Article: Migration trends to hugely impact talent management

Strategic HR

Migration trends to hugely impact talent management

Pali Tripathi, CoLead, Org Change&Leadership Practice, Strategy & says shift from talent hubs is changing the way we manage talent
Migration trends to hugely impact talent management

Employee age, role, and career stage present unique opportunities for organizations to maximize their talent migration investments


Three major trends are defining the global talent landscape in present times. First, while developed economies, which were traditionally amongst the biggest importers of global talent, are still going strong, emerging economies are fast becoming even more attractive talent destinations. This trend indicates a de-clustering of migration across geographies and a shift away from the traditional talent hubs to new markets such as Africa, which, for example, has surprisingly become one of the major destinations for talent import globally. Further, talent from countries such as Italy and Japan, which has historically not found migration to Asia or Africa attractive, is now experimenting with permanent jobs across the world. Also, some of the largest migration flows are now between the developing countries. For instance, Indian professionals are increasingly looking beyond the usual favourites to countries such as Singapore, Indonesia and China.

Second, a lot of talent migration is now organization led. Even while the business potential within home countries is still being realized, organizations are already looking for the next wave of growth across the globe. The first step that these organizations take while setting up operations in a foreign location is to export managerial, leadership and other skilled talent from home countries. Today, this is fuelled by an increased willingness among employees to explore such opportunities even when they appear risky, driven by the promise of better money, more learning opportunities, and the “CV-value” that foreign stints impart.

Third, talent migration peaks for two age brackets – a) Young professionals aged 25-35 who are not only more willing to experiment and take risks but in fact, as research suggests, consider it a necessity to have two to three international stints in order to have a great career and b) Professionals over 35 who have given rise to the trend of reverse migration. India for instance, has been experiencing both of these trends. That said, many Indian companies are also witnessing the risk of skilled professionals moving to a different country with the job security of home country employer, only to switch companies once they get there. This is especially true in the IT industry where young professionals move to a different country, cushioned by the job security of an Indian employer and work with a client overseas, only to switch sides.

Further, most of the outbound talent migration from India is gearing towards specialist roles. Majority of migration is in the management and leadership category, followed by skilled engineering professionals. A recent trend in the Indian industry is that of a huge talent effusion in the strategic sales and business development skill sets, especially in the telecom and FMCG space.

Thus, effectively managing and not controlling talent migration is now a strategic priority for most organizations. It is crucial for organizations to not only actively pursue talent globally for relevant skills keeping in view the cost and quality impact but also devise unique talent strategies for different workforce segments, characterized by age bracket, stage of career, role and skillset. For instance, the reverse migration trend presents a big opportunity to organizations as seasoned professionals seek leadership opportunities within their home countries. Managing concerns related to spousal relocation and employment could further help capturing this opportunity. Some of the most progressive organizations are banking on this opportunity aggressively and wooing skilled overseas talent for senior and executive positions back home. The new era of managing millennials calls for ‘talent circulation’ across countries as opposed to concerns about ‘talent drain’ and Organizations who do this well will be placed in a uniquely advantaged position for future growth in the years to come.

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Topics: Strategic HR, #GlobalPerspective

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