The Ins and Outs of International Recruitment

Livingston James is often engaged in global talent searches. We have placed individuals in executive positions in the USA, India, Asia, Germany, Belgium and Turkey, and are currently engaged on assignments across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Clients are often intrigued as to how we run these global searches from our headquarters in Scotland.  In this blog, we take you through our international search and selection process

Time is Money

It is essential that every recruitment process we run is extremely thorough and robust. Global searches in particular require a great deal of desk-based research to first map the target organisations and individuals, and then approach in a consistent manner.

This part of the process requires a significant amount of time and focus, which can be difficult for organisations to manage without the help of a recruitment partner. By engaging with us, clients can have peace of mind that we will take accountability for this important stage – leaving no stone unturned.

Strong Relationships are Key

When approaching any recruitment process, we always look to build trusting, long-term relationships with our clients, resulting in a true partnership approach to solving the problem.

With commitment from both sides, we are able to gain a full understanding of each client’s business, including purpose and culture. This is crucial for candidate assessment to ensure we ultimately find the right person, in terms of both skills and personality.

Equally important is the relationship we build with candidates. A global search typically means targeting and engaging individuals with whom we have no existing relationship, and who are, more often than not, happy and well remunerated in their current roles.

It is imperative that initial engagement with those passive candidates is carefully tailored to increase chances of a positive response.   Special care is taken to consider where candidates are in the world and thus, any potential time or cultural differences. In utilising a third-party partner, clients can ensure expertly tailored approaches to engage as many high-calibre candidates as possible.

Understanding Cultural Differences

When recruiting globally it is vital that throughout the entire process, cultural differences are considered and acknowledged. A good example of this is acknowledging that in Islamic countries, Friday is a religious day, similar to a Sunday here in the UK.

Differences can be evident in the way in which candidates interview, including their use of body language and eye contact, the manner in which they discuss their achievements, and the way in which they write their CVs.

It is important that we are able to identify these culturally-driven behaviours, ensuring appropriate assessment of the candidate as a whole.

Having successfully placed candidates across most continents, we are relatively well versed in cultural differences and how to be aware and respectful.

The Impact of Technology

Technology is a critical aide in the ability to communicate with candidates all over the world. In the not-so-distant past, it was much more challenging to arrange conversations with candidates located across the globe, but with the advancement of technology, keeping in touch with individuals all over the world has become much easier.

Social media including channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and other networking sites, make it entirely possible to market roles and attract candidates from anywhere in the world. Video communication software has also enhanced the interview process with candidates in far flung locations meaning consultants no longer need to fly across the globe to meet potential candidates prior to shortlisting.

A recent Livingston James assignment in Turkey produced a shortlist of four candidates based in Russia, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Rwanda. It would have been a much slower and more expensive process without the use of technology!

Location is Irrelevant

The candidate population that we are targeting do not care where we are based. We can run a thorough process over several weeks for roles in London, Frankfurt, or Hong Kong, without the candidate considering our physical location.  Their interests lie with the role, the client and the long-term opportunity – not where our office is.

Our team is made up of consultants that have done this job across the world, with the same focus on delivery and accuracy and with the same positive results. So we need to stop discussing where we are based – that is irrelevant – and focus entirely on what our clients’ requirements are.

In summary, whilst an awareness of factors such as time differences, cultural differences and how to effectively build relationships with individuals from different countries is absolutely necessary; our process for searching for and engaging the right individuals essentially remains the same, whether we are searching locally, nationally or internationally.

To discuss your leadership recruitment needs, contact [email protected]

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