No matter where in the world of work you work, structuring a global recruiting and selection process is anything but easy. In fact, putting the required policies and processes in place required for global recruiting can be an administrative headache.

That’s because when attracting talent overseas, global employers must navigate the often complicated compliance requirements, dramatically disparate cultural or business norms and a litany of other issues that make attracting and selecting top talent across markets a daunting task for even the most experienced recruiting organization.

Here are some global recruiting considerations every employer needs to think about before hiring job candidates abroad:

interconnected-worldRecruitment Marketing: Each country has its own laws governing advertising and marketing, and these regulatory requirements extend to traditional recruitment marketing as well as online advertising.  When attracting overseas talent, a global employer must ensure its advertising methods comply with all local and national laws pertaining to issues such as required disclosures, intellectual property rights and user privacy protections.

In addition to complying with these regulations, employers must also ensure that any recruitment marketing or advertising campaigns or content, including something as simple as posting a job to a local job board, remains non-discriminatory and abides by any country-specific employment-related quota requirements, which are common in many multinational markets.  They must also determine the language requirements for the job postings and ensure that, before posting, nothing is lost in translation.

Job Applications: Similarly, global employers need to ensure any written job applications, whether online or on paper, fully comply with local laws, which can vary significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  That means making sure which, if any, questions are mandatory or prohibited, such as questions that seek information regarding a candidate’s protected class or characteristics.

That’s why it might not always be feasible for multinational employers to create a standardized, one-size-fits-all application to use across markets; most organizations will find it easier to create applications specific to every country in which it’s recruiting and employing staff (the same rule of thumb goes for really any HR related documentation).

Additionally, not only do employers need to determine whether or not the job application is legally compliant, but also whether or not multiple languages are required before drafting this basic documentation for use in global recruiting. If applications are completed in additional languages, or the main stakeholders in the recruiting organization aren’t fluent in the same language as the applicants they’re looking to hire, it might be necessary to hire an interpreter to assist with the application process.

compCompensation: Another significant challenge facing global employers is determining how to structure salary for a position that exists in multiple countries.

Employers will need to ensure that the total compensation package is competitive with the local market, is robust enough to actually attract prospective candidates in each country where the position is posted.

They’ll also want to make sure beyond looking simply at salary that the benefits and perks associated with the position are consistent with the business culture and candidate expectations for each respective market. To that end, an employer may need to level set by building a baseline for compensation across its multiple markets.

Companies may want to consider beginning with a benchmarking exercise in each country, factoring in things like labor market demand, specific salary ranges by position or function, cost of living, foreign currency exchange rates and similar considerations required to determine whether or not any compensation and benefits package offered remains in line with local employers competing for the same pool of talent.

If the compensation is below average or misaligned with market expectations, employers will find attracting the most qualified candidates for any position extremely difficult.  And global recruiting is hard enough already.

global workInterviewing: 
Global employers also need to carefully consider how to structure the interview process, particularly when it involves scheduling across time zones or making travel or reimbursement arrangements for candidates requiring in-person interviews or on-site meetings as part of the hiring process.

It’s also important to understand any customs or interviewing practices in any particular country, which can vary greatly, as well as any language requirements involved in the interviewing process, which might require the involvement of an interpreter or intermediary.

If an employer and candidate are not physically located in the same location, it might be a good idea for employers to consider leveraging a technology like video interviewing or VOIP conferencing to reduce the associated travel expenses involved in multinational hiring.

With today’s technological capabilities, these options are far more cost effective and efficient for a majority of candidates, allowing companies to reserve interview-related travel for senior level candidates or those being considered only for the most-business critical roles. Alternatively, companies can save costs by having a key stakeholder travel on site and subsequently strategically scheduling important interviews to coincide with this senior leader’s stay.

Whatever method an employer chooses to cut down on the costs associated with global recruiting, it’s essential for employers to remember that when it comes to asking sensitive questions during the interview, such as marital status or religious affilion, could be a costly compliance mistake in any market.

Pre-Employment Screening

While commonplace in most hiring and onboarding processes, global recruiting requires a cautious approach to pre-employment screening.  Every country has a different set of rules and requirements with respect to medical or drug tests.

Before attempting to implement any such screening initiative, global employers must research the local labor laws and legal experts to understand which measures are permitted as well as any associated issues such as timing (e.g. whether or not a formal offer must be extended before initiating), what documentation or consent from the prospective worker is required, or what notifications the employer is obliged to provide during the screening process.

Similarly, background check laws vary widely in global markets, particularly when it comes to requiring candidates to disclose previous criminal convictions, which is illegal in many countries around the world.

Employers must remain fully cognizant of these restrictions as well as any related regulations governing background checks before initiating a request for this information.

Once an employee is onboarded, if relocation is required, than an employer’s onboarding process should include assigning an internal colleague or manager as a “buddy” or mentor to help them navigate safely into their new role and new life in a new country, in some cases.  This will not only help ensure that global recruiting ends with a candidate being smoothly assimilated into your company culture, but a better understanding of the culture of the customers, clients and connections they’ll need to make in their new market.

You can’t be a global business without a global perspective – or a scalable, sustainable global recruiting strategy.


Melissa-A-Silver_PictureAbout the Author: Melissa A. Silver is the legal editor for the employment offer, terms of employment, new hire paperwork, negligent hiring, onboarding and orientation, recordkeeping and minimizing liability content in the recruiting and hiring chapter of XpertHR.

Prior to joining XpertHR, Melissa practiced law for 10 years. During the last 8 years, Melissa engaged in private practice and focused on the defense of clients in cases involving harassment, discrimination and retaliation claims, as well as the enforcement of restrictive covenants.

Melissa has successfully litigated cases before the New Jersey Superior Court, US District Court, the EEOC and the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights.