Offering travel can help your business develop and attract talent

Helen Gough

If you want to attract, retain and develop your talent in an environment where people are a scarce and expensive resource then let them be mobile.

Let them gain valuable experience from working in a different city or environment and for many nowadays this includes international travel - ideally within the context of your own business!

I have been working on a paper covering international mobility success case studies within the JLL construction teams whilst travelling on a train to Birmingham - the location of my own secondment about fifteen years ago. I established a Building Surveying team within the CBHillier Parker office and on reflection this was one of the greatest learning opportunities of my career. Building a business on the back of development schemes along the M6 involved chasing leads/prospects and building a professional network within a totally new market. Although London then lured me back after a couple of years, I had a more rounded experience with a better grasp of business and clearer understanding of markets, business development and improved awareness and appreciation of my own potential.

As a team this quarter we have seen one colleague move to California, another to Dubai - whilst our own team has welcomed a colleague from Bucharest

One of the corporate personnel development initiatives we actively promote to our employees is JLL’s International Staff Exchange programme where high performance individuals take a one year international secondment to Europe, America or Asia Pacific, exposing our people to markets outside their own region. On a less intense level, we are facilitating and encouraging exchanges between regions and European capitals as a reward; and seeing a week spent with colleagues really helping support the understanding of a global business with many international clients, the property and construction markets across international boundaries, and business practices therefore increasing their credentials as a global citizen and boosting their personal and professional development. As a team this quarter we have seen one colleague move to California, another to Dubai - whilst our own team has welcomed a colleague from Bucharest.

Our clients are global and in order to meet their requirements our expertise, including the technology we adopt, expertise must be international. Our markets have amazing synergies where there are lessons to be learnt. As consulting and contracting firms contract, the scale within some of these businesses are also such that our own network needs to be strengthened to ensure that we can provide to clients a consistent service and harmonised delivery.

Helen Gough is head of JLL’s Buildings & Construction team