Over the last two years, the idea of remote working as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions has become almost universally acceptable. Thanks to videoconferencing, virtual project management tools and pervasive internet connectivity, teams have gotten used to working remotely without needing to be in the same room or even the same country together.
Today, companies around the world have never been as receptive to a remote-first environment, and with it, a global approach for recruiting talent. In their 2021 Immigration Trends Report, US immigration services provider Envoy found that employer demand for foreign talent has persisted, despite challenging conditions and immigration restrictions as a result of the widespread adoption of remote work.
As we move into 2022, you may be considering leveraging this new-norm and working with remote consultants or even recruiting an entirely remote workforce. Here are 5 ways that sourcing talent globally can benefit you and your organisation:
- Increased choice of candidates. When recruiting talent globally, you don’t need to limit yourself to searching in a talent pool based on physical location or to those who are willing to move or commute to work at your offices. With a global approach, you suddenly have a far wider choice of candidates, which increases the chances of finding those with the right skill sets and aptitudes in a much shorter time frame. In an interview with Forbes, former president of Groupon International, Anita Samojednik, says, “When businesses are no longer restricted by location or relocation costs, they can cast a wider net and source the best-fit candidate who will add the most value overall to the business despite them not living in your zip code.”
- Increased diversity. Having a diverse workforce has many benefits, such as equipping your company to adapt to changing market environments and being more competitive in global markets. Hiring from many different global locations by definition means you’re forming teams made up of people from different nationalities and cultures. Gerry Tombs, CEO of Clearvision, believes that their remote-first work policy gives them access to a diverse workforce from other areas of the world that they wouldn’t normally have. He goes on to mention that this allows them to benefit from varied perspectives that these different cultures bring. A diverse workplace also lends itself to greater cultural literacy among employees, he says, which can lead to a more fulfilling work experience overall.
- Better innovation and a more collaborative work environment. Problem solving and innovation are most effective when a team is made up of individuals with different approaches, skills, outlooks and perspectives. By hiring people from several different countries, your organisation can benefit from these differing outlooks and approaches. Steve Payne, Vice Chair of Consulting for EY Americas, has also seen another benefit to this: online interactions are more democratic and have provided better access to senior executives, which has meant a flatter organisation. “Employees — no matter their level — are on small squares during video conferencing, resulting in a deceased hierarchy that traditionally exists in office environments,” he says. This has made for more seamless collaboration as companies are focused on creating a more allied working environment.
- Better understanding of global markets. Particularly if you operate in several different countries, working with global talent means you’re hiring people who are able to understand the dynamics of different markets in terms of local trends, customer behaviours and demands and the nuances that native language brings. This can go a long way in helping your organisation be more competitive in those regional markets, which can have a positive effect on your bottom line. In terms of international expansion, having people in those locations can be a smart first step to take before you open a physical office in that country.
- Happier workers. Hiring people from around the world can help you be seen as a more desirable employer. A study on Millennials by PwC found that 71% of Millennials surveyed expect and want the opportunity to work internationally during their career. In a survey on remote working conducted by Owl Labs, 77% of respondents felt that post-Covid, having the option to work from home would make them happier. Another benefit is that small to medium sized organisations that adopt a remote-first working policy can now compete for talent with multinational companies with bigger budgets.
With these new perspectives on the world of work, the opportunities for sourcing and hiring global talent have increased dramatically. If your organisation is in a position to offer a remote-first environment or some hybrid thereof, hiring global talent is a cost-effective and valuable way to build and maintain an agile, competitive and innovative organisation.