The Global Mobility phenomenon leading Global Changes

By Tsvi Kan Tor and Prof. Gadi Ravid

Global Mobility – GM – is a major driving force behind global, political, economic, social, technological, and cultural changes in addition to a major way to transfer technologies that enable and facilitate global economic growth.

The GM phenomenon is changing the world every day and has a wide effect on many fields and prier perceptions. The recently awarded Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences 2021 serves as proof for such statements as it was given to David Card for his work with Alan Krueger which included natural experiments that demonstrated the impact of immigration on the wages and employment of locals[1].

Despite this recent achievement, the GM has yet to been given the appropriate attention.  We will try telling this story by referring to the status, problems, solutions, and benefits of Global Mobility.

Global Mobility in numbers.

The movement of employees from one region to another, due to work needs, has become increasingly dominate in recent years, and involves a wide range of employees such as higher classed employees like experts and skilled workers, low skilled and unskilled employees, and undocumented workers – illegal employees and refugees (Tzvi Kan- Tor & Gadi Ravid, personal communication, October 2018).

Global Mobility, of all kinds, has reached staggering numbers while different organizations have estimated that as to 2019 there are 169 million migrant workers[2] and 20.4 million refugees under UNHCR’s mandate[3] worldwide in addition to 7 million illegal employees in the USA[4].

The 2020 COVID pandemic created a slowdown of visa processing due to the partial closure of consular offices and the tightening of health regulations and others, while the entering of illegal workers and refugees was restricted or suspended. Considering the vaccines, it seems that by 2022 the growing trend will return. [5]

The vast majority of global mobility personnel are employed and therefore have a big impact on the diverse labor markets. Industries in certain countries like cleaning, agriculture, food processing and many others rely heavily on legal and illegal foreign employees, especially when it comes to low skilled and unskilled ones.

Such magnitude creates big social and financial impact. Annual turnover of salary transfers of GM employees as to 2018 estimated at $600 billion (Tzvi Kan- Tor & Gadi Ravid, personal communication, October 2018) while these transfers have become a major source of income of foreign currencies for the relevant countries’- Philippines, Nepal, Mexico and additional countries in Central America and Africa. Moreover, as of 2015 GM employees contribute more than $6.7 trillion to the global GDP[6].

Issues and Problems

Although one must be impressed by the Global Motility phenomenon and its effects, the problems that arise cannot be ignored, specifically the major ones described below. The Global Mobility issues affect all types of employees- low skilled and unskilled workers, illegal employees, refugees, and the high skilled and experts. Nevertheless, each group deals with different issues. It is fair to say that most of the major problems regard the low skilled, unskilled, and illegal employees.

One concern that exists as to the lower-level employees, both legal and illegal, regards the chain of brokers in the recruitment process. The lack of transparency and compliance in respect to both employers and employees that characterizes the behavior of these brokers leads to abuse, overcharging of fees, human trafficking, and additional issues.

Those trends have been identified by the IOM that mentioned that there is a need to enhance transparency in the recruitment process and strengthen the enforcement of fair and ethical recruitment, to ensure that human rights and labor laws are upheld. [7]

The Global Mobility process is complex and involves many players from different fields. The process includes private service providers, recruitment brokers, employers, HR staff, health and transportation providers, lawyers and CPA’s, HR international organizations, state authorities, academia, and the like (Tzvi Kan- Tor & Gadi Ravid, personal communication, October 2018).

The major shortage of GM professionals, at all levels that occurs in each country, is also considered as a major obstacle as it creates a lack of professional staff that is trained to provide high level services, draft adequate policies and legislation, conduct suitable academic studies, and provide vocational training as required.

The absence of Treaties regarding the Global Mobility phenomenon is an issue in itself, as it affects many other Global Mobility problems, like the shortage of reliable data. This prevents the ability to set good policies, determine best practices, and conduct all academic research that is necessary to develop the field.  In addition, this absence prevents the creation of bilateral and multilateral agreements in addition to protocols.

By passing treaties that include agreed definitions and other criteria’s we can improve data quality, increase uniformity, and create best practices and guidelines for states and employers (Tzvi Kan- Tor & Gadi Ravid, personal communication, February 2019).

Additional issues are in respect to players who violate employees’ human rights in non-ethical manners, violations that include the transmission of misleading information as to job descriptions, poor salaries and work conditions, overcharged recruitment fees, human trafficking, and the like.

The combination of all these matters prevents the ability to follow up, monitor or improve any global process, obstacles that are well-known in the labor market as they create difficulties in reaching findings and reversing perceptions.

The recent Economic Nobel award given to David Card, Joshua D. Angrist and Guido W. Imbeds for using natural experiments and solving their prior methodological problems in order to reach conclusions in respect to causal Inference in the labor market[8], only comes to show how rare the labor market monitoring and data gathering tools are, and how Natural Trials events must be leveraged.

The solutions

Each of the issues above can be solved in more than one way, here are some viable suggestions to address each one of them.  

A disruptive game changer solution for the recruitment process is the existence of a technological platform that connects employees and employers globally in a direct manner, similarly to the way the ‘Airbnb’ platform works. This platform, called Joblio, enables the direct contact between employers and employees, avoids the need of the chain of broker’s and improves transparency and compliance all together at the same time.  The issue of lack of international treaties can be resolved by direct involvement of a qualified global organization, such as the IOM or the OECD, to serve as a catalyst and an instrumental player in the process.

A model that can be used is the GCRT draft[9] which is a global corporate relocation treaty for experts and high skilled employees, that was prepared several years ago by the IBA- The International Bar association, as it lays out guidelines for a suitable structure.

As mentioned, such treaties will create common definitions and recommend best practices in addition to facilitating bilateral and multilateral agreements between the countries, which will lead to the optimal and most efficient conduct of the Global Mobility process.

The shortage of professional personnel can be dealt with by creating academic syllabuses in GM Studies for advanced degrees within business schools or faculties of behavioral science of universities and colleges, along with structuring courses and training for vocational HR personnel.

In respect to the issue of appropriate monitoring and reliable data, it can be addressed by creating a set of short and easily prepared GM Impact Reports that in accordance with the SDG trend will be included as part of the annual mandatory financial reporting system.

The undersigned have drafted a model that goes by the name The Kan- Tor Ravid Model, for six Global Mobility HR Impact Reports and will be happy to present it. The reports are directed to (1) employers of foreign experts, and highly skilled employees; (2) employers of low skilled and unskilled employees; (3) employees in a given industry; (4) home countries of employees; (5) host countries, and (6) governments and global HR companies.[10]

Each report contains 25 tailored parameters for the player with the flexibility to use only the 20 most relevant parameters. Moreover, each chart includes guidelines and explanations as to how to fill the report. [11]

As to the need to maintain ethical standards, such can be addressed by the monitoring of relevant NGO’s, religious organizations and Human Rights organizations.

All The solutions mentioned solve the problems we referred to during this article. By using them we are sure that we can create an “everybody win’s situation” in the GM arena. To clarify this approach, we will use the following example.

Long Distance Truck drivers

There is a huge shortage in the EU, UK and the USA of long-distance truck drivers, one that can be fulfilled by migrant workers. Such fulfillment will include, if necessary, the training, testing, and certifying of the employees in their home country, followed by a rotated 8-month working visa that can be extended after 4 months of a mandatory stay in home country that is required at the end of each working periord.  The 4 months stay will allow the employee to maintain a family and community life and reduce the desire and need to bring his family to the host country.

During each period of work the employee will be given free training, as to different aspects of truck maintenance by the employer, truck manufacturer and NGO’s. This training may aim to prepare the employee for a promotion during the next period of work, or/and to improve the economy of the home country upon his return.

This approach can also be implemented in the agricultural and food industries, the construction and cleaning industries, and so on.


The changing perceptions in regard to migrant employees, such as the economic Nobel award winning finding that demonstrated the negligible effect that large influx of work seekers has on the wage rates of less-skilled non-Cuban workers[12], makes it safe to say that by implementing the solutions mentioned, and additional ones, we are able to create a better and healthier Global Mobility industry that will benefit all players in the Global Mobility process.

As to the employee – the advantages are clear. He will neither be abused or need to pay a broker fees and will gain new skills and qualifications while being able to maintain a family and community life.

The employer will be able to interview the employee and ensure that he is fit for the job and has accurate information as to all terms and conditions. In addition, if the employee misbehaves the employer can refuse to rehire him for the next 8 months working period.

The truck manufacturers will provide training to the employees that aside from creating qualified maintenance will allow them to function as sales personnel, maintenance providers and clients in diverse countries. The home country will benefit from the new skills and qualifications that will enrich the prosperity and lead to an economic growth of the country.

The Global Mobility phenomenon is only getting stronger, that being the case the need to address these problems before they become unmanageable is more relevant than ever before.

It is important to comprehend that the Global Mobility process involve human beings and requires ongoing development and changes to balance human rights with economic and  long term intra – government  immigration considerations.


Implementing the ideas and models suggested in this article will create global standards and best practices along better awareness, and thus lead to a better balance.

We are calling you to join us and make a difference in Global Mobility. You are welcome to contact us with any idea, question, issues or need for professional consulting as to any particle moves you would like to carry out. Together we can improve the GM process.

For inquires and additional information please contact us at one of the address below: or



[1]Hawkins, J. (2021, October 12). Introducing David Card, the 2021 Nobel Prize in Economics winner who made the minimum wage respectable. The Conversation.

[2]Global labour migration increases by five million. (2021, June 30). International Labour Organization.–en/index.htm

[3]UNHCR – The UN Refugee Agency. (2021, June 18). UNHCR – UNHCR Global Trends 2019. UNHCR Flagship Reports.

[4]U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS. (2020, February 10). THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — FEBRUARY 2020 [Press release].

[5]Benton, Meghan, Jeanne Batalova, Samuel Davidoff-Gore and Timo Schmidt. 2021. COVID-19 and the State of Global Mobility in 2020. Washington, D.C., and Geneva: Migration Policy Institute and International Organization for Migration.

[6]Nicolas, J. (2016, December 14). How migration drives the world economy. BusinessWorld Online.

[7]UN General Assembly, Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration: Resolution adopted by the General Assembly, 19 December 2018, A/RES/73/195

[8]THE NOBEL PRIZE. (2021, October 11). Nobel Prizes 2021 [Press release].

[9]Kan- Tor & Acco, T.K. & A.C. (2011). A Draft Proposal for a Global Corporate Relocation Treaty. manuscript submitted for publication.

[10]Kan- Tor & Ravid, T.K. & G.R. (2018). Proposed Draft for Guidelines- an Annual Impact Report on Global Mobility. Unpublished manuscript.

[11]Kan- Tor & Ravid, T.K. & G.R. (2018). Proposed Draft for Guidelines- an Annual Impact Report on Global Mobility. Unpublished manuscript.


[12]GREG ROSALSKY. (2021,10). A Nobel Prize for a revolution in economics. npr Planet Money Newsletter.