Global hiring initiatives by United States-based employers seeking to broaden their recruiting efforts overseas, are not a new phenomenon. Although global hiring has expanded significantly since the pandemic in 2020, the direction of building teams abroad has been an initiative for employers long before. In 2017, 70% of U.S. companies said hiring foreign workers was ‘extremely’ or ‘very important’ to their hiring strategy, citing the value of fresh perspectives, unique skill sets, and knowledge of international business trends and practices.
The desire to continue to broaden international teams became more acute after the pandemic. One 2021 SHRM study found 57 percent of survey respondents reported looking for more international talent because they couldn’t find enough applicants within the U.S., including employers that allowed a more remote-friendly work environment. Businesses are realizing that their hiring pools are not limited to their geographical area, and there are significant advantages for employers (particularly those involved in international markets) to hire overseas talent bringing an outside perspective and a deeper knowledge of how business is conducted outside the U.S.
While this strategy may come with its own unique challenges, there are countless methods for employers to navigate the hiring processHiring environments will vary by country or region, meaning HR teams need to ask different questions, seek different data sources, and account for different legal requirements during the pre-hire background screening process.
Cultural differences also mean employers should accommodate their international employees’ specific communication-related needs and distinct perspective on what is considered a “normal” workplace culture.
Here are four approaches employers can take to navigate global hiring challenges and get ahead of their competition in recruiting and retaining the best international talent.
1. Anticipate cultural differences with new hires
Even the most talented and experienced candidates will need to learn your company’s culture and your management style. It is imperative to be patient with new hires as they adapt to new teammates and cultural conventions, and employers can take a proactive approach to making the transition to a U.S.-based workplace as smooth as possible. Here are a few ways:
- Avoid creating language barriers with slang and regional vernacular
- Be sensitive regarding time-bound requests by factoring in time zone differences
- Don’t assume every individual observes the same holidays and cultural hallmarks that U.S.-based employees do
- Be prepared for and educated about differences in international regulations regarding education verification, employment verification, and what credit information is acceptable for use in the hiring process.
2. Understand the differences between global and domestic hiring
Hiring outside of the United States comes with distinctive requirements and regulations employers need to be mindful of. The pre-employment background screening process, specifically, is going to be different from that in the U.S. According to Kevin Coy, a privacy law partner at Arnall Golden Gregory LLP and an expert in General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance, hiring globally opens the door to a diverse set of legal and cultural issues employers need to manage, and an effective strategy in one situation may not be applicable in the next. Employers need to be agile and prepared to modify their screening process for different jurisdictions.
“A one-size-fits-all approach to global screening simply may not work,” says Coy. “There is a potentially complex range of choices where it’s not all cut-and-dry. For a screener and employer here in the U.S. there is certainly the potential for variation amongst state and local law as to variations in the consumer reporting process or fair chance hiring rules. So, we do get some flavor of that because of the U.S. federal system. But when you look at it internationally, it becomes a much more complex puzzle.”
When hiring in the European Union (EU), for example, organizations must be cognizant of GDPR, which is the main privacy law of the 27 member states of the EU and the three countries in the European Economic Area (EEA), as well as each country’s employment laws. Any employer hiring in the EU must comply with GDPR.
Coy recommends organizations consider using third-party service providers, including SaaS providers, to help with record keeping and data mapping exercises. These efforts can help organizations understand whether their data is GDPR regulated and ensure compliance. Coy also recommends that employers consult with their legal counsel to account for any recent changes in an often shifting area of regulation.
“There’s not a silver bullet for GDPR compliance, but it is important for organizations to understand how GDPR applies to them — whether they are directly subject to GDPR or indirectly subject to pieces of it through contractual obligations,” says Coy
3. Use screening technology tailor-made for your business needs
Background screening is a critical step in the hiring process both within and outside the United States. Having a technology solution that makes it easier to manage the complex regulatory environment of global hiring is a must. Pre-hire screening mitigates the risks associated with hiring individuals who may have falsified their employment and/or educational credentials, or who may have a previously unknown criminal record, thereby protecting your business, and current employees. Leveraging technology that streamlines this process on a single platform and customizes its services for your organization, sets your business apart from the competition.
With global hiring on the rise, employers should take advantage of a single-platform solution that can help them complete international screenings efficiently while accounting for challenges that are unique to each jurisdiction. Contact us today about how Global Searches from Accurate can help your business account for local regulation and improve the background screening experience for potential hires.