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Project Reimagine: Reducing complexity

Project Reimagine is about thinking and looking at things a little differently in Global Mobility

Introduction by Lee Hamilton

I was contacted recently by an individual who had started an HR qualification as a mature foreign student at a London University. The student had read my ‘Three Ps’ article whilst she was living in India and had decided she wanted to speak to its author when she arrived in London. So, we met up and had a wonderful discussion on several HR and Global Mobility related topics.

Our meeting reminded me of the wonders of modern communication and also the real value of sharing views and experiences. So, it seems fitting and timely to recap the Three Ps article that brought me and my new friend together in the first place. I have summarised below and the full original article can be viewed here.

Three P’s: A helping hand in global mobility

Posting employees across the four corners of the world can seem a daunting task, especially considering the wide range of inter-dependent variables that must be considered including immigration, payroll and employment tax.

If you or your organisation is new to the opaque world of global mobility or are lacking the right type of in-house expertise, managing such difficult elements may feel like an impossible task.

Policy, Process and People, or the ‘Three Ps’, can provide a simple but effective framework to help you manage global mobility efficiently.


Without a policy, terms of international assignment may be unplanned, spontaneous and varied.

Inevitably, treating assignments in this way will lead to the need for constant exceptions and changes and ensure that dealing with international assignments becomes a consistent headache.

  • It is not sufficient to simply copy and paste an existing policy from the internet. Any policy relating to international assignments must be the right fit for you or your organisation and must support your priorities. The real value lies in the thought that goes into a policy, as much as the final output. Consultation with key stakeholders across HR, finance and payroll is essential.
  • Your policy does not need to be convoluted or drawn out. So long as it is scalable and fit for purpose.
  • Make sure your policy is costed effectively. Failing to do so can lead to the cost of future assignees being an unwelcome and unexpected shock.


You should consider all the required steps in relocating an employee, and of course, in facilitating their safe return and reintegration with the home business!

  • Devising a plan early on to deal with immigration, cost-projections, tax briefings and much more, is vital.
  • The development of a simple process map is an invaluable use of your time, not least because you can iron out issues upfront, identify potential issues which could arise in the future and receive the relevant input needed to make your processes adequate.

Being clear with responsibility is similarly crucial; most problems arise because of assumed responsibility elsewhere. In doing this, inefficiencies can quickly be recognised and subsequently rectified.


The key to a successful transition is recognising all the people involved and ensuring their skills and experience are adequate to deal with the challenges.

  • Training, outsourcing or recruiting people with the required skills are all options in dealing with a potential skill deficiency in meeting the challenges of international assignments.
  • Equally, your adviser is fundamental. You must ensure they are the right fit for you and that you are not getting lost in the system, particularly with the larger advisers!

And that’s it! The Three P’s are a perfect start in protecting yourself against the pitfalls of global assignments and instead allow your focus to remain on the individual themselves as well as the bigger picture of the organisation. Global mobility doesn’t always have to be an opaque and complex landscape!

Good luck, and please do not hesitate to contact us should you need any advice or have any suggestions. For the full original article, written by Lee Hamilton, please click here.

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