8 Success Tips To Hire An International Team
An international workplace might be difficult to establish at first, but there’s no denying that companies can benefit from a diverse mix of countries and cultures. At an age when most companies are trying to expand their operations into new countries and continents, more and more employers are looking for candidates with international experience. Can there be a better example of international experience than hiring employees who come from a different social and cultural background, and potentially even have a different native tongue?
Creatively speaking, this combination of global insights can significantly enrich your business. It’s easy to understand how bringing more diversity into the workplace can allow your business to reach out to a multitude of audience groups. There’s only one difficulty that you need to manage, and it’s how to effectively and successfully build an international team. While big corporates such as Google can make it look easy, many challenges need to be addressed properly to make your dream of a multicultural team come true. Are you ready to go international with your business? Then make sure you don’t take any chance when selecting and managing your international employees.
#1. Prepare your recruiting strategy
When you finally decide to grow your team and bring on board international experts, it’s fair to say that you need to need to be prepared to face the challenges of the recruitment processes. There is no room for mistake, and, if there’s one thing you can’t afford is to reach out to an international community and make a bad impression. You can be sure that this will ruin your chances of developing a multicultural team anytime soon! First of all, you need to identify what you want clearly. Your job description outlines all the necessary information from the numbers of working hours to the pay, the desired skills and anything else that can attract the right applicants. Taking cultural expectations and differences into account, you need to ensure that your job specs are not discriminatory in any sense. For instance, unless it is not a gender-specific role don’t fall into the trap of asking for a female secretary. Similarly, you need to ensure that your job remains attractive for international talents; namely you need to decide whether you want a Native English speaker who understands Italian — for example – or whether you need someone who speaks both languages at a fluent level. Additionally, there are many inappropriate questions you need to avoid during the interview phase. If the job doesn’t require specific citizenship, you have no right to ask an interviewee where they come from. You can, however, clarify, whether they have a right to work in the country. Additionally, you can’t make comments about their religious faith – unless it is relevant to the position – or family status. You have to be a fair interviewer, if you want to find the best talent for your company.
#2. Be open-minded: Experiences differ
One of the common issues when hiring international talent is to develop an understanding of a foreign academic degree. While you may be aware of the most relevant diplomas for a specific role in your country, it can be difficult to find the equivalent in other countries. That’s precisely why it’s critical that you produce a clear job description that doesn’t discriminate against international applicants, especially for skills such as marketing, IT, engineering, or even creative design – which are not language-bound. However, you can demand to obtain a certified translation of their degree, which is a service provided by professional translators. An accredited translation can be provided for academic degrees and the translation for government documents, such as documents establishing the citizenship, family status or residential settlement rights of an individual. These services are generally designed for formal applications, both in the professional and immigration sectors. The translator guarantees that the document is legal and can help to identify the national equivalent when required – which can be useful for international studies. In other words, don’t reject applicants whose diploma was obtained in a foreign university.
#3. Don’t be disrespectful
There are more and more language campaigns demanding that employees only speak English in the workplace. While a customer-facing position requires a fluent speaker, it isn’t always appropriate to stop international workers from speaking their native tongue at work. In a recent case, Kelly v Covance Laboratories Limited, the Employment Appeal Tribunal had to address if the request that Ms Kelly doesn’t speak her Russian – her mother tongue – during working hours was discriminatory. In this instance, the tribunal decided that the employer wasn’t being unfair and could justify through security requirements that an English-only environment was required. Nevertheless, more often than not, the tribunal can decide that prohibiting someone from speaking in their native tongue can be directly linked to race discrimination – when there is no justification for the request. Similarly, colleagues mimicking a foreign accent when speaking to a non-native employee is a form of harassment.
#4. Make the most of their cultural insights
In an international team, you can benefit from the cultural awareness of your foreign workforce. Admittedly, you can’t make it work if your team managers are not culturally aware and understand the values and customs of international employees. Cultural diversity in the workplace can impact on the way decisions are made, and projects are approached. However, when you want to expand abroad, your international staff will be at its most valuable. There is no gain to be made in building a trading network in Spain until you understand the importance of the infamous siesta – the prolonged lunch break during the warmest hours of the day. While modern workplaces prefer to utilize the lunch break as a working platform to achieve more in one day, other cultures value their time off work. Having someone on the team who understand this can help you to approach your market correctly.
#5. Remotely international
So, you’ve got an international team, but they work remotely? It’s a fantastic way to gather the best of talents available. However, it can be tricky to manage a remote team. One of the key learning is to value asynchronous communication, namely when someone leaves a message on a common online platform to be read when the rest of the team is available. This is perfect for communication that isn’t time-sensitive. Live chat and video calls can be used for synchronous communication. Ultimately, you need to establish a purpose and a method to every interaction so that you can schedule conversations appropriately.
#6. Bring a new angle to your strategy
A new culture means that you can benefit from new ideas, values and practices for your companies. Global teams agree that their business strategies are richer as a result. After all, with new ways of thinking, working and communication you can ensure that your team is equipped to tackle more challenges.
#7. Discrimination goes beyond language
It’s fair to say that foreign workforce might also come from a different religious background. There are very few positions where religious faith should be a selecting criterion. But, the inability by a company to respect the faith of its employees can be punishable by law. For instance, Muslim truck drivers who were fired for refusing to transport alcohol won their case to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
#8. Be clear on your business approach
Last, but not least, a lot of business communication is established through cultural understanding. However, where it is professional for US businesspeople to get down to business, an Asia-native entrepreneur – who needs to build trust personal first – will find it rude. In other words, implicit expectations and behaviours don’t always cross cultures!
Recruiting an international team requires cultural understanding, communication skills and in-depth knowledge of the law to make it work. But every minute you invest in growing your global team is a minute spent building your success.
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