How Talent Mobility in the ‘New Normal’ is Changing the Talent Landscape

By The Intersect Group

If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that workforce agility is key not only to success but to survival.

As the world shut down due to COVID-19 at the beginning of the year, businesses of all types and sizes also hunkered down – at home. Entire workforces – many of which had never previously worked from home – went remote. Fast forward to the last quarter of the year and most organizations are still operating in some sort of a remote capacity, or a hybrid of work from home with limited, and highly monitored, in-office time.

Everyone is proceeding with caution, as they should be, and it has spawned a new reality for most everyone – a new normal, that, among almost everything else, is changing the talent landscape.

Talent Mobility in 2020

In the traditional sense of the term, talent mobility can be defined as the right talent at the right time; it is the fluid movement of in-house talent to positions where they can be the most effective.

But talent mobility in 2020 also conjures up the physical movement of talent across geographies. For the time being, travel from country to country and even across regions and states has been limited and regulated. This, of course, is also having huge implications for immigration, specifically for those looking to obtain work visas and work in other parts of the world.

Organizations of all sizes, specifically those that have come to rely on visa holders for project support, have since turned to onshore experts, like The Intersect Group, to help fill critical needs.

Here are some of the key trends in talent mobility that we are seeing as a result of COVID-19:

  • Immigration restrictions are impacting visa processing, leaving many organizations without much needed project resources.
  • Due to COVID-19, headcount and other hiring restrictions have been implemented. This is creating an even bigger demand for outsourced, temporary talent.
  • With many organizations working remotely, IT infrastructure needs, and other project support, have only continued to increase.
  • As a result of the pandemic, movement across international and domestic borders has been restricted. This has presented a challenge for organizations attempting to move internal employees around for key projects. To compensate for these talent shortages, companies have turned to local staffing agencies, like The Intersect Group, to subcontract this work and keep projects moving forward.

Navigating the “New Normal”

The evolving national and international response to COVID-19 has left many organizations with outstanding questions on workforce mobility, immigration, and even with some international taxation and human resources uncertainties. For instance, COVID-19 is not only impacting visa processing, it is also creating doubt around whether or not visa holders are legally able to continue working, especially remotely. In March, the Department of Labor issued an FAQ guide for complying with Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) during the pandemic. The guide outlined that workers with an alternate work arrangement, or who end up working from home for longer than 30 workdays, may need to file an amended petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

In response, monitoring has been instituted as a way to assess, in real-time, the latest immigration rules, quarantine requirements, as well as the overall level of risk associated with talent – specifically their mobility during such uncertain times. Executed more often than not by a senior leader, like the chief operating officer, this added responsibility has emerged as a business imperative in a post-COVID-19 world.

But these leaders do not need to act alone. In addition to guidelines and other resources put out by the Department of Labor and USCIS, local staffing partners, like The Intersect Group, are standing by to provide guidance.

The benefits of partnering with a local, specialized talent provider, like The Intersect Group, include:

  • Market insights and dynamics, including supply, demand and pricing
  • Data and information to inform hiring needs and decisions
  • Better qualified candidates through detailed requirement gathering, consultation and analysis
  • Targeted, proactive recruiting, including pre-screened, validated candidates

If your organization could use a talent mobility partner, please get in touch with us.