How to Recruit Internationally

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For many growing companies, global expansion is an important component of future growth. And staffing that growth likely involves recruiting high-quality international applicants to help build strong global companies. For companies with U.S.-based recruiters, sourcing and hiring top-notch international workers can be challenging.

Follow these tips for recruiting international applicants who can help move your company forward into a global future.

6 ways to recruit internationally

Do your homework

Before you go to the trouble of sourcing and recruiting ideal candidates from Bangladesh, Israel or the Ukraine, research the laws regarding work permits and visas in the country where your company is located. Make sure you understand the steps that must be taken to ensure any worker recruited internationally will legally be able to work for your business, as soon as you need them. If that can’t happen, the time and money you spend on international recruitment will be wasted.

Rethink your social media strategy

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are not the dominant social media sites in every country. To interact with potential candidates in the countries you’re targeting, find out which social sites are the most popular there among the types of professionals you seek. For instance, in Russia and Eastern Europe, Vkontakte has long been a social media leader and is sometimes called the “Russian Facebook.” In Asia, social media sites QQ, QZone, Google+ and WeChat all rank higher than Twitter or LinkedIn in terms of the number of users, according to Bloomberg TV. To reach candidates in targeted countries, recruiters must develop a presence on the social media sites where those candidates are active.

Focus on women

In many developing countries, educated, skilled and ambitious women are often overlooked by both global and local countries, says economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett, co-author of Winning the War for Talent in Emerging Markets: Why Women are the Solution (Harvard Business Review Press, 2011). Globally, 55 percent of college graduates are now female, and two-thirds of highly qualified women in BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and the UAE consider themselves very ambitious, according to the book. These women, who may be overlooked by local companies, represent talented potential candidates for growing international companies eager to establish a presence in emerging markets.

Expand your circle

 Many North American companies interested in recruiting internationally are focused on the BRIC countries, which are generally considered the leading emerging economies. But business continues to become more global and more countries continue to develop. Savvy recruiters will stay on top of the economic developments and seek qualified candidates from other growing areas. For instance, the “Next Eleven,” including Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Turkey, South Korea and Vietnam, have been identified as potentially becoming some of the world’s largest economies during the next 100 years.

Build awareness online

Social media makes it possible for even small companies to become known by an international audience. For instance, Guidewire, a rapidly growing U.S.-based software company that builds mission-critical enterprise software products for the global insurance industry, needed to recruit on a global scale in order to find top talent in a highly competitive environment. Through an enhanced profile at Glassdoor, Guidewire increased awareness of its company among job seekers 128 percent year over year and doubled monthly page views from 12,483 to 28,517.

Use targeted job ads

Rather than purchasing generic job ads from traditional career search sites, consider intuitive advertising that displays for users who are located in targeted countries and whose search histories indicate potential interest in the types of positions you are advertising. For instance, Guidewire used Glassdoor’s targeted job ads to get in front of qualified job seekers, resulting in the hiring of five employees for hard-to-fill technical positions, sourced from the United States, China and Europe. 

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