important for a company. Besides the obvious moral implications, such as creating a safe and respectful environment for all your employees, studies have consistently shown that embracing diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace can lead to some impressive business results.

  • A study by McKinsey found that companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.
  • However, it’s not just monetary benefits that should be considered when looking at DE&I - Glassdoor survey revealed that 60% of the workforce surveyed gave higher ratings to their employers who have strong DE&I initiatives.
  • Plus, DE&I initiatives provide a competitive recruitment advantage with global talent, a recent Monster report found that Gen Z job seekers say a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is important when choosing an employer.

When we dive in a little deeper and gain an understanding of the benefits of having diverse and international teams, here is what we find:

Diversity serves to increase creativity and innovation

When employees work in global and diverse teams, they are more likely to come up with innovative solutions, than homogeneous teams. This comes as no surprise -  when you have employees from all different walks of life, with different perspectives, they are more likely to come up with creative solutions for any business problems.

Diversity enables organizations to connect with a wider-range of customers

A diverse and global workforce enables an organization to better engage with different types of customers. This is especially true when it comes to customer service teams, which are often the face of an organization. A team that is made up of diverse individuals with different backgrounds and cultures, will be better equipped to understand customer needs and provide better solutions.

Diversity creates a bridge that fills the skills gap

According to a study by Manpower, 75% of companies have felt the sting of a talent skills shortage. Hiring international talent widens the available talent pool and allows you access to employees and skill sets that may not usually be available in your local area.

Enabling diversity through global mobility programs

Now that we understand why having a diverse and global workforce is beneficial, let’s talk about how to achieve better diversity and inclusion through global mobility.

There are a few ways in which enabling diversity through global mobility can be done:

Finding qualified candidates from different countries and cultures

Regardless of whether your advertised job position is remote or not, broaden your search for international talent to include different countries and cultures. Look beyond the usual suspects and explore new markets that may be a good fit for the job you are offering. This could mean venturing into parts of Africa, Latin America or Asia – all places where there is an increasingly well-educated workforce who are eager to move abroad. 

Offer visa and relocation packages to international hires

For many international hires, the biggest hurdle to moving abroad for work is the visa and relocation process. Offer a relocation package that can help streamline the process and make it as easy and stress-free as possible. This could include offering assistance with paperwork, visa fees and financial support for relocation costs. You could even go above and beyond, and provide assistance with finding accommodation and schooling for their family.

Create an inclusive hiring process that respects all cultural norms

When recruiting international talent, remember to respect cultural norms and be mindful of any potential roadblocks that they may face. Don’t assume everyone is familiar with the same process and protocols - go out of your way to make sure that your international hires are comfortable with the process and well-informed before making a decision. This could mean allowing for remote interviews, as well as providing detailed information about the visa and relocation process upfront.

Develop flexible work arrangements for employees who want to relocate

Finally, offering flexible work arrangements is a great way to encourage international employees to move abroad. This can be anything from remote or hybrid working arrangements, to job shares or part-time contracts. By making the process as flexible and accommodating as possible, you can make it easier for international hires to adjust and integrate within their new work environment.

Aligning your global mobility strategy with DE&I initiatives

It’s important to remember that having a diverse and global workforce is not simply enough. You must also ensure that your global mobility programs are aligned with your diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Here are a few key steps you can take to ensure your global mobility strategy is in line with the company’s DE&I initiatives:

  • Create transparent policies and processes for international hiring and relocation packages.
  • Foster a culture of open communication and respect for different cultures.
  • Build a support network of resources to help international hires adjust to working in the country they are moving. 
  • Utilize DE&I training programs to ensure global mobility teams have an understanding of the cultural dynamics involved in hiring international talent.

Improve the diversity of international candidates

The last step in creating a diverse and global workforce is improving the diversity of global mobility and international candidates. This can be accomplished through a variety of measures, including, but not limited to:

  • Increasing outreach to international job seekers through job boards, regional websites, and social media platforms
  • Partnering with universities to promote international student recruitment
  • Offering language courses and cultural sensitivity training to international hires
  • Leveraging existing expatriate networks to help recruit international talent

If you are new to international hiring, check out our ebook on the basics of global mobility management. It provides a comprehensive overview of the global mobility process and the tools you’ll need to start enabling diversity through global mobility.

It’s no secret that creating a diverse workforce requires effort, but it comes with a range of benefits that make it worth the effort. Enabling diversity through global hiring programs will not only help you attract top talent from around the world, it will also create a more open and inclusive culture that allows all employees to thrive. A global workforce with varied perspectives provides your company the best chance of success in today’s global economy.

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