In a society connected worldwide through digital media, there are increasing opportunities to both recruit workers to come to your business as well as work with people who are literally living across the globe. But even with these heightened levels of visibility, there are still some challenges to finding the right person to work with your company. You will want to engage in some best practices, both for understanding why these potential employees will be so valuable and for making the most of the expertise and knowledge they will bring to you.
Why try to recruit a global workforce?
There are a few advantages to working with employees that are either not native to your area or who are working from their own country of origin. First, if you are a company that offers services worldwide, you need the insight of people who understand the cultures and markets that you are trying to reach. Even if you just hire someone on a consulting basis to give you ideas and information about the new market you want to reach or grow in, you will gain valuable insight from someone who really understands the needs and inner workings of the community.
Another advantage to recruiting a global workforce is that you will be able to find highly talented employees anywhere in the world – and since you know how to take advantage of the opportunities offered by technology, you will be able to work with these employees even if they are not physical sitting in an office nearby. This means you have a whole new pool of potential employees that can bring your business to the forefront of its industry.
Finally, if you are an international company, you need international employees! Not only for the added information they can give to the team, but also because you need a company culture that practices what it preaches. An international company cannot only be made up of local employees if it truly wants to embrace its commitment to serving clients worldwide.
Find the Right Fit
There are multiple ways you can go about finding the right fit for your team on a global scale. One rule of thumb is not to wait for people to come to you – instead, search out potential applicants to meet your needs. Places like Indeed.com, LinkedIn, Monster.com, and even Craigslist are all great resources for you to find dozens of resumes from around the world that could fill the position you are hiring for.
You can post the description of the position on one of these sites to let people know that you are hiring. Make it clear that where they live is not a hindrance to doing the job – though they need to meet specific qualifications and have the access and ability to do the job remotely. Be sure to include as many details as possible to help you encourage the right people to apply; for instance, if you want them to have a certain internet speed available, or work specific hours in your time zone, you will want to include that information so everyone understands the expectations.
Make the Job Appealing
Even people who sit two feet away from each other are likely to find themselves on the same video conference at some point. Technology has taken a stronghold across every industry, and there is no escaping its reach. That gives you the chance to do one thing that every international employer has to do: Be flexible. When you are working with different time zones and availability, it may be frustrating to work out a schedule that suits everyone. But the smart employer recognizes the need for flexibility – even if there are strict deadlines to be met, it doesn’t mean you can’t offer your global employees some freedom when it comes to getting the work done. This freedom will open you up to many more qualified employees who may be otherwise unavailable if the job was too restrictive.
Since you will be working with people on an international level, take the time to do your own research and learn what opportunities and obstacles may be present. For example, your deadline might coincide with a global team member’s national holiday that is traditionally taken off work. Your global team members may be dealing with religious or cultural factors that prevent them from joining you for certain meals. This doesn’t need to be an issue that prevents your team from working together in a smooth and seamless fashion; rather, you can use these situations as opportunities to both learn about a culture outside of your own as well as plan ahead to keep your company going in conjunction with these extra considerations.
Expand Your Global Support
No one likes dealing with an IT issue at 5:00 pm on a Friday. But even more difficult would be dealing with an IT issue at the end of the week while trying to solve it from two continents away. It is critical for you to have tech support available for your team, no matter where they are located. This doesn’t just apply to connectivity issues – if a team member in another country needs a new desk phone, how do they go about receiving one? Who sets it up for them? Work out these logistics ahead of time so you are not caught unprepared in the moment.
Along with tech support comes another type of support: Social and emotional. Even if you are conferencing in with your team members weekly, it can be isolating for someone to work from home with little personal interaction. Set aside specific times for teams to get together socially, or even to work on a project as a group. If they are able to do so in person, great! If not, it’s time to get creative. Set up a Skype call for your global team members to do an online gathering to celebrate a team win. Encourage your employees to initiate contact themselves – you can even set up a buddy system, where team members from across the world check in with each other to make sure everyone has what they need.
Working in a global market means taking big steps – but it also means achieving great things. When you take the time to plan ahead and look for innovative ways to truly become a global company, you will see big results.