How to effectively hire international talent

When it comes to international recruitment, don't make the mistake of assuming that a standardised process will work for every market you enter.

How to effectively hire international talent

When it comes to international recruitment, don’t make the mistake of assuming that a standardised process will work for every market you enter. 

Since day one, our Laundryheap team has been laying the foundations for global development. After 4 years of successful expansion into 10 international markets, I can safely say that recruiting in foreign territory doesn’t come without its challenges. Each new market has its own social and economic reality – meaning you must adapt how you recruit to suit the society you’re speaking to. You need to be prepared to think globally, but act locally. 

Here are four key things to consider before you prepare to set up shop overseas. 

Know the laws of the land

It might seem obvious, but understanding the legalities surrounding employment, taxes and even visas in the countries you plan to recruit in is essential. If you don’t do your due diligence, hiring abroad can become a legal and logistical challenge. Before you post job advertisements overseas, research the employment laws and policies for the country you’re looking at (such as national minimum wage rates, health insurance, pension schemes and tax requirements for international employers). The number of hoops you’ll need to jump through will depend on whether you’re hiring people to work overseas, or whether you’re planning on organising visas so they can work for you in the UK. Thorough preparation (you may wish to enlist the help of specialists) will help you streamline the recruitment process and ensure you’re doing everything by the book. This will make your life easier further down the line and reassure your international candidates. 

Make the most of local contacts

To help you get the lay of the land in your new market, liaise with people that are already on the ground and have been through the process themselves. This could include reaching out to businesses already operating in that market, and establishing relationships with people that you can use as a sounding board. Leaning on your peers is the best way to orientate yourself in your new market and avoid making the same mistakes that they did.

Be culturally aware

Founders with employees scattered around the globe need to understand the cultural norms of the markets they’re in – which also means understanding each country’s approach to work and work/life balance. Advertising employee benefits, working hours and a level of flexibility that reflects and accommodates each new market’s culture, will help you to demonstrate that you value and understand your workers – and attract more applicants. Having said that, whilst building cultural flexibility into your people strategy is important, ensure you create consistency across all of your markets, so that employees in one location aren’t being shortchanged compared to employees doing a similar role elsewhere.

Advertise your business honestly

One of the best ways to streamline your international recruitment process is to make sure applicants have a detailed understanding of your company mission and values. Avoid airy or inaccurate job descriptions – as ultimately, misleading candidates will only see them drop out further down the recruitment process. To recruit as efficiently as possible, be honest and upfront about exactly what the role entails and what the expectations will be. By doing this, you’ll be able to conserve your recruitment resources and spend time speaking to people with a genuine interest in what you’re offering. The better your recruitment process is, the more likely you are to retain your new hires.

Finally, remember that hiring takes time. Instead of recruiting quickly and at scale whilst neglecting quality, focus on making the right hires and building an international recruitment process that not only attracts but retains great talent. By doing this, you’ll be able to grow your team consistently without high turnover and rolling recruitment eating up valuable time and resources.

Deyan Dimitrov
Deyan Dimitrov

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