Recruiting Overseas?

By: Christine Draeger

If you are managing a global team, then you have experienced the process of recruiting staff from different countries and cultures. Although the process is quite similar to recruiting a candidate locally, here are some tips that may help streamline the process and help you find the most suitable candidate.

Heed Local Advice
Get advice before writing and placing the recruitment ad. As an HR professional, you know the value of writing an effective recruitment ad. What works in one country, however, may not work in another. It's also true that different media options can attract different candidates, so it's important to seek guidance from people who live in the city where you are recruiting. They can advise on content, style, level of detail and length, as well as recommend the most effective media, whether it's a local newspaper, an online recruitment site or a professional agency.

Read Between the Lines
As you receive the CVs, the process will be almost exactly the same as if you were recruiting for any other position. You can read through the candidate's experience, qualifications and technical skills. If language skills are an important requirement for the position, the CV will also give you the opportunity to evaluate their writing style, choice of words, grammar, etc. The candidate's cover letter and their "summary of qualifications/job objectives" are two places that reveal quite a bit. The candidates will often rate their language skills on the CV itself, but reading between the lines will better expose their practical use and comfort level of the language.

Dial It Up
The next step is to narrow down the list of CVs and conduct telephone interviews. Telephone interviews can be hard to get used to. You don't have the luxury of eye contact, body language and non-verbal communications. Without these, it is hard to know when the candidate is finished speaking. He or she does not know if you are satisfied with their response or are seeking more information. Savvy managers with years of experience conducting interviews may not always prepare in advance for an interview. When conducting telephone interviews with someone who does not speak English (or whatever your country's language is) as a first language, it is very important to have your questions prepared in advance of the call. This will help establish a rhythm of questions and answers and minimize awkward pauses.

Another important aspect of the telephone interview is to explain the reporting aspect of the position they are seeking. The candidate may be unsure if they would be working for an overseas manager which may cause them to feel uneasy. And they may feel it is inappropriate to ask. It's important to state the reporting lines and group dynamics. This will set the stage early on in the call and help the candidate to provide more candid responses to your questions.

Virtual Assessments
After the telephone interviews, you will most likely be left with a very short-list of candidates. The next step is to have the candidates participate in online assessments. Online assessment testing can be used to evaluate everything from language and technical skills to suitability based on work ethic, behaviors and personality. The key is to identify the required behaviors in advance e.g., works independently, organized, optimistic, etc. so that the proper test can be administered and evaluated accordingly. The online assessment can be taken at one of your branch locations or at the candidate's own home. There are many online assessments available today that help to avoid the risk of "cheating candidates," if they are taking the tests in private.

Face Time
After the online assessments, it is time for the personal interview. This stage is just as important to the candidate as it is to the hiring manager. He or she will be interested in seeing the office space and getting a sense of the corporate culture. As a hiring manager, you will probably feel a need to meet them face to face before you are willing to commit to an actual job offer. Hopping on a plane to meet them personally would provide the most comfort level. But if this is not feasible, you could rely on a colleague in your branch office to conduct the interview for you. At this stage, it may be helpful to provide them with formal "interview questions" to ensure that your colleague is assessing the candidate according to your requirements.

After the personal interview stage, there is usually one candidate who stands out above the rest. Just like hiring in your own country, the perfect candidate will emerge. You can then make the offer, negotiate the terms and consider it a job well done.

For more information about Crown's services, please visit http://www.crownrelo.com.

Human Resources
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