If you’re in the process of expanding your UK business overseas, you’re probably wondering where to start when it comes to finding the right talent. Foreign workers that reside in your new market can be hard to find, and even harder to enrol to your company. So, here are five tips for hiring internationally to ensure your business has the highest chance of succeeding possible.
1. Conduct initial interviews online Given that you’re unlikely to be able to interview your candidates face to face without major expense and disruption, make the most of the technology at your disposal. Skype and FaceTime will allow you to conduct initial interviews online, saving your budget for when it’s time to make that all-important face-to-face interview ahead of hiring.
As well as using technology for interviewing, remember you can use it for finding talent in the first place too. Use search networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn to search for people by job title or location, reaching out to the contacts you identify as being potential candidates. You could even reach out to past employees of local competitors to see if they’re able and willing to take a position, or at the very least seek their advice on structuring a local team.
2. Make the most of local contacts
Now that you’re at the stage where you’re considering hiring employees, it’s likely you’ve already established key relationships with individuals in the area. So, ask your vendors, suppliers, lawyers, accountants and anyone else you trust to see if they have any candidates in mind. They’ll be able to provide you with a first-hand reference to speed up the process of making a hire, and they may even have insights about the local industry and culture.
3. Consider using a specialist recruitment firm
Local contacts are likely to only get you so far, so do consider working with a specialist recruitment firm to help find the right hires. Agencies have a level of knowledge about the industry, local markets, skills and expected salaries that you simply don’t have from afar, so see if there’s room in your budget for drawing on their services.
However, when choosing a firm to work with, make sure they’re self-directed. You won’t be around to chase them up, and if they’re not returning your calls and emails you’ll quickly feel as though things are spinning out of control. Ask for references from trusted sources, and seek reviews to check other businesses have been happy with the quality of service they’ve received.
4. Know what you’re doing once you’ve found the right candidate
Hiring employees overseas can be a difficult thing to do, with legal, HR and taxation issues becoming apparent the further you venture into the process. So, consider using a third party who can help to actually employ a worker once you’ve found them. Foothold America are one such company that can help if you’re hoping to do business in the US, employing a worker on your behalf under their company so that you don’t need to navigate the complicated maze of rules and regulations that overseas expansion entails.
5. Ease the transition with a low-risk project
Finally, once you’ve found and hired the right person for the job, set them to work on a low-risk project. This will enable you to iron out work processes (something that will inevitably require tweaking throughout your first foray into managing international workers), learning as you go without taking unnecessary risks.
Whether you choose to work with professionals or go it alone, hiring the right talent is essential. Operating your business on an international level means the stakes are high, so putting in the ground work to find and hire and the right candidate is undoubtedly a good investment.
Featured image by Mark Lord