Keynotes with perspectives on optimising mobility programme costs, case studies on deploying employees to challenging locations, as well as five different interactive sessions were the highlights of Workforce Mobility Interactive 2018, Singapore, the regional invitation-only event for HR leaders and senior mobility specialists.

Organised by Human Resources, Workforce Mobility Interactive is back for the fourth year with the latest in talent mobility and expatriation trends in HR. This exclusive invite-only interactive event was specially curated for top HR leaders and mobility specialists to engage each other with strategies on staff mobility programmes.

Produced by Priya Veeriah and held at Shangri-La on 2 February, the conference brought a stellar line-up of talent mobility experts who shared their insights into some of the biggest challenges. The event was attended by more than 100 delegates, speakers, and sponsors.



Kicking start the conference was Sarah White, global mobility manager for Asia Pacific, Middle East, Russia, and Caspian at Wood.

Tapping on her many years of experience, she shared about navigating the deployment of employees to business critical but challenging locations, and integrating two mobility programmes successfully despite challenging locations and business sectors.

“During the integration, we initially did internal GM training to ensure that we had a global approach. Once we all knew what we were doing, we went out to discuss with out stakeholders to share how we are working,” White said. “We also published a global mobility procedure to ensure the global approach was followed.”

As for challenging locations, White revealed that the firm implemented a completion bonus to incentivise assignees to complete the whole assignment.

Check out photos from the conference here.

Next up was the first of five interactive sessions for the day.

With five topics to be discussed in parallel on both sides of the room, the table hosts for each topic were:

Compliance and Risk Navigation: - Pooja Taneja, human resources director for Southeast Asia at BT - Girlie Velasquez, director of global account management at SIRVA

Structuring a Global-Ready Workforce: - Rahul Kalia, regional human resources business partner at Bayer - Ellyn Karetnick, vice-president for global head of talent mobility consulting at BGRS

Redefining the Expat Package: - Benjamin Roberts, global talent acquisition and mobility leader at Publicis Communications - Lee Quane, regional director for Asia at ECA International

Getting Your Return On Relocation: - Robert Menezes, global human resource business partner for transaction banking and COO at Standard Chartered Bank - Yvonne Mcnulty, senior lecturer at Singapore University of Social Sciences

Technology for Mobility: - Liana Ciatto, client services director for Asia at Crown World Mobility - Karen Ho, global mobility advisor at Unilever



The interactive session was followed by a keynote on developing a sustainable solution to optimise mobility programme costs brought to us by Ella Yu, financial services practice manager at Crown World Mobility.

Consolidating her 10 years of experience in auditing, payroll, international payment, assignee tax and policy recommendation, to point out cost saving areas, Yu said: "Hidden costs such as bank fees, FX conversion costs, VAT / GST, and administrative tax adds about 17% to your relocation cost. These are all additional costs that do not add any benefit to your mobility programme, or assignee experience."

Next, delegates dived into a panel where four HR leaders discussed ideas for changing organisation structures to embrace mobility assignments, moderated by Pooja Jhaveri, talent partner at HP (extreme left).

Joining her were panelists (L-R), Saurabh Jain, head of human resources at ABN Amro Bank; Spencer Reynolds, Asia Pacific and Middle East regional head of global mobility at British American Tobacco; and Peter Leow, human resources director at The Salvation Army.



After another interactive session, delegates were treated to a keynote by Ellyn Karetnick, vice-president and global head of talent mobility consulting at BGRS.

Tapping on her 25 years of experience, Karetnick shared how you can tell when the time is ripe for a mobility transformation.

She said to a rapt audience: "If you have a strong business case and your leaders are not part of the 63% who have mobility high on their agenda, then that is something you can leverage on."

Check out photos from the conference here.

After three back-to-back interactive sessions, delegates were invited to share their key takeaways for the day, in two polls - a key driving agent that aids them in designing a strategic mobility programme, and their biggest concerns related to workforce mobility.

Alongside, we invited our table hosts to sum up their key takeaways from the five interactive sessions.

Those sessions bring us to the end of Workforce Mobility Interactive 2018, Singapore. As curtains close on this 2018's edition of Workforce Mobility Interactive, Human Resources would like to thank all sponsors and partners that contributed to its success:

Gold sponsors - Crown World Mobility - BGRS

Silver sponsors - ECA International - SIRVA

Exhibitors - The Ascott - Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) - Far East Hospitality - Frasers Hospitality - Great World Serviced Apartments - ManpowerGroup - Oakwood - Sterling

Lanyard sponsor - MetroResidences

Check out photos from the conference here.