Globalization is changing the rules of recruiting. Thanks to modern technology, your talent pool is no longer restricted to a single zip code, city, or even country. Instead, the world is now a recruiter’s oyster: great candidates can be sourced and hired virtually, regardless of where your company (or recruiter) is based.
The smartest companies are taking advantage of this trend, and investing in international talent — especially as emerging markets gain ground against Western competitors. On Fortune’s 2015 World’s Most Admired Companies ranking, 72 percent of the featured companies reported that globalization was “very important” or “important” to their organizations –compared to just 52 percent of unranked companies.
But going global isn’t as simple as hiring someone in another country– especially when you consider that as companies ramp up hiring and expand their target markets, their recruiting resources often stay the same. LinkedIn’s 2017 Global Recruiting Trends Report found that 56 percent of companies plan to increase their hiring volume in the next year, but only 32 percent plan to grow their recruiting teams.
Whether you’re expanding your business with a new regional office or simply looking for a part-time contractor for a project, the global recruiting landscape can only be conquered with a nimble task force. If you want to set your company up for global success, the key is to build a team that can shift (and succeed) as quickly as the market changes.
Build a Team of “Full-Stack” Recruiters
One of the potential pitfalls you face when growing a global team is unintentionally siloing your regional recruiters. You probably don’t have a full recruiting team dedicated to every region or department—you might have four people for the U.S., and only one individual in charge of APAC. This can lead to disparity amongst your recruiting team, not to mention disconnected hiring practices (and, subsequently, a disconnect in quality of hires).
You may have heard of the role “full-stack developer”– someone who’s comfortable with a wide swath of technologies and platforms, and has in-depth experience in a few areas. I like to use that same thinking and style for my global recruiting team. They are “full-stack recruiters.” In other words, they need to have a working knowledge of various markets and departments, even if they specialize in one.
Share Expertise Across Borders
It’s not easy to find someone with deep expertise across multiple markets (not to mention the majority of recruiting teams aren’t expanding this year, as found in a LinkedIn study). So, instead of searching for your “unicorn” full-stack recruiter, you can help your current team build global expertise.
We use “sourcing parties” at my company, where everyone on the team comes together to find candidates for the same role. As we’ve expanded our global workforce, we’ve experienced lots of ebbs and flows: one year our focus was on sales, the next year on technology, and the next year on technology but in India. Instead of having our sales recruiter twiddle their thumbs while our APAC recruiter works 18-hour days, we’ve found that sourcing parties balance workloads, provide fresh perspective on our process, and improve our quality of hires.
To illustrate, you might decide to focus on hiring a head of software engineering in APAC. The entire recruiting team jumps on a video conference call, the APAC recruiter shares the job description, talks about the ideal candidate, and discusses what’s working and what’s not. Then, every recruiter (regardless of region) spends time sourcing for the position while on video. The APAC recruiter can answer questions live while the rest of the team searches, and also point out candidates who match the role.
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The recruiter leaves with more candidates in 30 minutes than she could find on her own, and the rest of the team leaves with a better understanding of her focus market, position, and candidate pool. What’s more, if you need to call in help for APAC down the line, almost any recruiter on the team will be able to jump in and lend a hand.
Adapt to a Job Board-Driven World
Sourcing parties are not only an exercise in team bonding and flexibility, but also a way to find quality candidates faster. Since starting the monthly practice, we’ve not only received an increase in the number of candidates for a role, but also decreased our hiring timeline. We also use ad-hoc sourcing parties when we are struggling with a position to generate additional candidate flow and pipeline. It is a part of our ongoing recruitment toolkit.
A large part of this is due to how candidates are found today. For decades, our No. 1 hiring channel was employee referrals. But in a global market, we’re often recruiting in brand new areas without existing networks. As it turns out, this isn’t an isolated experience: A recent survey from Built In found that job boards are now the No. 1 source-of-hire for recruiters (with referrals a close second).
With increased emphasis on proactive recruiting and direct sourcing, sourcing parties have played a huge part in establishing expertise in new markets. As the global landscape continues to shift and new tech-driven channels emerge, finding similar ways to collaborate across borders will become ever more valuable.
By building a “full-stack” team that’s ready and willing to jump in where needed — and execute accordingly — you’re well on your way to building a company that not only exists across borders, but also thrives.