Virtual assignments: the next big thing for graduates?

Hiring university graduates is a proven way to build a future pipeline of talent in your organisation. Yet in a fast changing world, the competition for the best talent is becoming increasingly fierce, so how can you stand out and secure top graduate talent?

Amidst the backdrop of COVID-19 and graduates' desire for more exciting and richer experiences, it is worth considering if virtual assignments are right for the graduates in your organisation. Virtual assignments refer to international assignments where the individual works for an affiliated host entity but no physical relocation is required.

Key Advantages:

  • Borderless Talent – virtual assignments enable organisations to seamlessly deploy talent across borders and fulfil graduates desire for international experience.
  • Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) – without the barrier of physical relocation, virtual assignments can broaden out the talent pool, making opportunities for international exposure available to a wider group of individuals.
  • Cost – without some of the relocation provisions and costs typically required in a traditional move, the costs can be dramatically lower and virtual assignments can become much more feasible from a cost perspective.

Key Considerations:

  • Learning Objectives – mobility experiences must absolutely have clear value for both the business and employees. It is crucial that any virtual assignment programme has clear learning outcomes, facilitates graduates working on meaningful projects and has a formal structure.
  • Compliance – many of the cross-border compliance burdens of traditional assignments can be automatically relieved. However various other factors such as permanent establishment, IT risks and funding arrangements still need to be considered.
  • Organisational Readiness – to be successful, virtual assignments should take place within an existing organisation-wide framework in relation to virtual/remote work.

Practical Next Steps:

  • Understand your organisation’s remote working maturity – understand your remote working strategy and consider what this means for the possibility of introducing virtual assignments at an organisation level.
  • Review the learning opportunity – conduct an analysis of desired learning outcomes and typical work undertaken by graduates.
    Pulse survey of business and graduate’s interest – to build stakeholder interest and engagement, gauge interest from both the business and graduates.
  • Develop Framework – develop a framework which addresses areas such as costs, curriculum design, compliance and operations.
Virtual assignments: the next big thing for graduates?
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