Congratulations! Your company is so successful that you’ve decided to expand. You’re not thinking about hiring new employees or opening another site stateside, though. This time, you have your eyes set on international growth.
Opening the door to overseas business is exciting. It can also be scary and complicated. There’s a lot you must think about. How will you find the right employees? What requirements must you fulfill for salary and benefits packages? Can you ensure good retention? To keep your international hiring as simple and streamlined as possible, keep these six tips in mind.
1. Stay in Compliance
If your stateside business is successful, you doubtless have a good handle on U.S. laws regarding minimum wage, medical leave, and vacation time. But what you’re accustomed to here isn’t valid in other countries.
If you’re only hiring a few employees as contractors, the process may be simple enough. However, if you’re looking to create a long-term presence, you’ll need a more concrete plan. To hire a team to represent you abroad, look into employment guides for other countries before you start interviewing. By doing your research ahead of time, you’ll ensure you have the means to remain in compliance with your new employees’ laws and regulations.
2. Get Tech Savvy
We’re talking about much more than web surfing for job applicants here. If you’re going to make a real run at hiring employees internationally, you’ll need an efficient workflow to succeed. Look for something that can help you keep tabs on everyone involved in the interviewing process.
For example, Workable’s applicant tracking system (ATS) helps you manage the vetting and interview process for every job candidate. It also lets you coordinate with your current team members who play a role in interviewing. You can sync their schedules even if they’re spread across the globe. With videoconferencing software like Zoom or Google Workspace, you can easily conduct face-to-face interviews with candidates wherever they’re located.
3. Pay Attention to Culture
Just as food and music preferences vary vastly from country to country, so can work culture. Those differences are things you need to take into consideration when you’re interviewing potential employees.
Be sure you’re familiar with common colloquial phrases and slang terms. Misusing idioms can sometimes be embarrassing. Keep all of this in mind when you’re crafting your interview questions. Consider discussing your interview plans with a professional translator.
Pay attention to tone as well. Some cultures have a more relaxed tone while others are more formal. Striking the right note can also play into the questions you ask. Is it acceptable in your interviewee’s native country to brag on one’s own accomplishments? If not, you may need to adjust your strategy to tease out their strengths and successes.
4. Accommodate Language Differences
There’s a strong chance you’re expanding to a country where English is not the dominant or even a commonly used language. In that case, your job candidates’ English skills may vary. Depending on the roles you’re looking to fill, that can be OK.
Closely examine the job requirements for the position you have open. If it’s not something for which flawless English is required, be flexible. Don’t put too much emphasis on pristine English pronunciation and grammar. If you do, you’re going to miss out on some outstanding candidates who could help your company grow.
5. Check Those References
One thing that should stay the same whether you’re hiring internationally or at home is the reference check. You need to know about your job candidate’s previous professional performance and how they handled interactions with colleagues.
Make every effort you can to reach the people your interviewee lists as job references. Coordinating time zones can be difficult, but it is doable. Just don’t let a language barrier get in your way. Google Translate can help you communicate reasonably effectively, or you may wish to engage a professional translator. It won’t be perfect, but the translation should be sufficient to give you an adequate understanding of your candidate’s work history.
6. Take Your Time Onboarding
The first few weeks of any job can be nerve-wracking and confusing. It’s stressful enough if you’re in the office every day. For a remote, international employee, it can be even more complicated. You can make it much easier by planning an extended onboarding process.
Remember this is the time your employee will get acquainted with your company. It’s also the best time for them to ask questions. Keep this checklist in mind to ensure your new employee feels welcomed:
- Plan real-time interactions. These can be quick check-ins via Zoom calls or an instant messaging platform.
- Discuss their country’s importance to your stra Let them know how and why their country is important to your company’s success.
- Make introductions to colleagues. Introduce them to co-workers so they’ll know whom to text or talk to about projects.
- Assign a mentor. Link your new employee to someone in a similar role who can help them get used to their new role and the company.
- Make sure their first-day needs are good to go. Have their remote portals, logins, and tech tools ready to go on their first day.
Expanding your business overseas is an exciting prospect. Finding the right employees is key to making your international growth a success. Keep these steps in mind, and your hiring process will be a much smoother part of your company’s development.