The last three years have seen huge changes and challenges in global mobility and international business. After a period of consolidation, companies are now keen to grow their people and their organisations and make the most of the opportunities as travel and borders open up.
Supply and demand issues put budgets and ESG into focus
However, budget and price pressures are dominating discussions with service providers while Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues are also gaining traction. Political change and conflict means employers need to be particularly cognisant of their duty of care for their employees, especially those they send on assignment.
It was against this background that leaders, decision makers and service providers across global mobility and international business joined Fiona Murchie, Founder & Managing Editor, Relocate Global and Think Global People for an evening of professional networking and a lively exchange of ideas.
The Think Global People International Networking Reception was held at the Institute of Directors in London and provided a unique opportunity for professionals working across global mobility, immigration, tax, leadership, coaching and the international education sector to meet and exchange views and ideas.
Journalist Marianne Curphey led an informal discussion with guest panellists Fruzsina Hodson, Senior Manager, Santa Fe Relocation and Shân Norman, Regional Vice President, EMEA, Weichert Workforce Mobility and contributions from a wide variety of attendees.
Fiona Murchie described how the world of global mobility faces many challenges and changes but also has the opportunity to make the most of exciting new developments. She spoke about how the sector has been impacted by the rise of AI, the legal and financial pitfalls of remote working, ESG, new gender research, the Path to Net Zero in the UK and latest Trade Agreements. All these themes are explored in depth in the Autumn Issue of Think Global People magazine.
New events planned to examine diversity and talent shortages
Fiona highlighted Think Global People’s new Member Community with Membership at 3 levels, Affiliate, Collaborative Partner and coming in 2024 the Executive Member. It is a network for decision-makers, aspiring leaders, experts and thought leaders focused on global business and has never been more needed in this era of challenge and change.
There are more exciting events planned for 2024, with the Think Women event scheduled for Friday March 8 to celebrate International Women’s Day. Among the themes up for discussion will be how to explore and encourage diversity, the benefits and challenges inherent in maximising the potential of everyone in the workplace, and brainstorming ways to support talent and personal and professional growth.
The panel discussion with Marianne Curphey, Fruzsina Hodson and Shân Norman covered some of the pain points which global mobility professionals are experiencing currently, including the rising costs involved in relocating staff, delays in visas and immigration, managing client expectations and delivering the best service to assignees. The wide-ranging discussion raised issues around the recent changes in rental law across Europe, best practice approaches to accommodating pets and other special requests, the changing profile of the relocation client and their length of stay, and how families are making tough choices around location, education and budgets.
“This was my first time attending a Relocate Global networking event,” said James Smith, Tax Director at RSM London, who contributed to the discussion after the panel presentation. “I met a great group of people from different sectors, those in practice and industry. The mix of networking and fireside chat and discussion, involving not only panellists but the audience as well worked really well. I’ve certainly come away with what I’d hoped and will be back again.”
Olga Nechita, Director, Fragomen, who contributed to the debate at the Networking Evening said: “The event was very enjoyable and insightful. I particularly enjoyed the exchange of trends and updates in the relocation industry and meeting like-minded industry experts.”
Feedback from members and readers helps to drive the debate
Fiona Murchie promised more events focussing on supporting and informing global mobility professionals. Networking events, one-off workshops and focussed discussion panels around leadership, ESG, diversity and talent management are all potential themes.
“We want to support you the global mobility community to help you continue to do an amazing job and be supported in the decision-making and problem-solving skills which are so vital to this industry,” Fiona said.
“Diversity and inclusion, ESG and building a strong talent pipeline are all issues which organisations want to embrace and incorporate into their structures. We want to hear from our global mobility colleagues and our vibrant Member Community as to what they feel is most needed and useful right now.
“Let us know what events and issues are pertinent to you in your roles and career. We want this to be a two-way exchange of views and support to help you grow and flourish. What would make a difference in terms of content, events, how can we help your agenda and what is making a difference in terms of the articles and information that you enjoy in the magazine? We are here to provide the information and content that will be useful to you and also push the boundaries to help you think outside the box, so do get back to us with feedback and suggestions.”