What to know when hiring abroad

Orla Hodnett
Orla Hodnett

Hiring abroad presents your organisation with a whole host of new recruiting opportunities. Here’s how you can make the most of your international recruiting projects:

With high requirements for specific skill sets in the workforce and the need for multilingual employees, you might find yourself recruiting abroad. But what approach does recruiting abroad require? The differences are mostly subtle, so here are a few things to know about recruiting abroad.

Interviewing and screening

If your candidates are abroad, interviewing and screening can pose a significant challenge. The interview phase is your only real opportunity for face-to-face contact with your candidates before onboarding, so if distance means this is impossible, you need to find alternatives.

Video interviewing is one viable solution here. It allows you to get a good sense of the candidate, which a phone call would not provide. It also eliminates some of the organisation required for face-to-face interviews.

You might have a good understanding of a country’s customs and attitudes, but workplace culture is a whole different can of worms

Cultural awareness

You might have a good understanding of a country’s customs and attitudes, but workplace culture is a whole different can of worms. Attitudes to company hierarchies may be far more strict than they are in your country. What goes as water cooler chatter in your culture may be total taboo in another.

Recruiting in a different culture brings it’s own set of rules and etiquette. One good example to look at is CVs. It is normal practice to include a picture, gender and marital status on a CV in many European countries, but recruiters may not accept these CVs in other countries. Have an awareness of what is normal practice in your target country.

Rules and regulations

It is absolutely essential to understand the employment rules and regulations in your target country. These will in all likelihood be largely the same, but the devil is in the detail. Depending on your industry or area, the exceptions may make recruiting and hiring challenging for you.

Ensure that you understand the legal working week, holiday time and other labor laws in your target country. If you advertise a role with less holidays than expected, you may lose out on desirable candidates.

Your job ad might get lost in the ether if it does not directly target speakers of the language you require

Job ads and recruiting marketing

Sometimes this is overlooked if your business operates in English, so ensure to localise your recruiting marketing material. Your job ad might get lost in the ether if it does not directly target speakers of the language you require.

By advertising in their language, you demonstrate to candidates that you are interested in their unique skills. If the working language will be English, but a candidate’s first language is also important, consider using 50% English, 50% target language in your recruiting materials.

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