I recently had the honor of contributing to a Diversity Executive Magazine piece by Deanna Hartley on the subject of global recruiting. Featured alongside other HR thought leaders, I thought it important to share my view on how to avoid a templated approach as it relates to creating an effective global recruiting strategy.

Technology has made the business world smaller so to speak. Organizations are moving beyond their borders to grow customer base and talent level. Increasing workplace diversity by leveraging a competitive labor market is undoubtedly a smart idea, but without a plan efforts can fall short – or possibly not even get off the ground.

Organizations succeed when they develop a unique strategy using the tools that best make sense for their particular needs rather than adopting a one-size-fits all approach – that really doesn’t fit all. Lending my knowledge on the significance of trends fluctuating geographically, I was able to contribute the following:

“A fundamental mistake some companies make is to approach recruiting in other countries the way they do it in the United States,” said Cynthia Lubitz, who previously led the talent management and talent acquisition functions for The Home Depot.

“Recruiting in Oklahoma is really different than recruiting in New York City. While LinkedIn has mass involvement across the U.S., you can still go to a pretty rural community and find that hiring is done though a local Craigslist ad,” said Lubitz, founder and managing partner of inTalent Consulting Group. “The same is true country by country. There are local and regional and industry-specific ways of recruiting.”

For example, in Germany candidates use XING, a tool similar to LinkedIn. Recruiters should be aware of that to leverage it, Lubitz said. In Latin America, candidates don’t have as much of a presence on social media tools, but placing fliers at the doorstep of people’s homes is effective. Recruiters have to know their market and country and the communities within the country.

When recruiting globally, demographic factors are key. Therefore, template recruiting strategies can’t be successfully implemented as demographics vary significantly from country to country or even state to state. To recruit effectively, uncovering what works and adopting the principles for your organization is crucial.

Here’s another point from the article:

While technology is a key consideration for organizations seeking talent worldwide, Lubitz said companies should ask questions to gauge the effectiveness of other systems. For instance, how effective is an applicant tracking system when it comes to global recruiting?

“As you move to emerging markets, as you move to Second and Third-World countries, it’s harder to rely on a technology-savvy recruiting process,” she said. “Sometimes it’s the skills and knowledge, not the education, that’s acquired along the way that isn’t easy to identify through those technology platforms.”

Conducting keyword search in one’s applicant tracking system, for example, may leave out a significant part of the workforce who would be qualified to fill certain positions, she said.

Organizations also need to be cognizant of factors such as generational diversity. For example, Lubitz said she has worked with an aluminum company based in a rural Canada that was in the process of relocating part of the business to a different country. The challenge was to get many of the older engineers with deep industry-specific knowledge to relocate. The problem: Many of these workers were on the brink of retirement.

“How do you go into that community and extend the welcome to say: ‘Would you like to come with us? We don’t want to lose this knowledge,’” she said. “On the other hand, you know people are getting ready for retirement — the last thing they’re thinking about doing is uprooting their entire family.”

Effective recruiting takes time and due diligence because finding talent in emerging markets may be challenging. But, time spent on uncovering effective recruitment strategies on the front end will save much hardship, reputation and money down the line.

Cindy Lubitz is Managing Director of inTalent Consulting Group

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