The world is getting smaller. Globalization is the big buzzword in the business world, and it’s fueled primarily by technology. The consequences are vast, changing how we interact, invest, and trade.
It’s also changing how we hire. Companies are becoming more receptive to opening office locations on a global scale, and international mergers and acquisitions are also increasingly prevalent. But international staffing appears to be a challenge. Language barriers and cultural differences can be intimidating, putting many companies and even many staffing firms at a perceived disadvantage.
But what if it was easier than they thought? What’s the key to successful international staffing?
Overcoming the Language Barrier
The real question here is whether the language barrier is real or perceived. Consider this: globalization is in large part sparked by the force of technology, not only because it allows us to more easily reach people thousands of miles away, but also because technology breaks down the language barriers.
It’s a two-part process; first, technology has helped to make English an almost universal language, and second, it has made translation easier, via tools like Google Translate.
What this means is that sending an email or LinkedIn message to someone you want to recruit will likely be just as successful on an international level as it would be domestically.
Of course, people feel much more comfortable talking to someone who completely understands them, so it is advantageous to hire recruiters who are multi- or bilingual. When a candidate knows their recruiter speaks their language, there is immediate rapport, with less possibility of communication breakdown.
International recruiting is all about the ability to connect with people. Cultivate these relationship before you necessarily need to recruit them for an open position. Make the effort to understand what they do and who they know in the industry. When a staffing need does inevitably occur, you can draw from a deeper network of international contacts.
At CyberSearch, we’ve found that LinkedIn is a vital tool in our international staffing process. That said, we use it in the same way we do when networking within the US. Social networks are about building relationships, sharing valuable insights and engaging discussion. This is universal. Follow the same principals you would when recruiting locally; join groups, write posts, share articles, and personalize your messages and invitations to connect.
Understanding the Logistics
Once you’re actually past any real or perceived barriers to overseas recruiting, the trickiest part is simply the logistics of it all. Make sure you’re aware of how functions like payroll work in the country you’re hiring in. For example, unlike the US where contractors and consultants are paid hourly, those same workers in other countries are typically paid a daily rate.
The math to convert between hourly and daily wages can be complicated, so consult someone who’s experienced in this area. Similarly, taxes and other regulations differ significantly from country to country. An accounting firm with global experience will be key. Fortunately, if you’re using a staffing partner like CyberSearch, this is something you can throw on the back burner.
Finally, there are cultural nuances you need to be aware of. The most common of these is simply how the work day is valued. In the US business world, despite a growing emphasis on work-life balance, the focus is still work, work, work. On the other hand, many countries view this “work to live” scenario negatively and place greater value on things like siestas, parental leave, and paid time off. Successful international staffing depends heavily on an in-depth understanding (and respect) of these differences.
Partner Up for Successful International Staffing
At CyberSearch, we’ve been hiring internationally for the past decade for a number of global clients. We believe this small world is something to embrace, so we work closely with clients and candidates alike to reconcile any cultural and linguistic differences.
At the end of the day, we want to connect top talent with great opportunity, wherever that may be in the world. Let us know how we can help with your international staffing needs today.