Is international recruiting a part of your business mix? If the answer is ‘no’ or ‘not yet,’ it might be time to think about how to recruit internationally. Odds are good that your clients already operate internationally, even if you don’t know it. And the global talent shortage being what it is, the odds are similarly good that they could use a few good recruiters to help fill key international roles.
A question our own members often wonder as they begin to explore international recruiting is how to make international placements. It seems that many people think the process is wildly different when different countries are involved. The best answer might be, “it depends.”
Here are some points to consider about international recruiting:
- Ask your clients if they have an overseas location, or are planning an international expansion. Then ask how they are filling key roles, and ask to be included in that process. On this point, the process is pretty similar to your other business development efforts.
- Assuming you get the job, you’ll need to figure out what kind of candidates you can source. Does the client want to “transplant” skills from another country? Will they sponsor and pay for the visa? Do they want an ex-pat who is looking to return “home”? Do they want local talent, already familiar with the local language and business customs?
- If the client is bringing in “outside” talent, you’ll need to understand the interview process. In-person interviews may not happen. Is the candidate interviewing with your local contact? Or the contact at the international location? What is the time difference? Do you have resources to help with video interviews, if needed?
- If your client needs local talent, it could be difficult for you to source candidates. Business customs vary wildly, as do employment and privacy laws. Are you knowledgeable in these areas? With a significant time difference between countries, will you be able to easily perform phone screens? If not, you may want to consider a recruiting partner who can help.
- A local recruiting partner can help source candidates, and will have knowledge of and experience with local laws, customs, language and other issues. Do you have such a partner? If not, do you have the recruiting resources to find one?
- Will you consider a split-fee arrangement? In international splits, it’s fairly common to see variances from the typical 50/50 arrangement.
- If you already have someone who can help you recruit internationally, have you considered what to do about future opportunities? If you’re putting a “partner” in touch with your client, make sure you have a clear written agreement between you and your trading partner about how future openings will be handled.
- You may wish to seek out a formal recruiting organization that knows how to make international placements. There are trade associations such as NAPS in the USA and RCSA in Australia that can help you understand the local employment laws. Joining a recruiting network can be another way to help you get connected globally.
International recruiting can be a lucrative and rewarding addition to your business mix, but there can be a big learning curve. Taking the time to learn how to make international placements in advance can save you a lot of hassle.