Don’t let a state or country border stop you from taking a job order — it’s only a line on a map. If you’ve been telling clients and candidates you only work in one state, or even just one city, think bigger. You might be able to make more money by taking on job orders for your clients’ locations/offices in different countries, and using a recruitment network to help cast a wider net to recruit internationally. Read the rest of this entry »
I came across an article on Recruiter.com titled Recruiting Internationally? Think Local, which resonated with me in many ways. One of the most compelling points was the idea that so many recruiters think differently about international recruiting as compared to local recruiting. It seems that many recruiters somehow think the recruiting PROCESS is different because the geography is different. While there are legitimate reasons why international recruiting may be more difficult than local recruiting, I don’t believe it’s because the process is wildly different.
It’s no secret that globalization is here to stay, and has created huge shifts in how/where employees are located. You may wonder how to get started in international recruiting if you are part of a small, independent recruiting firm (as opposed to a large multinational). The author of the article referenced above, Marie Larsen, points out that it is too easy to succumb to an overly broad approach:
“For instance, if we are to recruit a team in China, we often think, ‘OK, how do I find a candidate in China?’ When we recruit locally, we ask much better questions, for example, ‘I wonder if Professor Joe at Trinity College would recommend any of his most outstanding computer grads?’ The fundamental problem with international recruitment is that we approach the challenge broadly and abstractly.”
I completely agree with this assessment. Instead of tackling an international recruiting assignment with the same approach used for local job openings, it seems some recruiters shy away from their normal recruiting processes, perhaps thinking those processes won’t work for a global search. To maximize success, international recruiters must think locally. Here are some suggestions:
- Develop a network. Make sure you are building relationships with people, not just a list of names. Ask for referrals of other candidates, but also ask for the names of local competitors and universities that could be sources of additional candidates.
- Reach out to other international recruiting contacts in the market. Not only can they help you find candidates, they can be an invaluable source of information about the local culture and the ‘real’ job market. Try to learn where “birds of a feather flock together.” This could include local clubs, professional organizations, or online communities.
- Broaden your social media efforts to country-specific sites. Obviously LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are hugely popular social media sites, but they aren’t the only ones. For example, have you checked out Orkut, which is quite popular in Brazil and India? There are other international social networks as well, so be sure you are considering a global audience with your social media messaging.
- Ask for help if you need to overcome a language barrier. Don’t rely on online translation services, which are notoriously inaccurate. If your international recruiting efforts lead you to a candidate population that speaks a different language, your best bet may be to strike up a partnership with a local recruiter. Working on a split-fee basis can help you find the candidates you need in a timely fashion, while overcoming cultural and linguistic obstacles.
Have you experienced success with international recruiting? Share your experiences below!
A study, sponsored by MAXIS GBN of more than 350 multinational business executives, reports that 40% percent of those surveyed intend to expand operations outside their home markets. The expansions will be in both developed and emerging markets.
With growth and expansion come challenges for businesses—and the global recruiters supporting them—to find talent in local markets. The war for talent is on and it is being waged on a global stage! Consider these findings:
- Close to 20% of the largest multinationals surveyed expect to double their total workforce outside their home country within the next five years.
- Twenty-five percent of companies will enter new markets in five years.
- Global markets are outpacing home markets for revenue growth. Thirty percent of respondents expect 70% of their revenue from outside of their home country within five years.
- Brazil, China, India and the U.S. are target markets for companies looking to sell products.
- Vietnam, South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa are considered the best opportunity for those seeking to source materials, products or components.
The Barriers to Global Recruiting
Engaging in international recruiting will be an important survival strategy for recruiters in the years ahead. Yet there are many barriers to recruiting internationally that will delay or even stop recruiters from addressing this opportunity. Here are some of the challenges indentified by successful global recruiting organizations:
- Desire and Awareness – Some recruiters have become insensitive or immune to their clients’ growing need for talent outside of their local geographies or home counties. Relationships with clients built long ago and grown locally have remained locally focused. Some smaller recruiters have not investigated their clients’ international recruiting requirements. In some cases, lack of awareness is compounded with a lack of desire to change from a comfortable recruiting process.
- Knowledge – A lack of knowledge about foreign markets for talent keeps many recruiters from asking about international recruiting requirements.
- Networks – The absence of a network of international recruiting partners has prevented smaller firms from competing for international recruiting assignments.
- Success – As with most things, we tend to fear those things we have never tried or been successful with in the past.
Remove the Barriers
Take these actions to begin exploring the opportunities that recruiting internationally can offer your firm:
- Ask Clients About International Needs – You might be surprised how many small and mid-sized companies are seeking talent in areas outside the markets you have served. By asking, you will identify the opportunity that international recruiting represents within your client pool. Remember that recruiting is competitive and that developing a skill may help you land the next new client…so it is not just about the clients you have today.
- Become Knowledgeable – Read, ask questions, attend webinars, and add to your knowledge about what is going on in international recruiting markets.
- Grow Your Network – Increase your networking skills and efforts. LinkedIn and the many LinkedIn Groups are a great way to start. Become connected to more international recruiters. Based on client feedback, you may identify target countries to focus on initially.
- Demonstrate and Promote Your Efforts and Success – Talk about what you are doing when given an opportunity. The more you can display your knowledge, interest and any successes the more others will think of you as capable of international recruiting.
The growth of international recruiting is an opportunity for recruiters. Find a way to add global recruiting to your capabilities. Doing so will enhance your firm’s likelihood of survival, growth, and profitability in the years ahead.