pwc - global mobility is key to bridging the talent gap report- dec 2012

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Global mobility is key to bridging the talent gap - PWC Dec 2012


  • 1. Global mobility is key to bridging the talent gapInterview withDennis FinnPwCs Global HumanCapital LeaderDecember 2012

2. Living and working in an emerging market opens thedoor to new ways of working and new possibilities asresource constraints demand exibility and opennessto change."Dennis Finn, PwCs Global Human Capital Leader,discusses global mobility as the key to bridging thetalent gap in emerging marketsDennis Finn is Global Human Capital Leader at PwC, the largest global professionalThe sheer volume of engineers requiredservice rm with more than 180,000 people in 158 countries. Dennis has a strongfor projects in emerging markets alsobackground in the area of cultural change, people, and leadership. He brings both a presents a challenge. The developeddiversity of experience as well as a global point-of-view to his leadership positions. Dennis world has to train enough engineers tospent the rst 10 years of his professional career in the nuclear power industry before work on domestic as well as internationalbeginning his global career in 1990. Initially, Dennis moved from the United Kingdom to projects. However, the massive demandNew Zealand, and then to Australia, serving in executive roles in a variety of corporations for engineers around the world means aas both the head of Human Capital and Chief Executive. Dennis joined PwC in 2004shortage is a direct-admit partner in PwC Australia serving as the National Advisory Leader.The other key is the attractiveness ofHis substantial corporate background includes executive leadership, strategy, culturalthe location. At PwC, weve increasedchange, coaching, and independent consulting work. He has consulted extensively on theour assignment activity by more than 50talent component of various global companies vision and strategy as well as their changepercent over the past few years, which ismanagement initiatives. Now based in New York, Dennis is passionate about mobility andsignicant given the size of our networkhas lived in more than 25 different homes in four countries across multiple cities.and mobility program. But we do realizeAccess to suitably qualied doing so quickly adds up, given relocation, that in about 75 percent of the moves,engineers is one of the most critical housing, transportation, and repatriation our people are going from one developedissues engineering and construction costs. Expats also need reassurance thatcountry to another. While there certainlycompanies are encounteringwhen they return to home base, they willis value to sending people from Australiatoday, especially in emerging be Canada and from the US to the UK, thatmarkets, where much of thedoesnt address the issue of talent shortagesCompanies are becoming more savvy in emerging activity is occurring.about repatriating their employeesWhat incentives do companies in PwC has now begun working on divertingbecause corporate leadership has becomedeveloped markets need to provide our talent to emerging markets to llmore globally focused. Todays corporateto their engineers to take on that need. The challenge still loomsleadership worldwide has a global mind-assignments in emerging markets?large, especially because being an expatset honed by time spent on extended expatThis is an enormous challenge, given theassignments. Living and working in an in Paris or Sydney seems to offer a morevoracious appetite for talent in emerging emerging market opens the door to new attractive optionon the face of itthan,markets. Many companies have no ways of working and new possibilities asfor example, an assignment in Shanghaichoice but to import employees from the resource constraints demand exibilityor San Paulo. In addition, we are mindfuldeveloped world. However the cost ofandopenness to change. of needing to develop our local talent inemerging markets, providing opportunities2 | PwC 3. for our people to embark on assignments Abu Dhabis explosive growth as a businessleaders at multinationals reect a globalto developed locations. We recognize that and nancial center has led to predictableperspective that they have gained throughthese individuals, as local nationals inproblemsfrom trafc congestion tooverseas tours.those emerging markets, are likely to havewaste recycling. And the trends point toThe only way to acquire that kind of mindsetsuccess in leveraging their experiences tocontinued rapid population growth overis to have actually experienced the globe.develop others upon their repatriation. the next 20 or so years. The citys responseIm not talking about the kind of experienceis Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, which integratesCities need to do a better job of marketing you gain from leisure or business travel.economic, social, and cultural criteria intothemselves by telling the world whatsIm referring to the deeper perspective thatall development decisions.attractive and interesting about theircomes from having lived in a country thatparticular city and why someone would Its already paying off: Abu Dhabi wasisnt your own. Living and working abroadwant to choose an expat assignment in a new entrant in PwCs 2011 Cities of allows a person to experience rsthandthat city. Because talent has a choice. Opportunity survey which rated 26 citiesa countys cultural, social, and economicUltimately, people can work wherever they on 10 different economic, social, and dimensions. The lessons you learn fromwant to work. Thats why those who arelife-style related variables. The city ranked those kinds of experiences cannot be taughttrying to attract them need to do a good job18th in the comparison of such indicators in a domestic role.of highlighting positive local, regional, and as air quality, commute time, economicFor anyone who aspires to a globalnational attributes.competitiveness, tax rates, ease of hiring,leadership role, this type of experienceand working-age population.Companies also need to ensure that theiris vital. They need to demonstrate theirexpats are connected to their home ofces.Cities shouldnt discount the importanceunderstanding of global issues, which isThey need to continue to feel like they of marketing their advantages: saying why much easier to do and more authentic ifare part of the story as much as thosetheir city would be a rewarding destination they have had their own global experience.physically located at home base.for visitors and expats alike.Not to mention the personal developmentEven more importantly, companies must As you said earlier, some peoplethese experiences offer. An expatequip expats with the appropriate tools and worry about their long-term assignment is probably the highest forminternal support for optimal repatriation socareers when embarking on anofpersonal development, as effective if notthey can be effective ambassadors of workingexpat assignment. What is yourmore so than a graduate degree. Learningoverseas in emerging markets once theyperspectivefrom a global point ofabout global business issues is certainlyreturn home. If expats return to a role similar viewon whether people should staya good approach but living them day-to-to what they held beforeone that does notin one place to build their careers day leaves a far deeper imprint becausevalue their global experienceothers in the via deep client relationships versusit opens your mind to a new spectrum ofcompany are less motivated to participate.time spent in a developing market?ideas and possibilities that add to yourHow valuable would that tour of overall capability. Ultimately, that makesDo you have any examples of a cityduty be in a persons career over the you more marketable as well as more likelyor region that marketed itself as anlong term?tosucceed as a leader.attractive option for expats?After living in the UK, New Zealand,Actually, Abu Dhabi provides an excellentAustralia, and now New York, I cantexample. It is located in one of the harshestemphasize enough the value of overseas toursenvironments on the planet. And its theof duty. Especially now, when companiescapital of the United Arab Emirates, theare globally interconnected. Certainly, in mycountry with the second highest per capitaexperience, many of the successful executivecarbon emissions in the world. Learning about global business issues is certainly agood approach but living them day-to-day leaves afar deeper imprint." Dennis Finn interview | 3 4. By working together, industry and academia can illustrate how engineers can contribute to society, appealing to the need for meaningful work that millennials have clearly expressed over the past several years."How can a profession like Theres a parallel to be drawn here withclearly foster employee loyaltyare notengineeringwhich historicallycountries and cities marketing themselves asalways practical in emerging marketsand currently records talentan attractive place to work. If high schoolersbecause rank-and-le employees may notshortagesmarket itself to high dont know that engineering is a viable have the required technology to work atschool graduates as an attractive career choice that offers meaningful work home. Which means employers are morecareer choice when they are decidingwith practical applications for what they limited in the retention incentives they canon what to study in college?learn in college, they are likely to overlook offer their employees.the option. Similarly if people dont knowThe industry needs to work with Given those limits, corporate leadershipwhats attractive about certain locations,educational institutions to create more needs to become more sophisticated aboutthey might also overlook the opportunity toexcitement about the profession. Especially their approach to workforce there. Like it or not, marketing playswith women, who are underrepresented in Employers need to provide other incentivesanessential role in both situations.the industry; only 14