The Hard Facts in International Recruiting

Aug 16, 2010
This article is part of a series called Opinion.

My younger brother Barak got married August 12, 2010. When we were growing up, the thing I knew for sure was that I hated him. It was the “hard fact.” There was no way around it. I hated him. Every time he said something I wanted to kill him (and obviously the other way around is true), and this picture is one of the few that I found when we were smiling and hugging. Later I seem to have managed to always have someone stand between us (quite like I see with my own kids these days).

But that’s brothers/sisters for you.

Today he’s my best friend; we consult with each other on every new direction or thought, from big to small. We support each other on a daily basis.

I thought of him this morning, about our relationship, and the fact that in the distant past I was so confident that I’ll never want to help him, thinking that I hated him — for me was at the time, a “hard fact.” Something no one could argue with.

This morning, thinking of him and how things have changed during the past approximately 20 years, connected me to my conversations with many recruiters in Israel about their relationship with their corporate partners — usually from the U.S.

“They Would Never Agree to this”

I’ve been training thousands of HR recruiters and managers during the past four years regarding online recruiting. When I ask local recruiters about their progress in implementing social media tools and online recruiting in their company, I usually hear the same sentence: “We’re in a unique position, representing a U.S. corporation in Israel, and they would never agree to that…”

“They” is the U.S. based corporation. “That” is usually one of a few things that “they” usually don’t agree to:

  • Enabling the local international site to open a local website, in the local language, even in a different “look and feel,” adapted to local expectations and habits.
  • Enter the social media independently, not only under the “umbrella” of the U.S. corporation.
  • Give publications, articles, and blogs a independent online presence, focused on the potential local candidates.
  • Have U.S. corporate people train local international professional recruiters on using the different tools.

What’s the Impact?

I’ll share with you the latest in Israel, following our HRD March 2010 sourcing survey of corporate recruiting departments, and some of the results that I see following the fact that companies representing U.S. corporations are not receiving support:

  • Higher cost of hire. Placement agencies and job boards are one of the three top sources of hire.
  • Lack of use of online tools. Only 5% of the organizations use their corporate website as a main source of hire; only 45% use online social media tools for recruiting.

How can you improve your work with international sites?

My top five recommendations for U.S. corporations on how to support their International sites are:

  • Teach new technology as soon as you learn it
  • Allow them to act local
  • Trust the local sites; delegate
  • Learn from them (maybe they’ll bring new ideas that you can use)
  • Benchmark for a worldwide set of best-known-methods, and share them

The value that these changes will bring your company:

  • Save money and shorten time to hire in the company
  • Build a stronger worldwide brand
  • Align corporate recruiting processes
  • Enable diversity and new ideas generated by worldwide sites
  • Let worldwide sites feel more connected to the corporate

What needs to change? You can help!

The reason why I thought about my brother and me in relation to this conversation is the way we saw it at the time as the “hard fact.” Something that we just couldn’t imagine that would change in our lifetime.

For a few years now I’ve been telling recruiters in Israel that all they need to do is start the dialogue with their corporate partners, and maybe things will change in the future. This year I decided to try and make a bigger difference, and I’ll be presenting my thoughts on this delicate partnership between U.S. corporations and local international sites at the coming ERE Expo.

As part of my preparations for it I need your help:

I’ve prepared a very short survey that will take not more than five minutes of your time to answer. It is intended for HR and recruiting teams of both U.S. corporates and their local international sites. Please help me with filling it out and forwarding the link to your partners around the world in the different local sites.

I’ll be more than happy to share with anyone who fills the survey its results.

To answer the survey please click here.

This article is part of a series called Opinion.
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