How to Make International Recruiting Work and Win in the War for Talent

Hiring internationally responds to the need to fill specialized positions at a time where the global war for talent is rife. However, it also poses new challenges, as international hires not only have to integrate into a new company, but also into a new country. They don’t only need support before the contract is signed, but also through the onboarding phase and well beyond. As HR budgets are shrinking, companies need to think outside the box to find innovative solutions that can support international talent acquisition and retention.

InterNations Business Solutions International Recruiting

International recruiting is a reality in today’s workplace, where talent has an important competitive advantage for employers and its mobility is a significant factor to succeed in a globalized world. In some industries, and especially for highly skilled positions, it becomes more and more difficult to fill positions by focusing only on the local market. While many employers realize the importance of hiring internationally, the challenges posed by international relocation and the integration of global talent abroad are often underestimated by both companies and international hires. To ensure successful international talent acquisition and retention, it’s important to implement well-rounded relocation programs that address the specific needs of expat employees.


Defining International Recruiting

Employers are increasingly looking beyond the national borders to source their talent. While international recruiting can be a costly process, missing out on or losing global talent foots an even heftier bill.

Despite that, the challenges posed by international recruiting are often underestimated. As international hires have different needs, it’s important to acknowledge that a one-size-fits-all approach is not effective. Supporting international hires throughout the expat lifecycle is paramount to prevent failed international placements and talent loss.


Companies Need Global Talent

Competence in international recruiting can be a major competitive advantage for companies competing for the best talent, which might be tight within national borders. Hiring global talent is not only a solution to address the difficulty to fill vacancies in certain markets due to the scarcity of skilled talent, but can also open doors to new markets and help companies to serve clients globally.

Diverse teams can also help to achieve higher innovation because they bring different ideas, skills, and backgrounds to the table. Furthermore, a diverse workforce can be a powerful employer branding tool and help to attract and retain a wider pool of global talent.


International Hires Have Different Needs

Working abroad represents a rewarding experience and career development. However, integrating into a new culture, the isolation caused by a language barrier, and the strain of leaving behind or uprooting an entire family can be challenging. When candidates agree to an international relocation, they leave behind their social and support networks. This treasure chest of relationships requires a lot of time, motivation, and a high emotional investment to rebuild.

According to the Expat Insider 2019 Business Edition, access to social networking opportunities is one of the least received relocation services for international hires, yet one of the most desired, and needed. The report shows that 25% are considering an early return, with loneliness being the top reason. Hiring internationally requires a shift of approach to address both the professional and personal needs of international hires.


International Recruiting Poses New Challenges 

Recruiting and supporting international hires poses new challenges for HR teams. Along with the cultural and linguistic differences, HR teams often need to address the concerns that international hires might have about relocating abroad, which might be a reason to hold back from accepting a job offer abroad.

They also have to address administrative hurdles, such as relocation, visa, and tax support. To ensure talent acquisition and retention, HR teams also need to facilitate the social integration of the new hire in and outside of work, before, during, and after the onboarding phase. Findings from the Expat Insider 2019 Business Edition show that after the first six months abroad, international hires begin to experience greater levels of unhappiness. This is a delicate phase which HR teams shouldn’t ignore.

[Infographic] How International Hires Really Experience Life Abroad

International hires are lacking personal support to help with their social integration abroad. Read more...


How to Achieve Successful International Recruiting

Successful international recruiting means that employers need to attract, win, and retain global talent. It starts with being aware of the additional challenges that hiring internationally brings. Key elements of a successful global HR strategy include an attractive benefit package that is directed towards global employees and dedicated onboarding that addresses their particular needs. Providing well-rounded relocation packages to overcome the challenges faced by international hires should be a top priority for employers wishing to attract global talent. Their support should cover both the practical and personal aspects of relocation.

As HR budgets shrink, companies need to approach relocation support more creatively. New technologies can help to improve the relocation experience and keep costs down. To support the social integration of global employees abroad, self-service solutions such as peer-to-peer support can help expats with settling into their new country and rebuilding their social life.


The Future of International Recruiting

With new generations joining the global workforce with different workplace expectations, employers need to continuously shift and adapt their strategies to gain and retain global talent.

While Millennials highly value the opportunity to work abroad, they also desire personal and authentic attention. Therefore, employers should not be limited to a one-size-fits-all approach. This includes assisting them with more personal aspects of life abroad to settle in — outside of work. Furthermore, with the rise of dual-career couples and the importance of the well-being of relocating spouses, offering spouse support is an important addition to any relocation program.

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