Unemployment rates are dropping and there is not enough local talent to match the skill demand of the rapidly changing world of work. It’s no longer just developers and engineers who are scarce. Nowadays talent from abroad is attracted at all levels from nurses and teachers to accountants and sales representatives (See here for world’s most in demand professions)
When deciding to hire internationally it’s best to carefully prepare and not rush into things. Though the upside can be clear and substantial both the initial investment and the potential costs of a failed hire are significantly greater than when hiring locally. That’s why it’s important to consider the following three things before you start your hiring process:
- Do we have what it takes to attract international talent? (EVP)
- Integrate intercultural competences into your hiring process
- Ensure your talent hits the ground running
1. Do we have what it takes to attract international talent?
Hiring international top talent is not unlike trying to find a needle in a haystack. There are a lot of players out there and most likely there will be other companies that offer better compensation, more room to grow and develop or a great office culture. But do not get discouraged by this. Statistics underline that having a strong EVP directly impacts your bottom line. It improves the ratio of qualified candidates, reduces the cost per hire, turnover as well as the time to hire. Also, it’s good to point out that it’s not about being the best or the biggest to most people. It’s the unique combination that is true to what you stand for and something that resonates with your ideal hire(s).
That is why it’s important to define your value proposition as an employer. What do you have to offer to potential new international hire, and even more importantly what unique combination of benefits, work-life balance, personal development, culture, perks, compensation and relocation support (your total reward strategy) do you have to offer? Clearly defining that upfront will be the first step.
Communicating this in your job ad, on your website, social media and integrating it in your recruitment process will be the next step and is as essential as defining the EVP.
Here’s some examples of companies who are great EVP communicators through their career page:
2. Integrate intercultural competences into your hiring process
Attracting top talent is one part of the equation. Your EVP can be great and the potential hire can look perfect on paper. The difference however between a successful international hire and an unsuccessful hire lies not only in the job fit or qualifications, but making sure your new hire is able to fit in and perform well in a new culture is just as important. We see this is an element that is often overlooked by a lot of recruiters and hiring managers; intercultural competences.
Intercultural competence is a range of cognitive, affective and behavioural skills, knowledge and attitudes that lead to effective and appropriate communication with people of other cultures. In other words, whether your new hire possesses these competencies can predict their success in both a new culture as well as in a multicultural office environment. The below chart shows the constituent elements of intercultural competences that make intercultural competence. Integrating the assessment of these competencies into your hiring process is important when hiring from abroad (also when hiring locally and you have a multicultural business),
3. Ensure your talent can hit the ground running
When your talent moves from abroad they will have a lot on their plate from the moment they sign their job offer. They need to wrap everything up at home, obtain a visa, organise travel, get to know your company, their new role, new colleagues, new culture, new country, new language and city whilst finding a home, understanding the healthcare system, making friends, learning how to ride a bike and much, much more. In short, it can be daunting. Even more so, if they are bringing a partner or an entire family. Some new hires may be globetrotters and know what to do. Looking at the statistics however most new hires will not fall into this category. They will be first time movers, either just out of uni or their first job and super eager to relocate to start a new adventure. This in combination with a rapidly increasing number of movers coming from emerging economies brings its own new set of challenges.
All of these tasks, side activities and more can heavily impact your new hire’s level of engagement, productivity, wellbeing, and sense of belonging. They will not have the time to focus on what matters; their job and enjoying their new home. Making sure that they don’t have to worry about all of the above by ensuring a smooth relocation and onboarding experience can set them up for success and improve their engagement, time to productivity and sense of belonging. Therefore clearly defining what you will do to support them during their move and what the onboarding experience is going to look like once they sign their job offer will help you both in building a strong EVP as in having your new hire hit the ground running.
What kind of employer do you want to be and what do you expect from your new hires? Will you be offering them a full relocation service? A lump sum package or do you require them to manage the process themselves? One of the most important questions is how are you going to make sure your employee is up to speed on the job, understands and feels part of your company and his team? We’ve listed some good reads on employee onboarding below:
Consider the three elements we’ve mentioned above and you’ll be off to a good start. There are plenty of other elements that can help you in the process of hiring internationals, but we’d love to get your opinion and experiences on this. Please don’t hesitate to drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to join in on the conversation.