Global issues such as pollution are making talent relocation more challenging than ever. But to ensure business needs are filled and talent are positioned to where they need to be, such issues need to be resolved.

That is why Workforce Mobility Interactive 2016, invited HR and mobility experts to discuss pressing issuing on the subject yesterday at Hotel Icon.

Richard Willeter, director, corporate services Asia, Crown World Mobility kicked off the conference with a keynote presentation on managing changes in mobility in the ever-changing business environment.

He mentioned that safety and well-being is becoming more of a concern for assignees.  "Some of the world's biggest cities such are having pollution problem and assignees which means a bigger risk for assignees.  Taking care of the health of assignees has posed a new challenge in relocation," he said.

In the panel discussion challenges and the future of workforce mobility in Asia, Lisa Foote, vice president, client services, Brookfield Global Relocation Services pointed out the risk of losing talent for not carrying out proper screening before relocating a staff.

"Filling the talent gap is not the only concern when considering to relocate someone.  Companies need to consider when the candidate and his or her family is able to fit in the new country.  A failed relocation assignment often led to the candidate quitting the job," she said.

Fellow panelist Benjamin Wong, HR director - Asia Pacific, Knorr-Bremse predicted that the mobility trend will continue to grow especially for Asia where the growing economy is attracting talent from around the world.

Despite this, Wong believes that developing local talent, not relocating talent is the long-term solution to solve skill shortages.  "At the moment our business is growing quickly and we are not able to satisfy talent needs through succession planning but in the long-run we need to develop our own talent," he said.

The panel discussion  was moderated by Natalie Tong, client solutions manager, AIRINC.  

The ability to and how well assignees blended in with the local culture is going to be a key in determining the success of an overseas assignment.

Mark Wadsley, senior director, HCM transformation, Oracle Asia Pacific advised HR to provide training to managers to help them understand the culture of assignees.  "This will help smooth out the on-boarding process," he said.

Apart from the action on stage, delegates were involved in five interactive sections where they exchange ideas and share insights on various aspects of mobility strategies. A rapid fire session was held to wrap up the event as a host from each table present to delegates the major points they have summed up throughout the day.

Here are some exclusive photos of the conference:

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