Recruiting internationally isn’t an easy task. You have to find your way around job boards and sourcing platforms that aren’t necessarily used in your own country, deal with the language barrier and cultural differences. It can make you feel like an alien discovering a world you didn’t even know existed. But there are some tips and tricks we can share with you that can make it easier and we decided to make them the topic of today’s blog post.
Find out how and where local candidates look for jobs
The importance of research you do before you even start sourcing for candidates simply can’t be overstated. You should always prepare for sourcing as making assumptions (and getting those assumptions wrong) is the most likely cause of complications in recruitment. So have a look at what you can find online about the way candidates look for jobs in your target country.
If possible, try running that search in the local language or ask some local recruiters about advice. The recruitment mentality is changing and you are very likely to be offered help if you simply ask for it. You can try an international recruiting group to see who could share their experience of going through a similar challenge or go the other direction and join a local recruiting group instead. Either way this first step will have a significant impact on your recruiting success.
Translate your search into the local language
While English is widely spoken in all European countries and you will almost definitely be looking for someone who speaks English fluently, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of the local language. Finding candidates whose profiles are more difficult to uncover means you’re more likely to receive a response, since they won’t be contacted by recruiters as often.
So how can you go about translating your keywords into another language? It’s surprisingly simple! Our recommendation is to use Wikipedia. While some of the content may sometimes be inaccurate, the translation of the terms is very reliable, to the point where it’s an important tool for professional translators. Simply find your keyword on Wikipedia and then find the same page in the local language you’re interested in!
Use gestures your candidates will recognise
A smile really goes a long way… especially when you’re working abroad! Dealing with cultural differences can be particularly difficult because the words and gestures you’re used to won’t necessarily mean the same thing (or anything for that matter) to your candidates. However, there are some gestures that are recognised across the world and you should try to leverage those in your communication with the locals.
Make sure you use a picture online where you’re smiling. That will make it much easier for candidates to connect with you emotionally and trust you. When speaking to candidates, remember to smile as well. Even if the candidate can’t see you, our tone of voice changes when we’re smiling, so they will recognise you as a friendlier person.
Dealing with the ambiguities of international recruiting can be a real challenge, but it’s also very rewarding. Once you do your research and start interacting with candidates, you will be ready to appreciate the experience. Discovering other cultures invariably opens up our minds and allows us to learn a new perspective and if you’re patient, the lessons you learn have a positive impact on all of your future projects.