Ready for international hiring? First, create a sustainable global hiring strategy
4 mins, 14 secs read time
International hiring and developing a global business strategy opens many doors, from gaining new customers to adding a global perspective to your brand. But there’s a cost of entry not all leaders know about – walking through that door too early can lead to disappointing territory.
Expanding into your first or next international market should be a measured and careful endeavor. You must fully understand the culture, workplace etiquette and legal landscape. Only after you consider all these pieces can you enjoy all the advantages of a global business strategy.
Pamely Gomez, Greenhouse Social Media Manager spoke with Anessa Fike, CEO and Founder of Fike + Co, during our “A world of opportunities: Navigating global hiring” LinkedIn Live to discuss what you need to open international offices.
Key drivers behind going international
Anessa identified four key drivers behind international hiring:
Increase global footprint. Companies can reach their pre-existing customers more easily.
Reach new markets. There’s an opportunity for growth as companies introduce products and services to a brand-new market.
Desire to be a global company. Having a global business strategy can help organizations gain a world perspective, benefiting their customers and internal teams.
Need for cost savings. Companies are looking to hire overseas, taking advantage of talent trends.
Common challenges during international hiring
We wanted to understand the common challenges organizations face during international hiring. Anessa sees the same four consistently.
Compliance requirements. Unless you have a dedicated expert on the team, it’s easy to overlook laws and regulations in payroll, work terminations, insurance and more.
Cultural dynamics. Too often, US-based companies assume they can copy and paste their workplace procedures into the new international office. This mistake fails to consider the diversity and cultural norms of the new team.
Setup costs. These startup investments usually cover items like real estate, insurance and payroll. And it can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Privacy and data. With privacy and data policies continually evolving, unsuspecting companies unaware of new changes may leave themselves open to liability risks.
This list is enough to give any well-intentioned organization pause. However, there are several global business strategies and best practices to help growing companies thrive in new markets.
Best practices for international hiring
Want to ease into your new market like you were always there? Here are Anessa’s recommendations.
Adopt a local perspective
Ditch the assumption that the US style is your only option or the best option. Before you begin adapting processes, listen with the goal of understanding (not speaking).
The priority here is to discover how people in your prospective market view your industry. How does a talent team or a finance team operate? International hiring strategies must adapt to the regional culture. Not only does this help overcome cultural barriers, but it also helps all teams feel like they're on equal footing within the company.
Anessa added, “You have to get to a point where you’re not a tourist … you have to understand what it is like to live there. Then you’ve taken the [right] amount of time to say ‘Alright, now I have a good enough understanding to lay this strategic plan in place.’”
Champion DE&I from day one
Echoing Anessa’s sentiment, Pamely added that it's crucial to start with diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in mind.
When writing job descriptions, for example, you should craft them in the country’s communication style. Job descriptions in Singapore, the UK, India and the US all differ. Dismissing the local etiquette can affect how successful your office is.
Plus, having an inclusive approach sets the entire team up for success, and the stats back it up: inclusive companies are 120% more likely to meet financial goals.
Hire international attorneys and local specialists
International HR and payroll compliance, data and privacy and labor laws are all heavily regulated departments. Hiring experts to help you avoid hefty penalties for a violation is more cost effective.
To start, create a role to ensure these pieces and partners are in place. Experts are a turnkey asset that can save time and money.
Hiring five people [can cost] $500,000, but one penalty can be several million.
– Anessa Fike, CEO and founder at Fike + Co
It’s worth the investment.
Top 3 considerations for expanding into new markets
Wrapping up the conversation, Anessa leaves us with some food for thought:
Consider the time zones. How will your workflow flex to accommodate offices around the world?
Consider all organization calls. With distributed offices, will you ask people to join at 4 am or 11 pm? If you’re a people-first company, you might need two meetings.
Consider how your organization will change. Embrace new growth and understand that your organization will change forever.
Want to start hiring global talent? Catch the replay for tips on expanding internationally