Author: Isobel Hannan, Group Head of Talent Acquisition and Global Mobility, Hays
As the global economy continues to grow, businesses are transcending borders, as are their workforces. As such, many of today’s job seekers are adopting a global mentality; they are aware of the fact that recruiting a “global citizen” is a priority for any hiring manager. Moreover, they can see the value an overseas role can bring to their CV, feeling excited by the prospect of rapid career progression in an exotic location.
The candidate isn’t the only person to benefit from an international move; you as the employer also have a lot to gain by hiring an overseas applicant. Every country is currently experiencing certain skills shortages, struggling to match native talent to the jobs that they’re hiring for. If you are feeling the impact of this mismatch, looking at what the international talent market has to offer could be a viable solution. In addition, by hiring somebody from a different country, you diversify your workforce in terms of business culture, ideas and perspectives. This candidate may also speak multiple languages, which could help you foster relationships with clients from other countries.
The main benefit to hiring an international candidate is that this person is clearly an ambitious individual who wants to progress their career, so much so that they are willing to make the commitment to move overseas. They are also more likely to be more diligent and determined to get a real sense of achievement in their new role, having demonstrated that they are prepared to move out of their comfort zone and emulate the success that they have displayed in their career to date.
More and more employers are beginning to recognise the benefit of looking at a global talent pool and the value that overseas candidates can bring to a business. In other words, you have some competition for attracting the best global talent. This is even more so the case if you are hiring for a particular skill which is currently in shortage within your current country. So how can you get a head start in becoming the employer of choice for the overseas candidate?
The candidate may feel daunted by all the practical and emotional aspects of making such a big move; therefore it is important that you provide as much support as possible. It is essential that you have a clear international hiring strategy for overseas employees, plus dedicated staff to implement these. Make sure these staff can help with all of the practical aspects, from finding the right accommodation and managing the visa application process, to shipping their possessions across to their new home. What could you do to help accommodate the people who are moving with them, for instance if they have children, can you help find local schools? Could you offer attractive benefits for the entire family, such as healthcare schemes and cultural training?
What about the more emotional aspects of moving abroad? This candidate isn’t likely to know anyone in their new location, therefore loneliness may be a big concern for them. Therefore they will want to know that they will be made to feel welcomed and part of a team. How sociable is your organisation? Can you organise staff outings? Are there any staff sports teams or clubs that they can get involved with? Could you link up to any support groups or social clubs specifically for foreign professionals living in your country?
By having clear strategies in place to practically and emotionally integrate an overseas candidates, you mitigate some of the concerns they may have and add to your appeal as a prospective employer.
Training and progression opportunities
International candidates who have relocated for a role will more often than not have more determination to make the new role a success over a local hire because of the sacrifices they may have made to get there. How can you help them guarantee this success? Will you be able to offer effective training when they first join in order to get the best out of them?
As I also mentioned, if the candidate is willing to move thousands of miles away for a job, they are likely to be career driven and want reassurance that they won’t stagnate within this role. How can you make sure they’re constantly developing? Can you put them on a development course or mentorship programme? Would you be able to offer them a promotion when the time is right?
Remember, overseas candidates will want to guarantee that this move is the start of a promising and prosperous career journey.
Reflect the above in your online presence
It is all well and good having a great on-boarding and development strategy, but how apparent is this to your global candidate audience? The best way to reach out to them is online. Review your website and social media pages from the perspective of an overseas candidate. Is it clear that you are welcoming and accommodating to those willing to make that move?
Talk about your international vacancies, on-boarding practices and development strategies on the careers section of your website, and include case studies of international employees who have witnessed these strategies in practice. You should also use social media to your advantage posting about international vacancies and success stories. LinkedIn is a great way to get your message out to a target audience of professionals, whether it is through a publisher post or an industry discussion on the value of a globally mobile workforce.
If you have a sociable and welcoming workforce, make sure you communicate this effectively online. This could be through social media updates and pictures of staff socials, or having a “meet the team” section with information on each employee’s role, hobbies, and interests alongside a friendly profile picture. This gives your company a more personal feel and enables the international candidate to picture who they will be working with even if they are thousands of miles away.
In sum, you can further your appeal to the international candidate by having clear strategies in place and members of staff to implement these. These strategies can help meet the candidate’s emotional needs-from feeling welcome and part of the team, to knowing the people coming with them are happy with the move. You should also be able to meet the candidates practical needs, such as finding the right accommodation and getting all their belongings to their new home. Make sure you shout about these strategies via your website and social media, letting the global talent pool know that you are the employer of choice for their next international move.
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