Smart Global Talent Management, the SAFER Way.

Written by a Head of GM for a DAX40 company in Germany.

In my role as Senior HR Director at a prominent German FMCG company listed on the DAX, I oversee our strategic initiatives across cross-border employment and internal global mobility. This encompasses a broad remit that includes enhancing our global employer branding in collaboration with our talent and recruitment teams. A critical component of our strategy involves the implementation of The RES Forum‘s SAFER model—Smart, Agile, Flawless, Efficient, and Resilient. This case study focuses on the ‘Smart’ aspect of the model, particularly in developing high-quality international talent pipelines, constructing intelligent career and succession planning, engaging expatriate employees and their families, and effective repatriation planning, focusing on smart global talent management.

Smart Global Talent Management: Developing High-Quality International Talent Pipelines

Our first objective under the ‘Smart’ dimension was to develop a robust international talent pipeline. Recognizing the fast-paced, competitive nature of the FMCG sector, we leveraged data analytics to identify skills gaps and forecast future talent needs. By analyzing market trends and internal performance metrics, we created a predictive model that informs our recruitment strategies. This way, we can proactively source and engage with potential candidates through targeted campaigns and specialized recruitment drives in strategic locations.

Not only did we fill current vacancies more effectively, but this approach also allowed us to build a reserve of potential candidates who could quickly step into roles as they become available. We significantly reduced our time-to-hire metrics and enhanced our agility in talent deployment.

Intelligent Career and Succession Planning

A cornerstone of our ‘Smart’ strategy involves intertwining career development with succession planning. For this purpose, we developed a transparent career pathway framework that is communicated during the onboarding process and integrated into our internal training programs. Utilizing AI-driven tools, we match employees’ skills and career aspirations with projected openings, facilitating a dynamic approach to career progression that aligns individual goals with organizational needs.

This intelligent planning system is supported by regular talent reviews and development discussions that encourage continuous feedback and growth. They ensure that we are not only preparing individuals for future roles but are also aligning these roles with the strategic direction of the company.

Engaging Expatriate Employees and Their Families

Recognizing the challenges associated with global mobility, our strategy places a strong emphasis on the expatriate experience. We aim to ensure that expatriates and their families are supported throughout their assignment. This begins with pre-departure training that includes cultural

orientation and language training and continues with on-ground support that helps them settle into their new environment.

We have also introduced a digital platform where expatriates can access resources, connect with other expatriates, and share their experiences and tips. This platform not only serves as a support network but also as a feedback mechanism for us to continuously improve our expatriate programs. Regular engagement activities and continuous communication help maintain a connection with our company culture, ensuring that expatriates feel valued and integrated despite geographical distances.

Effective Repatriation Planning

Repatriation is often overlooked in global mobility programs, yet it is critical for maintaining long-term employee engagement and retaining key talent. Our repatriation process begins well before the employee returns home. We conduct planning sessions that include career counselling and reintegration support, helping returning employees align their new skills and experiences with opportunities at our headquarters or other locations.

This structured approach helps mitigate the disorientation that can occur upon returning home and leverages the international experience gained by the employee to benefit our global operations. We also host debriefing sessions where returnees can share their experiences, which not only aids their reintegration but also provides us with insights to refine our global mobility strategies.


Implementing the ‘Smart’ component of the RES Forum’s SAFER model has significantly enhanced our global talent management strategy. By developing high-quality talent pipelines, integrating intelligent career and succession planning, engaging expatriates comprehensively, and planning effectively for repatriation, we have not only improved our operational effectiveness but have also strengthened our position as a global employer of choice in the FMCG industry. Our approach ensures that we are equipped to face the dynamic challenges of the market, supporting our strategic objectives and driving sustainable growth.

Integrated Mobility Solutions from IPM Global

At IPM Global, we understand the importance of maintaining a human touch in global mobility programs, even as technology advances. Our highly experienced mobility consultants have supported companies through recessions and world crises. We understand the speed and urgency needed when companies adapt. Juggling your assignee population while maintaining organisational compliance is a challenging feat. That is why we rely on more than our previous experience. Our team stays current on shifts and trends in global mobility, from changes in business traveller regulations to political turmoil. This commitment lets us strategically advise clients and help them achieve their commercial objectives. So, if your company is considering implementing or expanding a global mobility program, contact us today for a friendly, no-obligation discussion.