Global talent acquisition is simple with these tactics for interviewing foreign candidates.
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.
Carmen Hudson wears several hats. She is currently a principal consultant of sourcing and social media strategy for Recruiting Toolbox; founder and CEO of Tweetajob; and co-founder of a national conference for tech recruiters, Talent42. Hudson draws from over 15 years of recruiting experience, with a strong focus on helping organizations attract, source and recruit top talent. Carmen has extensive global experience, and she offers advice for recruiters and hiring managers who want to improve their foreign national interviewing process.
1. Conduct extensive global talent acquisition research on the front end.
Successful interviews of any kind stem from preparation. Whether it’s a domestic or an international candidate, hiring managers must get to know the person in front of them. People spend five minutes with a resume when they should spend 20 minutes with it.
2. Define your hiring criteria before you talk to candidates.
The biggest mistake recruiters make is that they don’t set the hiring criteria before an interview. We end up deciding whether or not we like this person along the way versus articulating what we want to hire for, what the job requires and then figuring out if the candidate in front of us matches those requirements.
3. Make sure skills don’t get lost in translation.
We judge people based on where they went to school or where they worked, but we may not exactly know the reputations of those institutions. So if you aren’t sure of a school’s standing — or whether or not a foreign company provides a valuable and translatable work experience — Google it. Or talk to recruiters in your industry who hire similar talent.
4. Recognize your own comprehension challenges.
It’s not uncommon for me to hear from hiring managers who struggle with candidates and communication skills. They pass on excellent candidates because it’s difficult to understand someone who is not a native English speaker. My advice is simple: Set your hiring criteria and know what’s required regarding communication skills. Get candidates comfortable by talking about an experience that’s important to them. And practice listening to people with accents by expanding your personal and professional network. If you’re still struggling to understand a foreign national, dig deeper. Figure out whether or not the candidate needs an accent reduction class or if there are other communication challenges. You can do this by sending an email and asking follow-up questions that require written answers.
5. Don’t forget to set company culture expectations.
The candidate experience is a universal experience. Everybody wants to know what it’s like to work in your company and be treated well during the hiring process. All applicants are very interested to know what’s expected of them from a job perspective, and they want the process to be transparent and move quickly. So try to quantify your culture in the job descriptions. If you push out several applications a month, say that. Talk about the pace of your organization and whether or not collaboration is essential. And don’t forget to talk about your company’s vision and values, too.
6. Meet candidates in person.
I’m not a big fan of video interviewing. Send someone over to meet the candidate. Do the work.
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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