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05/23/2012

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Jacque - You are absolutely right in citing the role that developing countries are playing and will continue to play for globally expanding enterprises. One of the most overlooked regions is Africa, but savvy companies should take a closer look there.

McKinsey estimated in a July 2010 report (http://bit.ly/MM17yi) that a full 25% of the world's working age people will be residing on the African continent by 2040. Since it's unlikely that companies will move so many people to jobs elsewhere, it follows that the jobs will move to the people. If you think there is fierce competition for talent now, wait until the world discovers these markets for real. Already call centers are sprouting up, and a big push in the tech sector is occurring as companies follow their largest customers.

Another observation is typically, companies focus on talent from their own sector. It's natural to do so and makes sense in many cases to follow this path. But every employer has admin roles such as finance, procurement, HR, payroll, etc. that exist in almost every enterprise. In smaller markets where talent is scarce, look beyond your sector, and don't overlook some of the best employers you never think about - international public sector institutions such as the World Bank, the UN and various other bi-lateral and multi-lateral organizations and NGOs. Some of these organizations have extremely competitive pay packages, great employment brands, and yes, highly talented individuals with an array of specialization from promoting democracy and civil society to agriculture to HIV research to microfinance.

In short, yes, invest in your people hired locally, get them the exposure and experience they need to help your company be successful. But don't assume the talent pool works the same as you are used to in developing countries which are increasingly providing more and more talent globally. Examine the market more closely, learn who the players are and understand employee expectations.

For mobility policies, think about alternatives to what you are already doing. I wrote a piece on Mobility in the 21st Century that's worth a read (http://bit.ly/xZh6H2), too.

Warren

Thanks Warren. I agree with you. There will be a lot more variations to global mobility in the future. A specialist in this function will have a much more complex job. I would bet that the function will be pulled into overall talent management and work on forecasting on the front-end where all the "players" need to be placed and how they need to be prepared.

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