In a world where 64% of workers have a positive attitude to overseas work, opportunities to recruit from a foreign market are opening to businesses all over the world. With increased globalisation and the reach of eCommerce and the World Wide Web, more businesses operate internationally than ever before.
Considering around 13 % of the British workforce are under-qualified for their current role, it might be time to capitalise on the growing pool of talent from overseas.
Conducting an international recruitment campaign
Structuring a global recruiting and selection process can be a challenge. Aside from the administrative headache associated with putting the required policies and processes in place, an international campaign must consider the best cultural and language practices. It also requires good knowledge of the local market. For example, in France a law to reduce the statutory working week from 39 to 35 hours was introduced in 2000 and 2002 (depending on the size of the company). When you’re hiring overseas workers, you also need to be aware of the international tax and visa complexities that come into play.
In these cases, international recruitment agencies should be your first port of call. Professional translation agencies also have experience advising and assisting in all aspects of localisation for recruitment campaigns to help you make sure you are attracting the right people to fill your roles.
While there may be barriers to overcome, recruiting from a foreign market might be the best thing you can do for your business.
Reap the rewards of a multi-lingual workforce
If you’re recruiting from a country where English isn’t the mother tongue, your new employee is likely to have multiple languages under their belt.
This can help you exponentially when it comes to localising your business, seeing as it’s key to ensure that the language you use accurately communicates the key message you want your brand to convey. In the global marketplace, it’s no longer just your service or experience that sets your business apart, it is your ability to connect with customers in the language they use as if you were a local company. So employees with an intimate knowledge of different languages and cultures might just be key to your growth.
Whether or not your business has plans to expand outside the UK, it’s also worth remembering that linguists are often skilled multitaskers with advanced communication skills. Multilinguals have also been shown to be quicker at determining which information is useful and which is not, something that will likely prove hugely beneficial for your business in the long run.
Develop new markets based on international insights
Just as localising your business’s language is important in the global marketplace, so is the ability to undertake localised market research. You can’t be a global business without a global perspective.
Employing from the foreign market could be the key to ensuring that a customer base exists in the country or countries you want to enter. That’s the advice from Joseph Paris, Jr., chairman of business consulting firm XONITEK. Make sure you check that there is a local need for what your business is offering, and that people will want to make a purchase. “Don’t think that they might” he says, “know that they will.” A product that sells well in your home country may not necessarily have the same appeal elsewhere, so it’s crucial to invest time and energy into researching potential foreign markets.
Once you have ensured that you have the available resources and staff to focus on establishing your business internationally, you need to think about the practice of business too. That’s where experiences staff from overseas can offer valuable cultural insights. “Overseas, doing business is as much a personal event as it is professional,” explained Bill Bardosh, CEO of green materials and chemicals company TerraVerdae BioWorks. “You may be able to broker a deal just through formal business meetings [at home, but] in China and the Far East, it is necessary to spend extensive time getting to know your counterparts outside the boardroom during tea sessions or dinner banquets, for instance.”
Meet your labour needs
With the media decrying a shortage of skills, it might be the case that the talent you’re seeking can be found in abundance among professionals rooted in foreign soil.
In 2010, Steve Jobs explained that one of the reasons that Apple manufactured their products in China was that there weren’t enough available engineers in the US to support manufacturing on the scale the company warranted.
Closer to home, researchers in the UK have studied official figures on employment and concluded that foreign workers employed in Britain are on average better-educated than British recruits. Recruiting from outside the UK has “allowed employers to fill skilled and specialist roles and enabled some organisations to expand”, they said. The report went on to suggest that recruiting skilled foreign workers allows companies to become more efficient and expand their businesses.
Open yourself up to new ways of working
Harbouring the same old ideas and techniques might limit the innovation your business is longing for. Meanwhile, professionals with experience in a different work environment will have different prior learning from where they can draw different strategies and results. Fresh perspectives can stimulate a more effective way of doing business.
You might discover, for example, why workplace hierarchy is highly prized in Germany, but the collective workforce is more successful in China. In the US, employers value employees that speak up with objections but in Brazil, the primary concern tends to be with budget. If we are aware of cultural differences, you’ll be able to take advantage of each culture’s strengths.
Whether or not you intend to expand your business overseas, recruiting from a foreign market means you are getting the best of both worlds, being able to keep your company based in the UK while gaining a vast array of talented workers who are experts in their own field.