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hiring international employees

If your company plans to extend its operations beyond US borders, it’s time to start hiring international employees. In order to support this development, it is important to find new hires who respond to the culture of your company, who are able to serve your organizational interests and who comply with your guidelines and qualifications your job offer requires.

The good news is that in this era of remote work, the global market has become more accessible to talent acquisition. However, hiring international employees still comes with its challenges and getting it right could make a huge difference in the success of your global expansion.

To help you successfully find talent in a new market, this article will provide some best practices to follow when hiring internationally and be able to recruit skilled foreign workers.

Related articles:

Talent Acquisition: What Is It and How to Conquer It
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Why Hire Internationally?

The fact that you are ready to hire international employees is already a sign that your company is expanding and increasing in job postings. Besides fulfilling the growing responsibilities that come with global expansion, here are 3 major reasons why you should hire abroad.

Face the talent shortage

Many professions are becoming increasingly complex and demanding as new technology and industry developments arise. Much of the top talent is already working for the competition. The most effective alternative is to change horizons and look for new talent in other countries with the desired work-experience. This opens up the talent pool significantly and provides more opportunities to find the high skilled person for the role.

Even though it can be tedious in the recruiting process, it can be an asset for the performance of your team. In fact, an international employee may already have experience in the country where you want to expand and is more familiar with the immigration policy, immigration services, how the market works in that country, and how to better adapt in terms of the country’s culture.

Increase Productivity

When you bring new team members internationally in the hiring process, you are also bringing on expertise in the market where you are planning to expand. This reduces the learning curve associated with internationalization of your business. With the right people in place, you will be able to more quickly respond to customer needs and smoothly transition to the new market.

In addition to market expertise, hiring employees across multiple time zones can ensure that work is getting done around the clock, increasing productivity metrics for your organization.

Gain a competitive advantage

A hired international employee can bring a unique viewpoint to the organization to help diversify your team’s way of thinking.

In fact, studies have shown that companies that have embraced diversity outperform their competitors on many fronts:

Companies experienced 13 times more cash-flow from operations, are 1.7 times more likely to be innovative leaders in their industry and 1.8 times more likely to adapt to industry changes.


Best Practices to Hire International Employees

Here are some best practices for recruiting internationally and that will help you optimize talent management in HR departments as you grow abroad.

1. Fine tune your job descriptions

The first thing, of course, is to write a job description for your job posting in the language of the target country as well as in English if your business will require proficiency in English to operate. This job posting must be captivating and concise in order to quickly attract the attention of applicants. It’s also important, as for any job description, to state the expectations of the role in a clear manner.

Next, the human resources departments must choose the right channels and the appropriate websites to distribute the job announcement.

2. Use the right channels

A job board or career site is a platform where job seekers may be searching for job openings by location, industry or job role.

Find out what the most popular job board is in your new target market. To help you determine this, leverage your internal network that may have the language skill, experience, or knowledge about the local talent landscape.

3. Implement flexible interviewing options

The interview is one of the most critical parts of the recruitment process. During the interview, it gives a chance for both the employer and employee to present themselves and determine whether each other’s expectations will be met through an employment agreement.

When interviewing candidates internationally, you need to take into account time zones, distance, and available technology. For this reason, your recruitment process should allow for several options for how interviews can take place. This could include paying for the candidate to fly to the head office for their job interview, or using a video conferencing tool to conduct the interview virtually. Another option is to outsource the recruitment process, including the interview, to a third party recruitment agency and be free in the hiring process.

4. Use your existing network

When you’re staffing a new country, it can take some time to build trust and credibility in the job market. Just like you can use your internal network to help you determine the right sourcing channels, you can leverage their network to help you hiring staff by hiring new employees through referrals. 

One of the most effective recruitment techniques has always been an employee referral. Why not take advantage of this at an international scale to hire foreign workers? Ask your existing employees who may have connections abroad to recommend the company to their own personal networks. Having already established a relationship with the team, it will make it easier to integrate with the company and build loyalty to the employer.

Don’t stop at your employee base. Include your partners, local business contacts, or even suppliers in your recruitment and hiring efforts.

5. Be aware of employment laws

This can be one of the most daunting parts of international hiring as a recruiter. Employment laws in the US can be considerably different than those overseas. If you are not fully aware of the legislation in the country where the new employees will be working, you can find your business at legal risk down the line.

Take the time to fully understand the laws that will apply to your foreign employees. When doing so, consider topics such as taxes, paid leave, probationary periods, background checks etc. It’s also important to understand the difference between types of employment contracts or classifications as they may also be different than what they are in your home company.

Alternatively you can hire legal counsel to help you put compliant procedures, policies and employment contracts in place to ensure that you avoid legal risk for hiring in unknown territory.

6. Build your employer brand

Most likely, your company already has an employer brand in your home country. If you are interested in hiring international employees, it’s time to expand this brand to your new market.

For the candidate abroad to want to join the company, it is essential that you work to improve the company’s employer brand. By carefully managing the employer brand, which represents the image of the company in the public eye, you ensure that those searching for your company for the first time are left with a positive impression. To achieve this, the leadership team works to communicate the corporate vision, the work environment, the values of the company, and the benefits of working for the company.

This is the opportunity for the employer to invite those who have worked or who are still present in the company to share their experience at the company. This can have an impact on international recruitment by showcasing the reasons why someone who does not know your company should join it.

7. Outsource to a specialized recruitment agency

Some recruitment firms are specialized in international recruitment consulting. In fact, they may have connections in the geographical areas where the company wishes to develop its activity. At the same time, the recruitment firm knows the regulations and culture of the country concerned. To take it a step further, there may even be agencies specialized in your specific industry.

The specialized recruitment firm is therefore able to deliver coaching and sound advice, but also to identify the type of profile that is best suited for your business.

Software that Supports International Employees

At a time when your company is growing, hiring international employees can be an asset in terms of global mobility. Following the best practices listed above can help you quickly hit the ground running when it comes to establishing a team abroad. But is your current HR technology able to accommodate a new set of rules and regulations? Are you able to communicate to a diverse group of employees and deliver the right employee experience that will engage employees from different cultures and who speak different languages?

If you plan to expand your business globally, your HR technology needs to be able to adapt to changing processes and procedures. For example, you may need to add a new language to your tech environments or add a new payroll software that will allow you to process payroll in the new country in the new country. But this comes with a lot of change management and sometimes disruption to your current employees.

PeopleSpheres allows you to quickly add to and adapt your HR tech stack while maintaining a consistent interface and experience for your current workforce. The PeopleSpheres platform aggregates all your specialized systems and employee data so that you can create standardized procedures globally while adapting to country-specific requirements.

In short…

At a time when coveted skills are becoming increasingly rare in the labor market, international recruitment remains a very advantageous alternative for companies as they expand. By using the right tools and strategically planning the recruitment process, hiring international employees will go from being a daunting task to one that will help your company gain a competitive advantage.

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