How to make your talent “liquid”

Offer your staff the opportunity to work abroad
Consider cross-border training and make use of your partnerships to deliver better results
NOBODY needs to be told that keeping your staff digitally savvy is a must in today’s workplace. Giving them more opportunities to broaden their skill sets and work on client business in different countries, across different disciplines and teams is important. We all know that, for the smartest employees, opportunity and experience trump trendy working environments. For our strategy, we’ve coined the expression “Liquid Talent”. Its five key areas aren’t peculiar to our company:


Make moving around the world easy. We’ve got 2,000 employees, but we work in 65 offices across 48 countries. A dedicated intranet listing internal job opportunities helps to keep employees on top of what a firm can offer. And who wouldn’t be motivated by a year in Thailand, or a secondment to New York, Singapore or Tokyo?
It is important, however, to have clear conditions around who is moved and how it benefits the company – we tend to offer the juiciest opportunities to our best and most loyal people, for instance.


Technology has made the world feel like a much smaller place. Give employees a physical perspective of different cultures, working environments and the true scale of the global marketplace by training them via the company’s worldwide network.
Connecting them with employees abroad will make them feel that they’re part of something greater than the four walls of their office.


Employees need to feel motivated, engaged and less restricted than they have done in the past. The younger generation in particular won’t necessarily fit into the nine-to-five bracket, and they’re eager to progress quickly. Having paid a higher price for their university education, they’ll make a more cold-eyed assessment of potential career opportunities.
Offering them flexible working, continuous results-based feedback and career progression targets are an important part of a company’s future. Continuous learning is one of the best employee motivators, as it leads to increased engagement and commitment to the firm.


When it comes to training, make the most of your clients and partners, teaming up wherever possible so that you can tap into each other’s resources and share the benefits. As part of our talent initiative, Nextgen, we’ve become the first agency in the world to partner with Google to launch a tailored version of its Squared Online programme – an online digital marketing course. Together, we’ve worked to craft its components to suit our needs, using our own case studies and best practice.
It is clients who will reap many of the benefits of shared training programmes, as your employees develop their knowledge and form closer relationships.


The latest generation of workers want to know that the companies they work for are also committed to making the world a better place – and expect their employers to be invested in local and global causes.
Having a clear and, crucially, engaging corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme will ensure that staff feel motivated to take part in activities and causes outside of their working day jobs.
These activities don’t have to be limited by the workplace either. Encourage employees to fundraise or donate time to causes in other locations, broadening the CSR experience.
Ben Wood is global president at iProspect.

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