Help Companies Navigate International Hiring Challenges

by Veronica Blatt

compass-300Today’s guest blogger is Narissa Johnson, the global brand and content manager of SafeGuard World International. For nearly a decade, organizations around the world have relied on SafeGuard World for their global HR needs, specifically around payroll and employee compliance. SafeGuard World is an Alliance Partner of NPAworldwide.

To succeed, companies will come to recruiters like you to find and hire the best talent, no matter where they live. Successful recruitment of global talent means finding the right talent and ensuring your client is able to get them working quickly. You are in a unique position to inform your clients of the risks involved with international hiring.

Social Costs
Social costs are usually made up of statutory benefits and insurance. Statutory benefit requirements, such as healthcare, vary by country. To employ legally, you must understand the required level of benefits.

The range of social costs differ drastically from country to country. If operating in the UAE, for instance, they are around 0% and in Brazil, employers pay from 60% to 120% of an individual employee’s total compensation (collective bargaining agreements, full private healthcare or full life insurance).

Liability Insurance
An employer’s liability insurance provides protection for their workers. While not all countries have a state-mandated plan, companies generally set up their own liability insurance to protect the worksite and workers. This ensures the company’s legal protection but also impacts its culture, assuring employees that they are being treated equally and fairly, regardless of where they work.

Minimum Wage and Collective Bargaining
As with most issues of remuneration, minimum wage is measured differently depending on the country. In Germany, minimum wage is measured hourly, while in Taiwan it’s measured annually.

Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) contain terms and conditions that set HR and payroll standards for workers. CBAs vary widely – when recruiting in foreign markets, it’s essential to understand these differences.

Paid Time Off
Paid time off (PTO) is particularly challenging when hiring internationally. For example, some countries federally mandate minimum PTO. However with CBAs, some positions may have additional requirements.  Offering additional days off can also be a useful recruiting tactic. Having the right local knowledge will inform your PTO pitch.

Paid Family Leave
Family leave requirements aren’t consistent across the globe and the amount of leave may differ depending on the employee’s position and seniority. Your client shouldn’t only satisfy legislative requirements but also conform to local customs and expectations. Again, this is an opportunity to leverage leave in offer negotiations.

Termination Policies and Practices
Outside of the U.S., “at-will employment” is rare; companies operating in foreign markets must be aware of the differences in termination policies to avoid non-compliance. While finding the perfect candidate for your client is important, understanding unique termination policies and practices will protect them from the unforeseen.

While the world isn’t getting smaller, our ability to erase international borders certainly makes it feel that way. This is good news for recruiters and companies that understand the best talent isn’t always in their home country. Understanding global employment issues will ensure companies can make smart hires and focus on their core business.

Independent Recruiter Blog

What to Tell Your Slow-Hiring Clients

by Veronica Blatt

image of woman preparing for a job interviewIf it seems like you have plenty of jobs to work on, but aren’t making lots of placements, you’re not alone. We’re hearing it anecdotally from our members and now the Dice-DHF Vacancy Duration Measure has validated it as well. It’s taking longer to fill jobs. Average time-to-fill is now 25 days, according to the Dice report, the highest it’s been in 13 years. Among large companies (>5,000 employees), time-to-fill jumps to a shocking 58.1 days.

Employers need to know that slow hiring is harmful to their businesses in multiple ways. Dr. John Sullivan wrote a terrific piece on earlier this year on this very topic, offering 12 ways slow hiring damages both recruiting and business results. My favorites are listed below. The full post is quite lengthy, but well-worth the time.

1. Dragging out the hiring process causes the best candidates to drop out. That’s right. The best candidates, especially passive candidates, simply don’t need to sit around waiting for your slow-hiring clients’ tedious process to finish. They’ll either decide to stay put, or they’ll have taken another offer. Additionally, when an employer is seeking a rain-maker, a slow hiring process can send a message that the company is slow about EVERYTHING. Rock-star candidates probably don’t want to come work at a company that is slow to launch new products, slow to innovate, or slow to respond to customer needs.

2. Slow hiring does NOT improve the QUALITY of hire. This is due in large part to the best candidates dropping out (see item #1, above). Slow-hiring clients may ultimately find they are hiring from a pool of average candidates, because the best candidates will be long-gone by the time a decision to hire is made. Are extra interviews REALLY going to turn up some earth-shattering piece of information that cements (or changes) a decision?

3. Slow hiring reduces hiring manager and recruiter excitement. When you ask a hiring manager to get involved in the process and then don’t deliver a hire for months, their enthusiasm understandably wanes. If a position remains vacant for too long, there is a real risk in many organizations of “losing” that position permanently due to budget constraints. Another unintended consequence of slow hiring is that it becomes more difficult to hire good recruiters (both internally and agency recruiters). In-house recruiters will get tired of the bureaucracy. Third-party (agency) recruiters will see your organization as less-than-serious and will turn down future search assignments – especially contingency recruiters, who only get paid when a hire is made.

4. Slow hiring can significantly raise your cost-to-hire. There is plenty of information that poor hires are costly, but there are also real costs to extended vacancies: lost productivity, additional time investments made by those who are conducting interviews, additional advertising costs, etc.

There are numerous reasons cited for slow hiring; fear seems to be the most common. You may need to advise your slow-hiring clients to change their job description process. There is no question that fear of making the wrong hire (“Can she really do the job?”) is a cause of hiring paralysis. However, if more clients focused on writing job descriptions about what the person would actually DO on the job (and less about subjective ‘skills’ the person must possess), it would be easier to ascertain if the candidate can, in fact, do the job. This would lead to a greater degree of confidence in the hiring process, leading employers to feel that they have identified the right person and moving more quickly to a hire.

The good news is that there are some simple steps that could be implemented to speed up hiring. An obvious one is to review the number of people involved in the approval process – if there is no data to support improved hires as a direct result of having more people involved in the decision, look for people who can be removed. Set up timelines in advance to ensure that the vacant position doesn’t slip through the cracks. First and second interviews can be set up a day or two apart, not weeks apart (especially if there aren’t 17 people involved in the interviews). Read here for some more good ideas.

How are you dealing with slow-hiring clients?

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UK Job Seekers and Employers Say Interview Process Has Lengthened [INFOGRAPHIC]

by Veronica Blatt

According to data released by Randstad, both job seekers and employers in the UK say the job interview process has lengthened since 2008.

Over the past five years, survey respondents indicated:

  • 23% increase in the time it takes job seekers to secure a new role (10 weeks, 5 days vs. 8 weeks, 5 days)
  • Job interview time has increased by 1.5 hours – measured in actual interview time as well as interview prep
  • More than twice as many jobs requiring pre-employment testing or assessment, which contributes to the slower hiring process
  • More employers requiring multiple interviews

Below is an infographic from CareerBright highlighting the rest of the findings:

infographic about interview process getting longer

These findings mirror reports from US job seekers as well, who cite longer job searches, more multiple interview situations, and an overall slowdown in the hiring process.


Independent Recruiters, Do Your Clients Insist Industry Experience is Required?

by Veronica Blatt

Today’s post is from Russ Bray with Southern Recruiting Solutions in Tampa, Florida. Russ is a two-time member of the NPA Board of Directors, as well as a long-time member of the network. Southern Recruiting Solutions specializes in placing professionals in the chemical, oil/gas, and manufacturing industries throughout the U.S.

image of newspaper career sectionAs independent recruiters, how often do we hear from clients that industry experience is REQUIRED? A lot! Because of that I wanted to share with you a little detail about a split placement I just did. A trading partner placed a candidate of mine into a maintenance manager position with a chemical industry client of hers. What was interesting is my candidate had no prior chemical industry experience! She also told me she placed someone from the aerospace industry into chemical.

The candidate and I had talked about this during my initial phone screen. He had done some job searching on his own, talked to some other independent recruiters, and knew the scenario. Chemical and oil/gas companies would not consider his background because he worked in the steel industry. (Note: I’m not picking on the chemical industry. It just so happens that’s the area I’m working in currently. In my previous experience recruiting in information technology and aerospace/defense, I heard the same thing.)

Everything else about him looked good in my opinion. Good tenure, degree, reasonable salary, professional to work with and we both felt a lot of the equipment in the steel plant was similar to what is used in a chemical facility.

Well, kudos to my trading partner for giving him a shot. Her client saw the value in the candidate as well.

What makes this a more critical problem today? Earlier this year, NPA members listened to an industry speaker quote some Department of Labor statistics about the talent shortage. Some of you will also know what I am talking about. From now until about 2020 we are facing a shortage of professional personnel in the 6-20 million ranges. Share that with your clients next time you speak with them. Also let them know that other companies are making some concessions for this very reason. It’s a variation on the saying, “Don’t let perfect get in the way of good.” Lou Adler would say this is what is wrong with skills- and experience-based job descriptions, which focus on what a candidate HAS instead of what a candidate can DO. By helping clients define success based on performance instead of on skills and experience, independent recruiters might find a lot more opportunities for great candidates who come from similar – but not exact – industries.

Obviously there are jobs where industry experience is mandatory and you’re not going to change their mind. But in addition to listening to your client (regardless of the industries you work) remember that as independent recruiters your job is also to advise your client on whether their expectations are realistic. If the job has been open for six months, obviously there is a problem.  A good question to ask when taking the job order is, “If I can show you a candidate that meets the vast majority of your requirements but comes from a different industry would you like to see him/her? This could allow you (the employer) to fill this position much quicker and stop the job vacancy from costing your company money.”

What is your experience with clients hiring candidates from a different industry? What do you hear from other independent recruiters? Comment below!

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10 Reasons Employers Should Use Independent Recruiters

by Dave Nerz

man-holding-megaphoneI think the saying is “preaching to the choir”  or “preaching to the converted.”  Get ready because here I go.

Your clients are being sold on filling jobs without the help of independent recruiters.  There was an article in the NY Times titled Why We Never Use Professional Recruiters and I think some companies are likely to listen to this message because it gives them a false sense of confidence in what they can achieve without the cost of your service.  While this may seem like “preaching to the converted,” I am hoping you can use some of my arguments with those that are crazy enough to confide in you that they are planning to go it alone.  If you have a favorite way to overcome this foolish client behavior, please share your story by commenting on this blog post.

10 Reasons Employers Should Use Independent Recruiters:

  1. Recruiters can attract the best people. Why mess with what makes the business a success or a failure? If your livelihood depends on finding good employees and they are what drives your profit and results, then why try to do hiring without the benefit of a professional focused on your company’s needs.
  2. Recruiters define and describe the position best. The use of professional independent recruiters will force you to know what you are looking for. A recruiter knows what is out there and can coach you on the realism of your position description, the availability of talent, and the cost of the talent you need. Do you ever see the For Sale By Owner signs on homes? Do you think those sellers have been coached on prepping their house for sale? Do you think they know the proper price for the home? Do you think they are as motivated as someone that has hired a professional to sell the house for them? I don’t. I think they are just giving it a try to see if they can find an easy sale and when it becomes really important to sell that house, there will be a realtor.
  3. Recruiters keep employers focused. Is locating talent your company’s core competency? If so, then go it alone. Just because LinkedIn makes candidates more accessible to you does not mean you will be better served to do searches for talent without a recruiter. Your company president probably has the know-how to cut the grass and pick weeds on your corporate campus, but is that really where you need to leverage his/her time? Just because there is a manual on how to use that gigantic punch press out in the factory, does it mean that you should run it without an operator that specializes and has trained to use it? Do what you are good at, not just those things you have access to do.
  4. Recruiters save staff time and cost. Not only will a search for an employee distract managers and leaders, it will also cost the company more money than a search turned over to an independent recruiter. I compare this one to the old in-house print shop scenario. Companies claimed to be saving so much money with their in-house print shops compared to having things professionally printed on the outside. Sure, if you don’t count the cost of employees, their benefits, the cost of space, and assign no overhead to an in-house printing operation, it will look great. Employers are doing the same thing today with recruiting. Do you really want senior managers and leaders out on Facebook and LinkedIn trying to find talent? And are you sure you know what their time is worth per hour? Add benefits and overhead to that number and independent  recruiters look like a bargain at any price.
  5. Recruiters speed  the job fill. The real costs or opportunity costs of an open position can be enormous. Many studies say that in profitable companies an employee generates 3 to 5 times their annual salary in value. So if you leave a $70,000 position open for just one additional month, that is $18,000 to $30,000 the company will never see again. Independent recruiters can also focus efforts on the likelihood of a “yes” when the offer is eventually made. I’m very certain that most managers do not have the skills needed to coach and troubleshoot all the reasons a candidates would say “no.”  In fact, it would be very unlikely that a candidates would share with the employer the reasons for a potential “no” until it is too late. Independent recruiters have the position with a candidate to ask what a staff member may never uncover.
  6. Recruiters know where to look for talent. If you are 100% confident as an employer that the best candidate for your opening is on LinkedIn, then maybe a recruiter is unnecessary for building the short list. We all know that is not likely as some candidates are “passive or not active” job seekers. You need an independent recruiter with networks and tools to find these people. Recruiters have the tools, subscriptions, a peer group for support and a network that is better than yours. A simple question: Is your manager capable of calling into the competitor’s company to get their best talent out for an interview? If they do that, will the competitor know what you are up to within minutes?
  7. Recruiters know how to attract talent. Recruiters are expert at understanding motivation to move. They can predict for you the proper and real motivation vs. the misleading and bogus motivation. I can only guess that your managers and leaders have not been trained in doing this?
  8. Recruiters are less apt to lose the best candidates. There is likely only one best candidate for your open job. Do you want that candidate being handled by an inexperienced manager or someone that does this 20 times before breakfast?
  9. Recruiters offer a method for continuous improvement. Why stop recruiting after you fill the job? If you can keep your staff focused on the core business but have a recruiter looking to replace the weakest player on your team, you will be on a path to continuous improvement. Don’t hire one at a time, hire always. Independent recruiters allow you this potential.
  10. Recruiters produce results. What other professional group do you work with that will work on a contingent basis? What other professional group guarantees their work even though they have little control over what you do to ensure the success of their placement? Most candidates leave because they don’t like the company or the direct supervisor and the recruiter has little to no control over those two contributing factors, yet they guarantee their work.

If you are 100% confident as an employer that the best candidate for your opening is on LinkedIn, and that your managers can attract those candidates, will never scare off good candidates, and will not increase the chance of a turndown by the best available talent…then you are running a recruiting company, not a business focused on whatever it is you do as an employer. You are in the wrong business, we have found the next great recruiting organization!

I hope one or more of these becomes useful for you.  Please share your ideas!

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3 Reasons to Conduct Video Interviews

by Veronica Blatt

video-presentationToday’s guest blogger is Anne Downing with Demetrio & Associates, LLC located in greater Phoenix, Arizona. Demetrio & Associates is a boutique recruitment firm that has clients across the US as well as in international locations. The firm places candidates in sales & marketing, advertising, wireless and software positions. Anne is currently serving on NPA’s Board of Directors.

If you are not using video interviews to interview your candidates, or if your clients are not using video interviews, now is the time to start. Video is EVERYWHERE. YouTube has over 1 billion unique visitors EVERY MONTH. People are using video for more reasons than just watching their favorite band perform.

Employers are attracting potential new employees with corporate branding videos and are often using video as part of their hiring process. Sarah White, an industry analyst, conducted a video interviewing usage survey that indicated 38% of the respondents said they use video at some stage of the hiring process. It is safe to assume that this number will increase rapidly over the next couple of years.

There are several reasons why video should be part of the interviewing process, and I will discuss a few below:

Globalization. As recruiters, many of us work with candidates all over the US and the world for that matter. Using video interviews can give us a much better feel for the candidates’ personality and presentation skills. In the long run, this will allow us to present the best possible candidates to our clients.

Speed. Video interviews speed up the hiring process. It is often hard to set up in-person interviews because hiring managers and other members of the interviewing team have scheduling conflicts due to their travel, meetings etc. With video, people can be located anywhere in the world and take part in the video interview. This allows a lot of flexibility on your client’s part to set up the interview. It also can save your client money because this will eliminate some of the travel costs they pay to have candidates come in for an in-person interview.

Remote workers. Many candidates in today’s market work remotely, travel on a regular basis or work from their home offices. Having access to video on their mobile devices allows them to do a video interview from anywhere. One can slip away from “work” and do an interview on their laptop, iPad or mobile phone.

Employers, recruiters and candidates are all ready to engage with each other via the video platform. If you are not using video, now is the time to start!

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan /