With the world globalising at an unprecedented rate, there has been a growing need for recruitment agencies to communicate effectively with international audiences seeking global opportunities. This can manifest itself in off-shoring, recruitment for global corporations or immigrant recruitment. Moreover, applying an international outlook to hiring talent can enable organisations to better reflect and gain insight on the largest growing markets of the future, some of which include countries like Russia, Brazil, India or China.
But what are the benefits of this? And how can a deeper understanding of unique recruitment practices, allow organisations to succeed on a global scale?
CV building: the cultural crossroads
It’s important to point out that while culture does play a factor on how recruiters hire talent, it also applies to how candidates apply to jobs. The cultural context of an applicant can affect each stage of the application process — the first of which includes how candidates polish their CVs and present themselves on paper. For example, a typical CV in China lists education history first (considered crucial). The actual role they have played in the organisation is considered afterwards, with technical skills and personal interests stated in the end. On the opposite spectrum, applicants in Scandinavia even put the name of their pet or children on their CV, whereas candidates in Germany are much more formal when it comes to the information they send out.
While this makes sense to domestic recruiters, it certainly won’t register with HR managers outside their home country, who would commonly regard contributions to the organisation as an indicator of potential and drive. When it comes to receiving internationally accepted CVs, create a set format on your website. It’ll give candidates a clear idea of what you’re looking for, and allow them to tailor their CVs accordingly.
Interview differences across the globe
Similar to differences in CV formats, different countries also tackle the interview process in their own unique way. Take the example of Belgium and the Netherlands. When it comes to the interview process, Belgians prioritize meeting the team manager during the actual interview, while the Dutch consider it more crucial to have equal contact with the person conducting the interview. Different practices also apply to specific interview questions. For example, in the commonly asked “Tell me about yourself” question, East Asian candidates tend to talk about their education and experiences modestly, while Middle Eastern candidates prefer to talk about their family background. Contrarily, in the U.S, candidates would spend more time highlighting their accomplishments as much as possible.
Being perceptive and open to these differences can maximise the success you seek with your candidates. Remember, different cultural contexts imply that the candidates expect something different. Post a preferred format of your organisation’s Q&A used to evaluate other applicants. It helps candidates understand what you are asking for. Most importantly, it helps separate culture from skills, and steers the interview to areas that are more important to you.
Driving talent, and how to make the most of it cross-culturally
In Southern European countries like Italy and Portugal, almost half the working population prioritise the loyalty of their colleagues more than their personal goals. Confrontations between colleagues are avoided, and the interest of personal relationships take precedence over work tasks. This is in contrast to countries in Northern Europe where personal goals are much more critical to success.
Having a good grasp on differences such as these, can not just provide you with a deeper understanding of what drives a candidate, but can also help you source international talent that closely matches the work culture of an organisation. For example; if you’re looking for a more competitive attitude, there’s a higher probability of finding it in countries like Norway and Denmark. On the other hand, in countries like Italy and Portugal, it’s commonly about the collective.
In short, with borders quickly opening up in the aftermath of COVID 19, modern leadership and a progressive hiring outlook is required for successful hiring. To bridge any cultural differences, unique recruitment practices must be taken into account when making international recruitment a success. Knowing more about your candidate, makes your recruitment process more powerful, and increases the chance of a successful hire.
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