Only a few years ago, the world of work looked very different to how we understand it today.
Previously, many organisations dismissed the idea of international hiring, deeming it unnecessary or perhaps lacking the resources to support remote teams. Hiring local talent was the favoured option for many. However, today, the talent market is vastly different and organisations are having to adapt to the times to hire and retain the right people. If you’ve glanced at the business press recently, you’ll know the convergence of several megatrends is re-writing work-related norms and changing workforce behaviours in significant ways. Especially when it comes to how and where work gets done.
Today’s employees are working from home in unprecedented numbers. What’s more, despite the present unpromising economic outlook, they’re quitting jobs in pursuit of roles that will offer them a better work-life balance or greater flexibility. When it comes to work, people are more mobile than ever, in fact, 37% of workers in Great Britain reported working remotely at least once a week, and this shift isn’t limited to a few isolated professional groups or locations. Indeed, there is evidence that change is arising in every corner of the world as workers look beyond geographic borders to consider employment openings made possible by the increasingly connected and digital nature of work.
For UK employers, the rising number of international candidates seeking remote working positions signals a major opportunity. While UK job vacancies are showing signs of dropping in the face of economic uncertainties, there were still over a million live postings at the end of February 2023.
With local talent in short supply and a digital skills gap that costs the UK economy as much as £63 billion a year in potential GDP, casting the net wider when it comes to talent acquisition could be the answer to resolving the recruitment challenges. So, what can we take from all of this upheaval? It is evident that we are now experiencing the rise of a truly international workforce.
Thinking out the recruitment box
Adopting a location-flexible approach to recruitment opens up access to pools of highly motivated international talent, eager to take up employment. With the UK currently facing intense competition for qualified talent, this has never been more important. In fact, in 2022 it was reported the vast majority (76%) of UK businesses reported struggling to hire the right staff. As such, going global is becoming a much more compelling proposition.
Fortunately, employers now have access to many crucial technologies to help find and hire an international workforce. These technologies include tools that can assist with all aspects of the talent acquisition funnel, from identifying the right candidates and undertaking in-depth interviews, to onboarding new hires and ensuring that payroll complies with regulations in an employee’s home country.
Employers using modern cloud-based HR platforms will experience little disruption integrating these tools into their existing tech stack. The use of such applications should be based on a holistic talent strategy. Meaning, all the benefits and issues associated with international hiring need to be taken into consideration.
The pursuit of an international workforce strategy opens the door to fresh perspectives and new insights that enable the business to grow and thrive.
Why it pays to up level your talent acquisition efforts
One major advantage of global hiring is the ability to fill high priority roles faster and at a lower cost-to-fill rate. An achievement that ensures an organisation’s productivity and competitive momentum won’t falter as a result of positions remaining open for extended time periods.
But there are other valuable benefits to be gained from expanding access to international talent and looking beyond borders to other countries or regions. According to Deloitte, diverse teams are 1.8 times more likely to be prepared for change and 1.7 times more likely to lead market innovation.
It sends a strong message to potential new hires, as well as existing teams and customers, about the organisation’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Indeed, having an internationally diverse workforce is a strong selling point for 67% of candidates looking for a new role.
Using trusted partners to recruit with confidence
We have discussed one aspect of remote hiring, up to this point – accepting applications for remote roles from international candidates. It is important to bear in mind another type of remote hiring with huge implications – when companies want to rapidly expand into a new geographic market it will be imperative that they ensure compliance with a diversity of local employment and tax laws.
Navigating the establishment of local teams in a specific country no longer requires the complexities of setting up a subsidiary. With trusted partners, organisations can now hire the talent they need internationally and work with them to establish the necessary rollout in that country. Finding this trusted partner to help build your business in a new country may feel like a bigger decision than hiring a domestic candidate, but essentially the same rules apply.
You will need to complete the same types of due diligence, such as reference checking, in-depth rounds of interview and potentially consider utilising probationary trial periods to ensure that the candidate is the right fit for your organisation.
Leveraging new technology to drive global growth
Setting up operations in a new environment that has its own distinct customs and employment laws requires specialist knowledge that isn’t always at hand in most organisations.
Organisations will need to be informed in advance of key factors, such as employee expectations, local labour laws including details such as monitoring cross-border compliance.
Fortunately, the advent of technology solutions help businesses deal with these issues and more. Today’s innovative AI-powered platforms can now streamline and automate the processes associated with integrating global team members. As well as assuring compliance with each country’s evolving local laws and data protection requirements, these technology platforms also make it easy to handle HR processes like structuring employment contracts, paying local taxes and running payroll.
Expanding recruitment horizons
Thankfully there is no shortage of skilled workers across the globe that are ready and willing to take up new roles with UK-based companies. When it comes to international recruitment and managing a global workforce, companies of all sizes can now take advantage of today’s tech-infused solutions that make it fast and easy to tap into talent, no matter where in the world it is based. With the right global employment platform in place, supported by local HR and legal experts on the ground, organisations can now make the world their talent pool. Taking advantage of these opportunities is no longer a daunting task and organisations don’t need to be intimidated about whether they have the right experience or processes in place to handle everything that’s needed to go global. All that’s needed is a new, creative approach to hiring and the right partner. For companies willing to think outside of borders, the sky is – quite literally – the only limit.