While many people may be feeling lost at the moment when it comes it international recruitment, SOLA Group has been recruiting remotely for many years. We've been seeing the benefits of international recruitment—serving a wide, global talent pool—for a long time. What might be new to you, is familiar for us. And we want to share our knowledge.
This might feel like a daunting time for many companies: whether you were on the brink of expansion before the pandemic broke out, or you were hoping to start on your international growth journey later this year, you might be wondering if now is still the right time.
As the world starts to cautiously open up again and businesses are looking to the future, it is the methods you use to expand – not the expansion itself – which need to adapt and change. Many organisations we speak to still have interested customers; their industry hasn’t ground to a standstill through the pandemic. But the way businesses sell to these customers, and how they recruit and onboard new talent to cater to this growth, needs to evolve.
At SOLA Group, we want to use our expertise to help those who are new to international expansion navigate this unusual time. In this post we’ll explore some of the best advice for initiating remote recruitment and onboarding at your company.
Tip 1: Find the best talent
When you’re operating remotely, the aim is to reach potential candidates in a way that they’ll respond. Targeting these super-talented, desirable individuals actually becomes easier in the current remote environment. Usually, these people are so busy in the office, either constantly on the phone or in meetings, that they’re impossible to get hold of. Whereas now they’re more likely to be working from home, this is your chance to reach out – and actually get a response.
Often these potential recruits aren’t actually looking for a new role; they probably don’t even know about your recruitment drive. But SOLA Group aims to make the process simpler for clients, taking on these introductions for you. The goal is to find a competitive edge for our clients. Ultimately, a lot of the areas that SOLA Group specialises in are tough markets; such as technology and SaaS. There are a lot of clients looking for only a small number of candidates. Daniel Broome, Principal Consultant at SOLA Group, says:
We focus on reaching out to top-notch candidates, the ones that aren't yet looking for a role –" they're the people organisations want to hire. They want to hire the person that isn't looking for a role because the reason they're not looking is that they're so busy crushing their number wherever they are."
Just one of the reasons to pursue your international expansion plans right now is that it’s easy to widen your reach to recruit excellent candidates remotely – you don’t just have to look for local applicants. One of the most valuable ways to get in front of these people is to utilise a range of video functions to help broaden outreach. Daniel Broome explains why video is such a vital tool for remote recruitment:
I'm a great believer in the best person getting the job. We need to make sure there are fewer" barriers to entry into the process. Video recruitment promotes the practice of the best person getting the job because everybody gets to be in the process equally. Instead of sending a piece of paper which gets put in a pile, anybody who's serious about hiring will watch a video."
Tip 2: Work on a global level
The ability to work across different times zones is essential to finding the best talent. Although none of us have any idea when international travel will become possible again, that shouldn’t prevent you from reaching the best person for your new role.
Utilising video to reach out across different countries’ time zones helps to build relationships. It means that potential candidates can watch your video at a time that suits them, and shows that you’re keen to be flexible around their working days. It shows you’re really interested in engaging with them, and reflects how you could treat them as an employee, should they come on board with you. Daniel Broome explains how SOLA Group makes this work in practical terms:
"Within reasonable working hours in the UK, you could fire out prospecting videos to potential candidates, and then collect the responses the next day. You don't have to be setting up a call and speaking in real-time to somebody in Azerbaijan or Singapore. You don't have to chase the sun."
Reaching out by video is also a far more appealing approach than a traditional, text-heavy email or LinkedIn message. Candidates spend an average of 55 seconds reading a text job advert, compared to 5.23 minutes watching a video job advert.
You’re more likely to engage with a candidate if you show you’ve gone to the effort of making a bespoke video for them, introducing yourself and the company and explaining why you think they’d be great for the role. By working to their timelines and asking them to reply via video too, you’ll increase the likelihood of them responding, as Daniel Broome continues:
"Previously, the time when you could contact prospects may have been when they were at work, which means there was no way they could have done a video reply. We never push people to get back to us immediately. We'd rather somebody takes a couple of days, puts the right time and effort into it and feels comfortable, rather than forcing them into meeting our 9am deadline the next day."
Tip 3: Streamline your recruitment process
Understanding the way other countries are navigating Covid-19 is really important if you want to recruit there, as it saves you time and energy. This might feel like a difficult thing to gauge if you don’t have recruitment partners in individual countries. But this is an additional expense most businesses don’t need right now. As Daniel Broome puts it:
"Finding a local partner in every single geographical location is a waste of resources. If you’re searching for 12 new roles on a global basis, the time and effort needed to vet and find recruitment partners in Singapore, Hong Kong, Paris, and Munich would take months. It feels clunky and old-fashioned."
SOLA Group helps keep this cost down. We’ve been working in countries across the globe for years, building great local links which help us keep our finger on the pulse of how the pandemic develops in each location. If there are particular precautions, rules or regulations in place in the country you want to hire in, we’ll help you navigate them to find, recruit and onboard the best candidate for your role. Daniel Broome explains how SOLA Group makes this work:
"If you're based in Houston or Austin and you want to expand or replace people in Munich, Paris or Stockholm, at the moment, if you don't have somebody on the ground and you're not working with people that have this type of remote recruitment technology, it's impossible to do."
The remote recruitment tools SOLA Group provides you with enable you to fairly vet applicants. The Odro-powered recruitment-specific video software SOLA Group uses with all clients helps to add a human element plus, there is more cultural bias on CVs than there is in video. People are more likely to put someone on the rejection pile because of things like where they’re from, the school they went to, or how their name is pronounced. Whereas, video technology ensures applying to a role is an option for anyone; it doesn't distinguish between gender, religion, or race. Candidates answer questions to the best of their ability and are judged on their answers.
This is an exciting time for the recruitment and onboarding of new employees. Pivoting to embrace new recruitment methods will serve you long into the future if you implement them now. None of us has a crystal ball; we don’t know how long remote strategies might have to be a part of our working lives. Instead of resisting these changes, embrace how they can enhance your recruitment process – you might not even want to go back to your previous processes. Daniel Broome is feeling positive about this shift for SOLA Group’s clients:
"If there has been any real good to come out of lockdown, it's the fact that people understand now that the old-school necessity of having two people in a room, facing each other, is archaic. I think it's really good to have that face-to-face interaction at some point down the line, but the interview process doesn’t have to be it."
The world is moving forward fast – don’t get left behind. Find an experienced international recruiter to help you avoid common pitfalls, gain confidence in your new recruitment style and keep pace with the competition.