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Recruiting globally: Benefits, risks & strategies

Discover why you should explore expanding your company’s horizons by recruiting globally, including the potential challenges involved and how to overcome them.

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Having emerged from the upheaval of a global pandemic at the start of 2023, the world of business looks unquestionably different as we look toward 2024 and beyond. A remote work culture which was mandated as a temporary necessity by most world governments has now become the new norm, for example. Yet whilst adjusting to new working practices can be challenging, they can also open the door to new opportunities, such as global recruitment.

Recruiting globally is the practice of hiring talent located overseas, often with the intention of relocating the employee to your offices at home. A wide variety of businesses in a diverse pool of industries may benefit from widening their nets this way, though it is not always clear exactly why, when, or how you should go about recruiting globally.

Mauve’s guide to global recruitment is designed to walk you through the benefits, potential challenges, and best practices for hiring internationally – whether you’ve considered global expansion before or not. As an HR employee tasked with recruiting globally or a business owner exploring the potential advantages of overseas recruitment, we hope you find in our guide the confidence to take your next step.

Why consider recruiting globally? A look at the benefits in our current climate

Truthfully, these are uncertain times. Energy crises, cost of living crises, and an ongoing climate crisis all contribute to instability in the world of business. So it is natural to find yourself asking the question: Why start thinking about global recruitment now?

The good news is that there are plenty of persuasive and justifiable reasons to consider recruiting globally even in times like ours. In fact, expanding your recruitment faculties abroad could help stabilise your operations and strengthen them for the future. These are just a few of the potential benefits you could enjoy if you chose to recruit globally.

  • Find talent who meet your role requirements, however niche or skilled they may be
  • Enhance the diversity in your organisation and learn to empower new voices to your business’s benefit
  • Engage more fully with remote work culture and leverage it to your advantage
  • Gain insight into new markets around the world, with the potential for future expansion
  • Develop your company as a global brand with a global outlook

We’ll now take a closer look at a few of these key benefits to global recruitment.

Broader access to top talent

At present, unemployment rates in the economic West are relatively low and stable, sitting below 6% in countries like the USA, Canada, China, the UK, Australia, Japan, and much of Europe. In the UK, for example, unemployment is at a 30+ year low. In this climate, recruitment managers may find it challenging to attract the quality of talent they require to fill key positions within their company.

However, by expanding your search for talent overseas, you gain access to a far wider talent pool than ever before. Provided your global recruitment campaign is tailored carefully to attract the right people, then an international perspective could very well eradicate the challenges faced when talent scouting on your home soil.

Opportunity to increase the diversity in your company

Diversity in the workforce has been proven time and again to be a driver of success. From financial boons to increases in productivity and an improvement in your team’s ability to troubleshoot a variety of complex issues.

It is thought that a lot of this has to do with the fact that diverse teams are more appealing to a wider group of talent, who are more likely to feel supported, seen, and content in their work. Of course, it also has to do with the unique angles which diverse perspectives can approach business problems from.

By recruiting globally you expose your workforce to a wide range of new voices, including people from different socioeconomic, religious, sexual, gendered, and ethnic backgrounds. Bringing a mix of talented individuals from across an international spread of circumstances into your team can, if couple with inclusivity, help to futureproof your organisation.

Develop efficient global business practices

The process of hiring overseas can be complex, with a variety of hurdles to overcome and new recruitment practices to navigate. Whilst this might sound a little daunting to those of us new to the notion, take solace in the fact that by proactively engaging with global recruitment you will also help your company to mature: on both an interpersonal and structural level.

For example, the relocation of global recruits to your company headquarters will require a smooth and effective global mobility strategy. Developing this strategy ensures you are better prepared for any other global recruitment drives in future. Moreover, by testing various global business practices during this initial recruitment drive, you can identify weak spots and address them to build a stronger overall organisation.

The challenges you may face when recruiting globally, and how to overcome them

The benefits of global recruitment are many, but so too are the challenges. Here, we examine some of the most common risks and hurdles faced by businesses expanding internationally or hiring abroad. In the subsequent section, How to recruit globally, we identify seven key tactics to help you overcome these challenges, perhaps even to reframe them as advantages.

Finding candidates willing to relocate

Global recruitment can open your talent pool to a whole new ocean of high-quality prospects, yet if the end goal is to find someone to work in your home country, the challenge will be to find the right candidate who is also willing to relocate. Crucially, you must make the process of international relocation as seamless and attractive as possible if you hope to find talent happy to discuss the possibility of moving abroad.

Navigating the challenges of remote work culture

Of course, it may not always be possible to identify candidates willing to relocate during a global recruitment campaign. On the off chance that your ideal candidate is unwilling or unable to move, then you may have to seriously consider hiring remotely. Remote or hybrid work culture is fairly new and not every business understands how best to navigate it, but once you unlock the key to managing remote teams, the potential benefits are myriad.

Work visa requirements and relocation overseas

Relocating new recruits requires you to navigate any number of complex visa requirements to ensure that they are legally allowed to work for you in your country. The requirements will differ depending on the country of origin and destination, since visas and immigration laws are often negotiated bilaterally and prone to fluctuation according to geopolitics.

Global business solutions providers like Mauve Group are adept at assisting with immigration and worker relocation.

Complying with local and international employment and tax law

Laws governing workers rights can vary wildly from country to country, and state to state. There is a international body of law which seeks to regulate and make equitable these rules, but the laws established by local tax and legal bodies tend to take precedent when recruiting overseas. Compliance with all applicable laws and regulations regarding labour and tax is absolutely necessary throughout the process of global recruitment. These laws may affect:

It is important that you are well-read with regards to the labour and tax laws in the country, or countries, in which you’re recruiting new talent.

Increased recruitment and onboarding costs

Recruiting globally, it shall come as no surprise, is more costly than recruiting locally. Certainly, the costs can quickly be recouped in the form of enhanced diversity, productivity, and the like within the company.

Moreover, if global recruitment enables you to find the right person for the job, then the costs are assuredly worth paying.

Nevertheless, it is paramount that you be aware of these higher costs so as to budget for them during the planning phase of your international recruitment campaign.

Encountering linguistic and cultural differences overseas

Depending on where in the world you are recruiting, you may well encounter numerous language barriers and other cultural differences. There are lots of workable ways around these hurdles and they should by no means put you off exploring any given country’s talent pool. However, you will need to address these differences in your global recruitment campaign if you hope to make the application process attractive to the right candidate.

Turning ‘diversity’ into ‘inclusivity’

Some have argued, convincingly, that a number of companies wear ‘diversity’ like a badge of success, without actually doing the hard work which diversity both deserves and requires in order to flourish. In other words, some businesses use the diversity in their teams for the purposes of virtue signalling, without making their workplaces any more inclusive than they were before. This same affectation can be found in practices such as ‘greenwashing.’

Diversity alone is not good enough. Rather, businesses hiring internationally must also focus on ensuring their company is an actively inclusive and welcoming space. Inclusivity is about taking the diversity newly introduced to your team and finding out how to integrate it compassionately and safely into your wider work culture.

Processing a much larger pool of job applicants

Finally, it’s worth noting the difficulty of processing a much larger number of applications than usual. When we expand our recruitment nets internationally, we are undoubtedly going to attract more candidates. Having a system in place for efficiently filtering and addressing applications will likely be key to your global recruitment campaign’s success.

How to recruit globally: 7 best practices for an effective global recruitment strategy

Lastly, let us take a look at Mauve Group’s 7 best tips for recruiting globally.

1) Develop a cohesive and attractive international employer brand

Many companies have a well-established customer-facing brand for attracting sales and leads, but the same cannot always be said for having an ‘employer brand.’ An employer brand is the face of your company which potential applicants see, and when looking to recruit globally it is helpful to work on developing this image.

You can create a strong employer brand with strong copy, distilled into channels such as these:

  • Your recruitment advertisements
  • The Career Opportunities, About Us, Mission Statement, and Company Values pages on your company website
  • A blog which seeks to gather and retell your employees’ stories and experiences working for your company
    • Bonus points if you can gather positive stories of other global recruits, who have successfully relocated to work with you
  • Your social media channels

2) Ensure your recruitment process is accessible and multilingual

Attracting the right candidate works differently overseas, compared to locally. Language barriers, if not addressed, could stop your dream candidate from applying, for example.

Similarly, remember that potential applicants may be considering several different job opportunities, including those more local to them or which do not require relocation. To win their application, you must present a recruitment drive which is as accessible and smooth as possible.

3) Define your dream candidate

A successful global recruitment strategy begins as a successful business plan does, by clearly identifying your ideal candidate or customer. Through profiling a fictional dream candidate, you can refocus your recruitment drive and tailor it to the specific set of soft-and hard-skills which you most want your applicants to have. In doing so, your ‘fictional’ dream candidate may just be made real.

4) Pick scouting channels relevant to your target demographic

The ‘employee sourcing’ platforms and channels which you’ve been using locally may have zero bearing on those which will be effective globally. There may still be some crossover abroad, especially with the likes of LinkedIn, Upwork, and Fiverr proving internationally popular; however, the likelihood is you’ll have to find new channels more relevant to your target country, or countries. These may include:

  • International job boards
  • Location-based social media ads
  • Networking with local unions, industry groups, and educational institutions

5) Integrate a comprehensive EDI policy into human resources

Not to hammer the point home too much, but EDI is key to global employee retention and satisfaction. Equality, diversity, and inclusion policies needn’t be hard to write, but they should be tailored to your specific organisation and in-keeping with the highest global standards. Moreover, your EDI policy for HR should comply with any applicable EDI laws in your, and/or your new recruit’s country.

6) Design unique job ads for different recruitment regions

Different countries, regions, and cultures have different work ethics and expectations when it comes to recruitment. The job ad which works well in Japan – a country renowned for its conservative ‘salary person’ culture – may prove disastrous for recruitment in the USA, where prospective employees may expect a less formal, more flexible approach to work.

Tailoring your recruitment drive to the cultural and linguistic nuances of your target demographic will likely increase your chances of successfully attracting the top global talent for your opening.

7) Work with an Employer of Record (EoR) to develop a tailor-made global employment strategy

Recruiting globally can seriously benefit a company, helping it to grow, become more diverse and mature, and broadening its horizons with regards to the future. Yet once you have identified your candidates, the process of hiring them compliantly and onboarding them effectively can be fraught with challenges. The process may indeed seem especially daunting to smaller businesses without the resources to dedicate themselves to global recruitment as much as they feel they should. In these circumstances, the answer may lie in seeking outside help.

Conclusion: Making the most of recruiting globally with Mauve Group

Mauve Group is a long-serving provider of international business solutions to organisations of all backgrounds and prospects. We have helped innumerable companies in their efforts to employ, onboard, pay and relocate top global talent once candidates have been selected, be it with visa and immigration, global payroll, recruitment strategizing or global onboarding. To take your next step on the road to international recruitment, explore more of the Mauve Group blog today.