Employer branding expert Jennifer Davis shares her tips for establishing a memorable culture abroad.
Finding the right talent for hard-to-fill roles, especially in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) positions, is challenging. That’s why we created the ultimate go-to guide for recruiting foreign talent. In our ebook Hiring a Foreign National Employee: Essential Sourcing and Screening Guide, author, speaker and consultant Laurie Ruettimann asked five leading HR influencers how to create a talent acquisition strategy that will help you source and screen the best global workers. Here’s an excerpt from one of our experts.
Jennifer Davis is a senior director of people strategies and HR technology at marketing company Epsilon. In early 2015, she launched the recruiting operation of the firm’s new office in Bangalore, and developed a deep understanding of international talent acquisition strategies, career sites, recruiting technology, compliance and the overarching approach that a company should take to enhance the candidate’s experience.
Davis recounts the strategic approaches she took when recruiting foreign talent for Epsilon.
1. Develop local relationships before you begin sourcing and screening talent in foreign markets to establish your employer branding efforts.
At Epsilon, we invested in partnerships and talked to our in-house specialists who knew the market. My company has quite a few foreign nationals in America who have deep expertise in their home countries, so we were able to ask questions on everything from the validity of resumes to the vetting of channels for our recruitment marketing strategy.
We also partnered with a recruitment process outsourcing company that had local resources on the ground. They gave us insight into the sourcing and hiring challenges ahead, and educated us on what’s important to the local market. We worked with a public relations firm who told us how, when and where to advertise our company to get people looking at and talking about our brand.
2. Make sure your talent pipelines are hyperlocal.
I’ve recruited heavily in India, and I learned that Naukri.com is the premier job board. That’s where you find seasoned technical workers. LinkedIn works well for senior-level management professionals, while Monster is more for junior-level people. In America, Monster is a generalist job board and for fresh college grads. In India, they call those candidates “freshers” — basically, straight out of college.
There are other boards gaining reputation locally like Shine and Indeed. Glassdoor gets attention in India as it does in America, and I chose to invest in a corporate page on Glassdoor out of the gate.
3. Adding recruitment marketing to your strategy is a solid investment.
We spent money on sidebar advertising on Naukri.com to drive people to our career site. We told our company story on LinkedIn. Our PR firm went out and identified specific places where we would get the most attention. Some of them were tech-related and others were just local publications.
4. Think outside the box when advertising to foreign markets.
We did more with print ads than we would do in America — like the Indiatimes, for instance. It was big stuff. It doesn’t make sense here in the United States, and you wouldn’t put out an ad, but there you would. Through our internal Epsilon Community Outreach program, we’ll also sponsor charitable events. It’s a different, positive way of reaching a larger audience. I’ve been over to India four times, and in retrospect, I would even do a billboard. It’s seen by so many people. The investment is worth it.
5. Remember company culture and employer brand matters.
If your employer brand isn’t outstanding in America, prepare for challenges abroad. If people don’t know who you are, they won’t come to work for you. In many countries, brand recognition matters. Foreign nationals put a lot of pride into working for a very well-known organization because they want to tell their parents, “Hey, mom and dad, I work for a globally recognized brand that is respected and treats its workers well.” You’re toast if the parents say, “What’s that company?”
6. Tell your company’s story in a concise and targeted way.
We created storyboards and scripts for recruiters to use when speaking with both passive and active candidates. Once a candidate passed an initial screening and was invited in for an interview, we were surprised by how many people proactively researched us. They would come to the interview and know every single thing. That’s why we put a lot of time into the creation of our careers website, LinkedIn, Glassdoor and our social media strategy so that people could start forming a positive story of their own and connect the dots. Employer brand is huge.
7. Meet your applicants and candidates where they live and work.
If you’re sourcing and screening for talent in a country where you’ve never been before, get your butt on a plane and get out there. You don’t know what the story truly is about until you experience it yourself.
Laurie Ruettimann is a former human resources leader turned influential speaker, writer and strategist. She owns a human resources consultancy firm that offers a wide array of services to HR leaders and executives. Reuttimann sits on the strategic advisory boards at Vestrics and BlackbookHR, two HR technology firms focused on learning analytics, big data and employee engagement. She is also recognized as one of the Top 5 career advisors by CareerBuilder and CNN.
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