If you’re an HR leader of a growing company, at a certain point, you’ll need to start looking for talent beyond your backyard. Increasing your talent pool will help bring in more diverse candidates who can drive new ideas and business growth. If your company is entering an overseas market, the first global hires are crucial, as you’ll have to find the right satellite employees who can work independently and represent your brand overseas. 

With a thoughtful hiring strategy in place, companies of all sizes can start hiring globally and opening up their talent pool. Here are three steps you can take to build international hiring into your recruitment process.

1. Find the right recruitment channels

Setting up a recruitment pipeline in a different country can be daunting. You want to make sure you’re investing your efforts in the right places, and that all starts with where you go looking for talent. One option is to work with international recruiters who already have established candidate pipelines and know how to source talent. The other option, which requires more care, is to post jobs on your own. 

To do this successfully, think about the ideal candidate you’re looking for and then find out where that person would go to look for a job. If you’re looking for people who want to work for global companies or work remotely, you can post jobs on LinkedIn or designated remote working sites Flexjobs or JustRemote. Find the professional networks where your ideal candidate would hang out and post there. Half the battle in recruiting is finding relevant candidates and making sure enough apply. Where you post is crucial to making sure the right people see your listing. 

2. Be flexible with your job requirements

When you’re first entering a new market and looking to hire, you want as many qualified candidates as you can get. Don’t get in your own way by writing job descriptions that will prevent people from applying. Think about the qualifications you’re looking for and try to eliminate any “nice to haves” and non-essentials. If your hiring managers like to ask for the kitchen sink, then add a disclaimer to encourage candidates to apply, such as, “We know that no candidate will be the perfect match, so don’t be afraid to apply if you feel you’re close but not “perfect.”

Another thing to keep in mind is that the way people work or learn can be different from what you know. While in the U.S. it’s standard to require a college degree for many roles (although that is also falling out of favor) in other countries where a college education isn’t as accessible or affordable, you can be missing out on a huge talent pool if you require a college education. Again, think about the ideal candidate and don’t add anything non-essential into the description. If possible, look for more personality traits than hard skills. 

3. Look for cultural fit

Your new hires might require different skills than your employees who come into HQ. As we’ve learned from working from home for the past year, not everyone thrives in a remote environment—and if you’re just beginning to recruit globally, chances are your new hires will have to be able to work independently and outside of the usual office environment. When you’re recruiting, look for self-starters who can structure their day and enjoy working independently. Ask candidates about their experiences with remote work and about their professional network. Your first hires also set the tone for future hires. Look for traits that will allow your global talent to flourish within your company. They should want to develop professionally, contribute to the company, be proactive in bringing ideas to the table, and commit themselves to the role.

Bringing global hires into the family

If there’s one thing we learned from the past year it’s that working from home can be isolating. Spending eight hours alone in front of a computer screen is not as easy as it looks. So once you do hire globally, make sure to help new hires feel like part of the family. Send over company swag from coffee mugs to stickers to cozy socks. Consider setting aside a remote setup budget that global hires can use to spruce up their home offices or to rent a desk at a co-working space. You want your global hires to know that you’re investing in them and to set the tone that you’re both excited about what’s ahead. 


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From Annie Lubin

Annie grew up in Brooklyn, New York. On a Saturday afternoon, you'll likely find her curled up with her cats reading a magazine profile about ordinary people doing extraordinary things.