Moving across borders

How do you facilitate talent mobility at your organisation?

Mark Leong
Director of HR, UBS AG
At UBS, we recognise that building and maintaining a workforce of highly talented individuals demands an open-minded, diverse and inclusive and respectful working culture as well as merit-based career advancement. As an example, we have recruitment-related trainings targeted at hiring managers (but also open to employees in general) on “Unconscious Bias” to help them understand the nature and occurrences of bias and to show them techniques on how to challenge biases in the workplace.

UBS recognises that reputation and word-of-mouth are two of the most powerful communication avenues and we have been successfully using iHire, an internal employee referral program, to attract some of the top talents internally and externally in the market that we operate in.

Talents who are moved are also on-boarded to their new roles or locations via various avenues. Foundation Programmes typically consist of mandatory training programmes and tests to ensure that all UBS employees meet the minimum standard in location for delivering the UBS Client Experience and appropriately managing risk, key components of our UBS business strategy. Learning Pathways, developed by the UBS Business University in consultation with the business, consist of a chronological series of training activities, events and experiences that ensure consistent training across similar business roles worldwide.

Key Talent Programmes are implemented to provide tailored development experiences for the firm’s key talent.
Alex Kershaw
Director HR – Singapore, Philippines and Indonesia Market Head, American Express
Encouraging our employees to realise their potential at American Express and build a meaningful career with us is a core part of our Employee Value Proposition. Due to the diversity of our organisation, employees have the opportunity to develop their career with a range of business units and roles; and we encourage our talent to move laterally across different business units and into new markets.

Last year we launched a new initiative in Singapore – MyCareer@Amex, which aimed to do exactly that. Over the course of a week we had a range of career focused activities running in each of our three offices. These included a careers fair, where employees could learn more about different lines of business, the roles available in the Singapore market, what a typical day of certain jobs would look like, as well as the skills and knowledge they would need to move into these roles.

We also ran a number of workshops aimed at helping employees build their networks and their personal brand. Leader Series sessions were organised for employees to hear from leaders on how they have navigated their own careers, and their first-hand experiences on moving to different geographies and lines of business within American Express. American Express has an internal job posting platform where vacant roles are advertised internally, so that all employees can view and apply for roles posted both within their home market, but also across the globe. This transparency empowers our employees to seek new career opportunities, and our talents are encouraged to discuss roles interesting them with their leader openly before making an application.
Tricia Duran
HR Director, Unilever Asia, Singapore
If you stop to consider that in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry, products, processes and systems can in theory all be copied by competitors, the one unique competitive advantage are its people. Development plans are hinged on a 70/20/10% approach. Seventy per cent is about ensuring the right work experiences are provided, 20% is about mentoring support, and 10% is about ‘classroom-style training.’

Facilitating talent mobility is important to ensure the 70% is delivered, and each line manager has regular conversations with their people to support them in making better career choices.

Business led resourcing committees are institutionalised and run regularly. From there, a variety of developmental roles are identified which can be done short-term (up to 18 months) or long term (3+ years) depending on the individuals need.

To ensure an employee’s move goes smoothly, a personal mobility adviser is assigned to them, whereby he or she acts like a ‘concierge service’ in providing a one-stop shop for all move-related needs. On-boarding practices go beyond work-related programmes and include cultural immersions, language training, spousal support for job hunting and education. Various reward approaches are tailored to recognised different individual circumstances and family needs.

This holistic approach has resulted in external recognition for Unilever, most recent of which is the prestigious Best Leadership Development Award at the HRM Awards in February.

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