A Guide to International Recruiting And Best Practices

Reading Time: 11 minutes

Over the last six years, more than half of global organisations have run into skill shortages that have slowed them down. The skill shortage dropped a bit in 2020, mostly because the COVID-19 pandemic made hiring tough. But in 2023, 54% of organisations are still struggling to find the tech skills they need. This shows how important it is for recruiters to look further than just local hiring to find the talent they need.

Hiring internationally means companies can reach out to more skilled people from all over the world. This way, they can either find top-notch talent or skilled workers who cost less, thanks to the different economies around the globe. It gives everyone, no matter where they are, a fair chance at landing a job. It also means companies can find the skills they need from other places if they're not available locally. This approach helps businesses get the best team together, possibly at a lower cost, by broadening their search beyond their own backyard.

With remote work on the rise — evidenced by a tripling of remote job postings since 2020 and 74% of employees happier working this way — the opportunity and necessity to tap into the global talent pool have never been clearer. As 97% of workers express a preference for remote work, the move towards global recruitment strategies is essential for forward-thinking organisations aiming to thrive.

This is your guide to international recruitment, where we outline how to effectively identify, attract, and onboard global talent. We'll also provide actionable insights and best practices for hiring internationally, ensuring your organisation leverages the full potential of the global workforce. 


What is international recruiting?

International recruiting is when HR teams look for, attract, interview, choose, and bring on board talent from around the world. It broadens the search for talent to include candidates from outside local or national limits, offering access to a varied mix of skills and backgrounds. This process uses technology and worldwide networks to find potential hires and see if they're a good match for the job and company culture. It also covers getting them settled into the company, no matter where they're from.

This global approach to hiring means dealing with more than just finding the right people. Compared to local hiring, it involves navigating different challenges like understanding international payroll systems, adapting onboarding processes for remote workers, and managing taxes and legal requirements across various countries. 

By tackling these differences, companies can diversify their teams, spark innovation, and stay ahead in the international market.

Hiring internationally brings clear advantages:


Your guide to the international recruitment process

Learn to hire talent from around the world. Opening up to candidates globally can bring in top talent. Here are the steps to get you started.


Step 1: Identify your team's needs

Start by looking at your team and upcoming work to see where you're short on skills or could use some extra help. Focus on roles that are tough to fill or that can work on their own, since these are good to hire for internationally. Jobs in areas like marketing, advertising, or software development often fit this bill because they can be done independently.

Think about the jobs you're hiring for. If the job can be done from anywhere, it's perfect for hiring someone from another country. But if the job needs lots of teamwork or is super important, it's better to find someone who's in a time zone close to yours.

Here are some practical steps to take:

Step 2: Develop a recruitment strategy

Adding to the importance of a solid strategy, a CareerBuilder survey found that 74% of employers admit to making a wrong hire, costing anywhere from 30% to 150% of the employee's first-year salary. 

Here's a blueprint for building a solid strategy:

Step 3: Write engaging job descriptions

Job descriptions are often the first glimpse potential candidates get of your company. It's crucial to be clear, welcoming, and true to what your company is about. A good job description goes beyond listing what the job involves; it also highlights your company culture, the perks of joining your team, location preferences and job type. 

Remember, the way you present this information matters a lot — 52% of job seekers from an Indeed survey said the quality of a job description (think spelling, grammar, clarity about the role, and how it's formatted) plays a big part in their decision to apply.

Here's how to make your job descriptions stand out:

How to Write Job Descriptions That Attract Tech Talent →


Step 4: Promote the vacancy

To draw in a wide and varied group of applicants, mix up your recruitment methods by combining both traditional and online strategies. This means making the most of your company's web presence, tapping into global job platforms, and using sites tailored for international hiring.

You'll find some of the most popular sites among jobseekers here.

Here's how to broaden your search:

Step 5: Review applications

When sifting through applications from around the world, remember that resumes might look different based on each country's standards. What's important is to focus on what the resume tells you about the candidate's skills, experiences, and what they've achieved. Tools that standardise resumes — such as Pinpoint, Manatal and Freshteam — can be a big help, making it easier to compare candidates fairly.

Here's what you can do to improve this process:

Step 6: Preliminary screening and interviewing

Adjusting your interview approach for candidates from different countries is essential to respect cultural and legal differences. It's vital to understand which questions might be inappropriate or even illegal based on a candidate's local laws. Incorporating video interviews can add a personal touch and help overcome the barrier of distance. 

Also, be mindful of time zone differences to schedule these sessions at a mutually convenient time. According to the Talent Trends 2023 Report, flexibility ranks as the second most important motivator for job seekers considering new opportunities.

For hiring from abroad, try to keep the interview process quick, wrapping it up in about a week if possible. This makes sure you respect the candidate's time and keep things moving on your end. Aim for a smooth and fast interview schedule that fits the quick pace of hiring internationally, helping you land top talent quickly.

Here's how to refine your approach:

Step 7: Negotiate the salary and compensation package

Crafting the right compensation package is key to attracting international talent. Researching standard salaries, benefits, and legal requirements is essential. 

Also, consider the cost of living at the candidate's location to make your offer appealing. According to Gartner, nearly 90% of candidates have dropped out of the hiring process due to mismatches in what they value, such as pay, benefits, work-hour flexibility, career development, team diversity, and management style.

Here are some steps to take:

Step 8: Extend the job offer

When it's time to offer the job to an international candidate, your offer letter needs to cover everything. It should be clear and straight to the point, so the candidate knows exactly what you're offering, including help with moving and what they need to do next. This clear communication sets up a relationship based on trust and openness right from the start.

Here's what to include:

Step 9: Finalise the hire

Finalising the hiring of an international candidate means ticking off a few important boxes, particularly when it comes to the nitty-gritty of legal stuff like visas and permits. Making sure you've got all the paperwork sorted and that everyone's clear on what's expected can make everything go a lot smoother and keep any surprises to a minimum.

Here's how to nail it:

Step 10: Onboard new hires

According to Paychex, 36% of remote workers find the onboarding process confusing, compared to 32% of those working on-site. Plus, according to Gartner, there's a significant impact on long-term retention: 77% of new hires who were happy with their onboarding experience said they could see themselves staying with the company for a long time, versus only 29% of those who weren't satisfied with onboarding. This highlights the need for a clear, welcoming, and effective onboarding process for all new hires.

Here are some simple tips to improve onboarding:


International hiring best practices to incorporate into your strategy

When hiring globally, it's all about getting the details right. Remember, 72% of candidates say a smooth interview process can sway their decision to take a job. Here's how to streamline your approach:


1. Tailor your strategies to different markets

To really get the best global talent, you need to tweak your strategy for each market. Begin by writing job descriptions that hit home locally — maybe even translate them to the local language to widen your reach. Figure out which job boards and platforms folks in each area use most to make sure your job ads are seen by the right people. This practical approach takes into account the different vibes of global markets, making your recruitment drive more on point.


2. Enhance the candidate's experience

Making sure candidates have a good experience is key to drawing in the best people. Being flexible with how you do interviews — like using video calls or working with local agencies for face-to-face chats — helps include people from all over, no matter their time zone. Also, making the application process straightforward knocks down hurdles, so it's simpler for folks to show they're interested in joining your team.


3. Build a strong global employer brand

Building a strong employer brand worldwide means being clear about what your company stands for, its culture, and why it's great to work there. Getting your current employees to talk about their positive experiences adds realness to your brand. Also, making good use of social media can help spread the word, drawing in potential hires by highlighting what makes your company different and the exciting chances it offers.


4. Explore emerging markets for talent

Looking into emerging markets can reveal a wealth of hidden talent. Searching in these places lets you find people with special skills and viewpoints that can really benefit your company. This strategy does more than just add variety to your team; it also shows that your company is open-minded and welcoming to all.


5. Prioritise skills over degrees

Putting more emphasis on what people can actually do and their real-world experience — instead of just what degrees they have — lets you look at a wider range of applicants. This approach appreciates the different paths people take in life, understanding that these varied journeys can bring valuable insights and fresh ideas to your team. It's a smart way to find those standout talents that might otherwise be overlooked.


6. Leverage technology in recruitment

Using the latest HR tech can make hiring faster and smarter. With tools like AI for sorting resumes and software that schedules interviews automatically, every step of hiring gets easier for both the recruitment team and the applicants. This doesn't just cut down on the time it takes; it also helps you look more widely and fairly for talent all over the world.


7. Be aware of employment laws

Getting a handle on the employment laws of different countries is key to smooth international hiring. Making sure you're in line with local rules about things like taxes and contracts keeps you out of legal hot water. It's a good idea to talk to legal professionals who know the ins and outs of these laws. They can help make sure your hiring abroad is not only successful but also follows all the rules.


8. Outsource to specialised agencies

Working with agencies focused on international hiring can be a game-changer. They know the local scene inside out, from legal must-dos to who's who in the talent pool. This kind of collaboration can make hiring a breeze, helping you find the right people while making sure everything's above board with local work laws.


Start hiring internationally today

The people you hire really shape your business's success. Going global with your hiring strategy can help you find the talent you need, thanks to technology and more options for remote work.

Actually, 66% of recruitment experts think going global is a great way to snag top talent, and 80% of the biggest-earning agencies are already hiring all over the world.

If you're looking to hire from around the globe and relocate employees, check out Relocate.me for help. Post your tech job on the Relocate.me board today.

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