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International recruitment: How to run a successful campaign

Heather Darby, Gerson Relocation

International recruitment drives are an invaluable way of securing top talent. Hiring employees from the other side of the world, however, presents a number of challenges unique to the international recruitment process.

Finding your international recruits

Locating international talent is a little tougher than locating domestic talent. There’s a whole world to search, after all.

To find the best candidates for your business, you first you need to ask yourself “what is my reason for hiring?”

If you are looking for specific experience, say a candidate with a knowledge of China’s business cultures, then you're obviously going to be targeting Chinese recruits. However, you can also extend your hiring net to nearby countries, such as Malaysia, South Korea and the Philippines, as it is likely you’ll find candidates that match your criteria here too.

If, however, you are looking for cheaper employees or recruits to fill skill gaps, you should be targeting areas where these types of candidates are known to be prevalent.

For example, engineering jobs are so popular in India that the market is overflowing with qualified candidates unable to find work.  

From an international recruitment standpoint, this scenario offers the perfect opportunity for harvesting talent. By focusing on countries with high numbers of suitable candidates, you’ll find eager prospects that fill your skill gaps and potentially accept lower wages too.

Don’t ignore emerging markets in your international recruiting process

While your pursuit of international employees may take you to the most advanced economies from around the globe, you shouldn’t ignore the Next 11.

A group of rapidly developing economies, the job markets in the Next 11 have flourished in recent years and can offer some of the most unique, highly skilled candidates around.

While other international recruitment drives focus on highly competitive job markets like the USA or Japan, you can procure some equally outstanding talent from emerging economies — markets full of viable candidates most businesses have yet to tap into.

Maintain a hands on recruitment process

In an age of social media and online job boards, there is still something to be said for face-to-face contact. Old-fashioned interviews remain the ultimate way of procuring talent, offering advantages beyond the benefits of a Skype call.

While online methods are advisable for testing the waters and putting out feelers for new candidates, once you enter more serious conversations about potential international moves, sending recruiters out to meet prospects is a must.

Not only do face-to-face interviews benefit recruiters, allowing them to get a better measure of candidates, but they also benefit candidates too.

Meeting prospects gives them the chance to get more comfortable with your business, learn more about your work culture and ask questions in a personal setting.

Present the benefits of working for your business

Acquiring international talent is a tough yet rewarding practice for both parties, but you must make sure your prospects are aware of the benefits.

Moving internationally poses certain difficulties for candidates, so it is vital you expressly mention the benefits of working for you and your business.

This is no ordinary recruitment drive. You aren’t asking people to move from Kent to London, you are asking people to leave their friends and family behind and move to an entirely different part of the globe.

If you want to acquire the very best international talent, you must make sure they know the move is worth it.

Provide a structured, well-coordinated move

Offering new employees a job and telling them to just hop on a plane is unlikely to end well — there could be immigration issues, moving problems, personal dilemmas and more.

You must support your candidate every step of the way to ensure they arrive easily, get settled in nicely and are able to start work swiftly.

Assist your prospects with sorting documents and immigration, as well as helping them with area orientation and adapting their new life. Coordinating the move through a specialist international relocation company is the best way to ensure it goes smoothly, as they can offer additional support to you and your new employee.

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