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Finding the Perfect Candidate for an Overseas Business: 5 top tips

Are you recruiting new employees overseas? Recruitment is time-consuming and expensive enough when you’re hiring in your native country, so here are five top tips to help you find the perfect candidate abroad.

Be mindful of cultural differences

You might think that a handshake, a confident attitude and a solid CV is the norm. But, this might not be how it works abroad. In some cultures, applicants are much more reserved, and mentioning that they won Employee of the Month (for instance) simply isn’t the ‘done thing’. So, don’t be disappointed if you notice a lack of eye contact, a limp handshake or a modest attitude – your own cultural bias might be clouding your judgement – so it’s important to open your mind to whether or not this is ‘normal’ for the hiring process overseas.

Call in favours from local contacts

A great tip for finding the right candidates for the job is to ask people on the ground. If you have any contacts in the area your business is operating in, ask them if they know of anyone who might be suitable for the job. Personal recommendations could work well as you’ll only be put in contact with people who are ‘vouched for’, and you’ll also eliminate the need to pay a middle man such as a recruitment agency.

Use your competitors

If you have competitors operating in your market, and they’re based in a nearby location, why not do some careful headhunting? Use a professional social media tool such as LinkedIn to scout for talent, approaching people who are already performing the role you’re hiring for. This could help to improve the chances you make a good recruitment decision as you’ll be hiring employees who already have skills and experience, and knowledge of the local market. Just be sure not to tread on too many toes!

Use technology to cut costs and get to know candidates

Once you’ve chosen a pool of candidates to interview, be smart about how you’re going to do it. Interviewing can take up lots of time, and if you’re interviewing in person it’s going to cost a lot too. So, unless you’ve someone conducting interviews on the ground for you, use technology such as Skype so that you can talk directly to candidates. Google Hangouts and Apple FaceTime are good options too, giving you a chance to get to know a person more thoroughly than their written application alone would allow.

Outsource it if you’re struggling

However, it’s sometimes better to invest a little bit of money by asking a third party to hire employees on your behalf if you’re recruiting overseas. In fact, this is a particularly good idea if you’re just setting up your overseas business. There are companies such as this one who hire and manage (and even fire) employees under their own umbrella, so that you circumvent the need to set up a separate legal entity or navigate through the complicated legal and tax maze that comes with hiring employees in another country.

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