As global mobility programs evolve and expand, they will often still use the old playbook even in the face of changing regulations and HR best practices. For professionals, it is important to review your assumptions about international assignments, and any approaches that could be based on common global mobility myths.
Myth 1: Global mobility is about assigning employees from the home country.
Truth: Increasingly it is also about employing local workers internationally. more companies are hiring local residents in the host country for some positions (customer support, technical or sales positions), due to lower cost and rapid deployment.
Myth 2: As long as you’re paying tax in the home country, you’re okay in the host country.
Truth: Host country tax compliance requires a local payroll and withholding. Tax compliance is not as simple as just using the home country payroll. Although it is possible to preserve benefits, pensions and tax withholding at home, the host country will impose its own requirements as well.
Myth 3: You don’t need to plan. You’ll send the employee there and then sort everything out later.
Truth: Strategic planning and ROI metrics are emerging as a core practice in global mobility. Last minute or unplanned assignments abroad are less common than in the past. Urgent business needs are more easily handled by a short business trip, while a suitable candidate is found.
Myth 4: You can use a business visa to work in another country.
Truth: For most employee activity over 30-60 days, a work permit is recommended. Business visas are fine for short trips to explore foreign opportunities or establish relationships. But for ongoing employee activity, many countries are cracking down on the overuse of business visas for ‘stealth’ assignments.