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Everything You Need to Know About International Recruitment


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Everything You Need to Know About International Recruitment

In a hyper-competitive landscape, businesses looking to expand and grow at scale heavily rely on the availability of international talent. Technological advancements and the emergence of remote work culture have both worked in favor of international recruitment practices. Companies can now hire talented individuals without the limitations of geographical boundaries. 

While this has several benefits, employers often face challenges when hiring a global workforce. The entire process can be time-consuming and complex, especially when you need to thoroughly gain knowledge of a new market you wish to expand to. 

Recruiters must be aware of local laws, payroll laws, and processes of the particular regions before hiring. If you are looking to hire employees from other countries but are not sure where to start, we have got you covered. Discover everything about international recruitment to attract the right talent to your organization. 

What is International Recruitment?

The process of hiring employees from any part of the world without geographical barriers is known as international recruitment. The process is extensive and involves identifying, screening, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and onboarding international employees. 

Hiring from international markets differs vastly from hiring in domestic markets. International recruiters should be well-versed with the country's labor laws before hiring individuals. The differences in language, market, culture, employment laws, taxation, etc., impact the international recruitment process. Thus, companies partner with global recruitment platforms or agencies that have access to an unlimited talent pool from various nations.

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Benefits of International Recruitment

Companies wanting to expand their global market footprint can benefit from international recruitment. Here is how international recruitment can be significantly helpful for your organization:

1. Business Expansion

International recruitment highlights the growth mindset of a company. A global workforce is a defining step towards innovating, gaining new perspectives, building robust infrastructure, and finding new opportunities. 

By hiring globally, there is also a great value addition to your business because of the local knowledge of these employees. You can use their insights to improve your products or services and grow your business.

2. Wider talent pool

You may find a saturated talent pool in the base location of your company, which ultimately affects the quality of work you expect from your employees. When hiring beyond domestic markets, you can expect to employ suitable candidates. 

International recruitment allows the company to have a wider pool of highly skilled and competent individuals. These global employees can be instrumental in an organization’s success in a new territory. 

3. Reduced Costs

Some countries can be highly profitable in running a business due to their favorable labor laws, taxation systems, visa and immigration policies, etc. With international recruitment, employers can expand their global workforce by hiring from such countries. You can choose a workforce from regions with a lesser minimum wage or hourly rate than the base country of your organization, especially for contractual roles. All these factors result in reduced business costs in the long term.

4. Diversified Risks

Recruiting internationally allows you to build a global workforce with less risk of downtime. By recruiting globally, you can safeguard the bottom line from unexpected events in one country.

Challenges in International Recruitment

Hiring across the globe can take your company to new heights. However, employers can struggle to navigate the challenges a global workforce poses. Here are a few challenges every company needs to plan for and resolve when considering international recruitment.

1. Creating an Effective Recruitment Process 

International recruitment can be tedious and confusing if you don’t have a robust hiring and onboarding process. Identifying recruitment needs, figuring out job responsibilities, screening the candidates, conducting interviews, and several other steps can seem overwhelming, complex, and time-consuming in lack of a systematic recruitment process. Having readymade checklists that are tweaked according to hiring locations and improved continuously can help avoid delays and any back and forth, and hire the right global candidates. 

2. Eliminate Bias in Hiring

A successful organization can be built only when the employers provide equal opportunities to all individuals. Despite wanting to hire a diverse workforce, employers may struggle with unconscious bias in hiring candidates from different backgrounds, races, religions, cultures, etc. This can hamper your company’s image and even invite legal repercussions in certain instances. To build an inclusive workforce, companies should modify their international recruitment process to remove the probability of such biases.

3. Unique and Local Changing Employment Laws

Not all countries or regions have the same employment laws, which can sometimes vary drastically. Companies must understand the minimum wage, leave policies, taxation systems, maternity or paternity leave policy, vacation time, benefits, and other factors before hiring internationally. Recruiters may find it challenging to gain complete knowledge of labor laws and implement them successfully in multiple locations.

4. Knowledge of Tax Compliance

For any organization to have an active workforce in the target country of expansion, the company will incur a tax liability according to the taxation system. Without having the proper knowledge of tax compliance and concerns that may arise due to negligence, companies are at risk of facing legal proceedings. They may have to pay hefty fines or face restrictions on certain processes necessary to run the business. This can also damage their reputation in the market, becoming a blocker in further global expansion. 

5. Retaining and Fostering Company Culture

International recruits should feel like a part of your organization just like the employees from your base country. Due to differences in background, employees may feel a lack of motivation. With global employees, there is an increased risk of miscommunication and misinterpretation if all the team members do not develop cultural sensitivity.

How to Carry Out International Recruitment 

The international recruitment for each organization may be unique, depending on their exact requirements. However, following a basic framework can help streamline the process and remember some crucial aspects. 

1. Identify Hiring Needs

Employers should have clarity regarding the need for hiring, which could include a knowledge gap in the current workforce, an increase in workload, and filling vacancies, among several others. Once you have identified these gaps, you can create a list of job roles you have to hire for, along with the skills, experience, and qualifications required. 

2.Determine a Staffing Approach

Before starting with international recruitment, employers should identify the staffing approach they will follow to avoid any ambiguities. Depending on your recruitment goals, you can choose any of these approaches:

  • Regiocentric: Employers hire international candidates from multiple countries in the same region as the business. 
  • Polycentric: Employers hire individuals from the country they want to expand to.
  • Ethnocentric: Employers hire people from their parent country for locations worldwide. 

3. Create a Recruitment Plan

Once you have decided on an approach and know what competency you want in a candidate, you should prepare a recruitment plan. Assess how important the job role is, how scarce those skills are, and how urgently you need someone to fill the position. These factors will also help you with budget allocation for the international recruitment process. 

4. Write Job Description

Make sure that the hiring managers and recruitment team are in alignment when writing job descriptions. It should be authentic, transparent, and compelling enough to attract global talent. Include the specific job title, outline the responsibilities, expected outcomes, skills and qualifications required, benefits offered, and any other details relevant to your organization.

5. Advertise Jobs Using Various Channels 

Share the job posting through various channels, such as career platforms, social media channels, company website, online advertising, etc. For international recruitment, ensure you don’t miss out on international job boards or remote job platforms. Some companies also collaborate with global recruitment platforms that can manage the complexities of this process. 

6. Screen and Interview Candidates

With the influx of applications, start reviewing and screening the candidates to ensure they meet the minimum criteria. Follow ethical recruitment practices and shortlist candidates for interviews. During the interviews, ask if they are legally allowed to work for your company, if they have a work visa, and any other important questions from an international recruitment perspective. 

7. Discuss the Compensation

The compensation structure may differ even for the same job title based on how you plan to recruit internationally. Whether the employee will work remotely or needs to relocate overseas, the minimum wage in the county, paid vacation, sick days, health insurance, etc., will be significant factors when deciding the compensation.

8. Hire and Onboard

Once you have found the right candidate, extend the job offer letter mentioning all the details about the salary, bonuses, severance pay, work policies, time off, benefits, and other terms and conditions. Make sure that the hired employee can understand and correctly interpret the language in the offer letter. Begin with their onboarding process and resolve their queries to create a welcoming atmosphere. 

Top International Recruitment Regions

Companies adopting the international recruitment process to hire overseas talent can find some countries as the hotspots for hiring competent candidates. These are some of the top international recruitment countries you can hire from:

  • Vietnam: Grabbing the attention of global leaders, Vietnam is a prime destination to look for international talent. The country spends around 18% of its budget on education, even more than the United States (~13%). The Vietnamese workers have strong work ethics and relatively lower labor costs. Many are also fluent in English and other languages.
  • Singapore: Offering advanced IT structure, government support, and favorable laws, Singapore has the presence of 80 of the world’s top 100 tech companies. Singapore has a remarkable talent pool, with many individuals being bilingual. The Singapore government offers financial incentives and assistance to companies hiring locals, making recruitment cost-effective. 
  • Switzerland: A popular destination for companies hiring international talent, this country has a growing economy focusing on skill development. The people are highly educated and skilled in technology, manufacturing, and financial services. Swiss workers have attention to detail and are reliable, making them valuable assets. 
  • India: With skilled and educated talent, especially in the IT industry, India is an attractive hub for international recruitment. This developing economy has several educational institutions and offers talent at affordable salaries.

Manage Your Global Team With Skuad

Identified your next international hire? Partner with Skuad to simplify their employment. With Skuad, you can onboard, pay and manage your global talent in over 160 countries without setting up a local legal entity. Skuad ensures 100% compliance and takes care of the entire employment cycle, wherever you hire. 

Speak to our experts today! 


How does globalization affect recruitment?

Globalization has brought interconnection and interdependence between countries. With rapid technological advancements, companies can hire skilled global employees at reduced costs. This has made global expansion easier for companies looking to scale their business. 

Why is globalization a challenge for HR?

While globalization has several advantages, the diverse international workforce can be challenging to manage. HR management entails understanding foreign labor laws, employment regulations, fair compensation, and bridging cultural and communication gaps. 

About the author

Sandeep Patel is a Content Marketing Manager and Strategist. Over the last five years, he has created and managed content for global brands and fintech startups. He is passionate about remote work and using tech for a better work-life balance.

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