There are many complicated facets to planning a global expansion, when your business is poised to explore new markets. The strategic planning for international growth, can take years to implement, from facility site sourcing to navigating the licensing, and legal compliance requirements of starting a new business, in a foreign country.
One of the biggest obstacles that businesses face however, when expanding operations globally, is human resource management. Hiring and training staff for domestic locations can be time intensive, but there are additional hurdles when businesses being to plan staffing for a new international location.
We asked our team of global recruiters, to share five important factors that B2B and consumer brands need to factor, before hiring new staff.
1. The Culture Gap
While each organization has a unique style of recruitment and interviewing prospective employees, you cannot apply that style universally in all cultures. There are some interesting insights about the cultural considerations that businesses need to be aware of, when hiring in foreign countries, in this international business article by Erin Meyer, for the Harvard Business Review.
Communication styles, and the nuances of business relations vary from one country to the next and are greatly dictated by cultural factors that brands need to be aware of, before hiring.
2. Understanding Employment Regulations
Multinational employers are bound by both the domestic employment laws, as well as regional legal requirements and protections for foreign workers. For instance, employees with foreign citizenship who are hired to work in the United States (onsite or remotely) are protected by EEOC laws (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).
Before your business can commence hiring in a new international location, a thorough training and review of employment regulations is required, to ensure compliance and avoid litigation issues. Requirements for dismissal, mandatory vacation time and other considerations are also important.
3. Pre-Employment Screening Practices
For certain employment roles, background checks and screening are part of the recruiting and hiring process. Historically, it has been a common practice for employers to retain a database of applicants, interview records and other data. However, there are now additional data security requirements, retention constraints and regulations that have changed that procedure.
New privacy laws outlined under the “General Data Protection Regulation” (GDPR) extends the right of an individual to be ‘forgotten’ even after they have applied and provided personal information, as part of the interview process. Now, EU citizens can request that companies delete all information retained, pertaining to the applicant’s personal profile, and substantial fines are levied against organizations for non-compliance.
4. Remote Onboarding of New Staff
The final stage of the hiring process for international employers, is onboarding, which can take several months. It is an important part of ensuring a successful candidate experience and essential to escalating productivity. If onboarding is not managed effectively however, businesses that expand globally can experience a costly problem with new employee retention.
How important is onboarding for employees who have never (or may never) visit the domestic home office? In one study, employers experienced a 54% greater ‘new hire’ productivity, when an effective onboarding plan was in place. The employer needs to communicate both the values and expectations of the organization, while tailoring onboarding specifically with cultural considerations in mind. The most successful international expansion plans, include a detailed and customized onboarding program for foreign hires.
5. Visas and Work Permits
One of the areas that businesses are not always prepared for, is the arduous process of procuring work visas and permits for domestic workers, supervisors or managers to oversee the launch of a new international location. Increasingly in the technology sector, organizations expanding into the United States are finding it more difficult to acquire H-1B visas, given changes to legislation in America, that has restricted issuance and renewal of the necessary permits.
If a candidate has a STEM degree, many of the obstacles can be avoided. Science, technology and mathematics specialists and technical engineers who are certified, have a better chance of successfully acquiring an H-1B visa to work in America. And many corporations who are planning global expansion, now seek technology professionals who meet that specific criteria, to mitigate visa issues, administrative difficulties and costs.
At reesmarx, we are a strategic resource for organizations in the global expansion process. Our team provides expert recruiting in thirty-countries worldwide. Contact us to learn more about how reesmarx can help your organization mitigate talent sourcing, and the recruitment of senior and C-Level executives.