Removing Barriers to Recruiting Internationally

by Dave Nerz

Businesses are growing internationally and global recruiters interested in growth will need to find ways to support this shift.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Knowledge – A lack of knowledge about foreign markets for talent keeps many recruiters from asking about international recruiting requirements.
  3. Networks – The absence of a network of international recruiting partners has prevented smaller firms from competing for international recruiting assignments.
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Become Knowledgeable – Read, ask questions, attend webinars, and add to your knowledge about what is going on in international recruiting markets.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


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