Talent Mobility: What is It? 

As of late, developed economies have been experiencing a shortage of skilled labour in critical sectors of their economy, while emerging market economies are teeming with more than enough specialised skilled labour. Germany, for instance, grapples with shortages of skilled labour in critical sectors like health, information technology, public transport, sales, construction and many more.

In light of this, considerable efforts are currently being channelled into attracting skilled workers by various governmental bodies. When a highly skilled professional successfully migrates from one geographical region to another, for purposes related to economic gains, we refer to this as Talent Mobility.

Many internet articles describe talent mobility as an employee’s ability to move between positions within their company. While this is true, it represents a narrow description or, more accurately, a specific type of talent mobility.

What is talent mobility?

Talent mobility is the movement of highly skilled professionals from one geographical or economic area to another, where they uptake economic activities that align with their current or future acquired qualifications. In simpler terms, it’s the migration of skilled workers from one location to another for economic gains.

Types of Talent Mobility

  • International Talent Mobility
  • Local Talent Mobility
  • Company or Internal Talent Mobility

International talent mobility

International talent mobility is the cross-border movement of skilled workers from one economic area to another in pursuit of economic activities that align with their current or future qualifications. For instance, an individual migrating from Ghana to Germany for study purposes and subsequently working as a Data Analyst after graduation.

Local talent mobility

Local talent mobility entails the movement of talent within the same geographic region for economic purposes. For example, relocating from Bavaria to Berlin for employment opportunities.

Company talent mobility

Company talent mobility is the horizontal or vertical movement of employees within an institution based on performance, skill, and talent appraisal. Horizontal mobility involves transitioning to different roles within the same job level, while Vertical mobility is an upward movement between job levels. For example, promoting a junior sales manager to senior sales manager.

Stakeholders in Talent Mobility

  • Governments
  • Business Executives
  • Human Resource entities
  • Labour Force

Factors Influencing Talent Mobility

Several factors influence talent mobility, including:

  1. Studying abroad with the intention of pursuing economic activities in the destination country post-graduation.
  1. Visa-sponsored job opportunities.
  1. Job-seeking prospects, with some countries offering specific visas for highly skilled professionals.
  1. Access to business funding or startup funds, such as programs like Y Combinator or the Berlin Startup Scholarship.
  1. Quality of life considerations.
  1. Family-related reasons

While the aforementioned explanation may make talent mobility appear straightforward, in reality, it poses significant challenges for hiring companies and skilled professionals within the mobility funnel. These challenges often stem from factors beyond their control, particularly issues related to immigration laws and qualification recognition.

For most skilled talents seeking a change, navigating complicated immigration laws related to skilled labour poses a significant hurdle. The procedure for many is unbearable due to minimum salary mandates, required years of experience, and costs associated with visa procurement. As a result, some skilled workers choose alternative paths that involve essentially starting their lives anew, even if that means sacrificing visa approval. Many opt for study opportunities as a gateway to accessing the job or labour market after graduation.

For many “Mittlestand” companies in Germany and Europe, the process of attracting and hiring foreign talent is laborious and entails extensive paperwork. In most cases, most hiring companies in Germany are uncertain about where to begin within the talent mobility funnel.

At terratalent GmbH, we shoulder the responsibility of overcoming challenges within the talent mobility funnel, aiming to streamline the process for both hiring companies and talents. Leveraging the expertise of our founders in employee assignment, talent attraction, market access, and international cooperation between Germany and emerging economies, we have developed a tailored mobility funnel that engages key stakeholders. Our goal is to simplify talent attraction and hiring of international skilled professionals for German “Mittelstand” companies.