Having an international, multi-lingual team is becoming the norm, particularly in certain areas of the world where huge portions of the workforce are non-natives. A diversified workforce offers a wide range of business benefits including expanding into new markets, global competitiveness and access to a wider talent pool. While the perks are clear, companies hiring international talent have a number of hurdles to overcome before they can start enjoying the benefits of having a cosmopolitan team.
Challenges of Hiring Talent from Around the World
The initial challenge can seem as though it may be sourcing a candidate that is adaptable to international markets and new cultures while being keen to pick up and relocate to another country. However, the key is preparedness and being on hand to answer questions, provide information and overcome any complications when hiring candidates from overseas. We’ve provided the remedy for the main issues below; incorporate our advice into your recruitment strategy to start onboarding skilled talent from overseas!
1. Getting the Process Right
The process of hiring new employees from different countries is vastly different to making hires within the country your business already operates in. There are far more steps in the process and a lot of moving pieces to juggle including complex issues like visas, work permits and cultural considerations. For this reason, a solid process is a crucial component of the international hiring process, to make sure there are no hiccups along the way.
We’ve previously discussed the benefits of having a great global hiring strategy, and this still stands true. Clearly document each of the stages in the process and communicate these with the potential candidate so that they have a clear understanding of the timeframes they can expect.
2. Ensuring a Willingness to Relocate
A huge amount of time, effort and funds go into hiring across borders. The worst thing that could happen is for these efforts to be in vain if the candidate gets cold feet at the last minute. For this reason, it is important to ensure that there is a definitive willingness to relocate for a job opportunity. During the screening phase, hiring managers should get an understanding of why the candidate is keen to move and determine that they are familiar with the culture and customs of their new host country. If possible, a face-to-face interview will allow the candidate to gain a better understanding of their working environment and new lifestyle.
3. Authenticating Employee Credentials
As mentioned, international recruitment has huge benefits but also involves lengthy, often expensive, processes. If you’ve found the perfect employee for your company and you plan to relocate them, ensure that all references, credentials and educational qualifications are thoroughly vetted. We’ve previously stressed the cost of making the wrong hire, verifying professional documents ahead of time helps to mitigate risk and double-check that the employee is as qualified in real-life as they are on paper.
More information on how this works in practice can be found in the video below:
4. Instilling Cultural Awareness
In terms of different cultures and norms, the move from a new employee’s home country to their new location can be a huge change for a candidate. It’s vital that any do’s and don’ts are communicated to a new employee ahead of their location. The onboarding process for an international candidate should also include helpful information about the culture in their new country. Not only does this aid a positive candidate experience, but will also help new employees to integrate quickly and feel at home in their new surroundings.
5. Mitigating Relocation Difficulties
If a candidate is willing to relocate, then try to take care of as much of the moving process as you can. Aside from helping the candidate to get there, they should also be given advice on where to stay when they arrive ahead of getting settled in and while visas are in process. Think of everything they may need and questions they may have during the relocation process and ensure you have the right answers, advice and recommendations ahead of time.
Onboarding an international employee should contain similar information to that of a locally-sourced hire in that it should clearly outline role expectations and company background. However, there may be things that need some extra explanation such as company culture, communication, technology protocols and any relevant employment laws and practices they may need to know about.
Conduct meetings with key employees that your new hire may need to work with or require support from to help them feel settled and encourage social interactions. Assigning a new international employee a mentor can also help them integrate into the company quickly and enhance job satisfaction.
While some ex-pats live in their new country for decades, for those who are new to the move it’s likely they are planning a shorter stint of a few years. New employees need to know that if and when they decide to move back to their home country, that they’ll have their employer’s full support to make the transition a smooth one. Plus, in many countries, repatriation of an employee is part of labour law and employers are legally obliged to purchase the airfare for their employees to return to their country of origin.
The overall solution is centred around the right process, with the right information readily available to overcome any stumbling blocks along the way. To find out more about our role within the hiring process, visit our dedicated Business Partners’ area.