The idea of going global has unlocked numerous opportunities for businesses who had been for long constrained by national boundaries. Saturation in the domestic market is forcing companies to explore additional business prospects globally as part of their current and future growth strategy. With globalization resulting in employment opportunities, the imbalance caused by lack of talent is acting as a major driving force for mobility services. Over the years, global mobility services have evolved from a process driven support function to a service with significant business potential. Although, global mobility was not a part of the global business strategy initially, it has now become a critical segment within global business planning. Mobility services primarily help in the proper allocation of required skill sets and talent, especially in developing and high growth economies. It provides suitable talent, irrespective of the location, resulting in enhanced business delivery.
New Global Trends
However, mobility services bring along various compliance challenges around immigration, tax, legal and regulatory aspects. It is critical for HR managers to be aware of the new trends, including technological and regulatory changes, to maintain security for employees while ensuring ease of process handling. In recent times, a few regulatory changes have been implemented in major markets such as Europe and U.S. For instance, a new policy has been introduced for paying an ”immigration skill charge” for organizations sponsoring Tier 2 migrant workers. Skill charge will be £1,000 per Tier 2 migrant worker per year for medium or large sponsors, and £364 per year for charitable institutions or small sponsors. Since April 2017, UK has also encountered a change in the procedures for clearing personal belongings, motor vehicles, private vessels and pets into the region. A long-drawn process of importing includes submission of an online application under (ToR) relief and approval from HM Customs and Excise.
Similarly, in the U.S., application for visas is put through enhanced screening and vetting. H1B extension petition filing on behalf of programers and analysts is open to fresh scrutiny after U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services rescinded the 2000 guidance. Also, premium processing for H1B petitions has been put on hold. The U.S. Department of State has ordered consular offices for a rigorous check on applications for terrorism-related ineligibilities.
Uber Mobility Becoming Popular
The concept of Uber Mobility is also gaining popularity with firms and employees alike this year. It refers to self-management of elements such as destination information, managing move, planning trip, travel tracking, security tracking, expense reports, home finding, to quote a few. Numerous virtual solutions supporting pre-decision trips, home finding solutions, pre-move home surveys are available, which will essentially save time and cost. We are witnessing an increase in the use of robotic process automation (through AI driven chatbots to leverage support across time zones) and in the usage of self-driving trucks to reduce the cost of haulage.
Last year, the first cloud technology platform (MOVE Guides) announced a partnership with PwC’s global mobility tax, immigration, consulting and compliance offering. The integration provides companies immigration, tax, consulting and relocation services under a single cloud-based technology platform. This is touted to help companies with an enhanced and simplified process for managing global mobility compliances, which currently remains an area of challenge. However, there are a few drawbacks with the concept. It is therefore becoming pertinent for HR managers to be cognizant of the drawbacks and advantages of the evolving technological and regulatory landscape to streamline the process around cross-border mobility services.