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  • Dovzhenko Kate

Hiring Overseas Employees: why it’s wrong without local recruiters

At SD Solutions, we have built teams in more than seven countries and experienced the power of local recruiters in hiring overseas. Whether in Poland, Georgia, Portugal, or Colombia, we rely on the knowledge of locals, who know more about the country than we do.

In this article, as Head of Recruitment, I will tell you 6 specific reasons why hiring overseas employees can't work without local recruiters.

Unobvious Job Title Naming in International Hiring

Have everything ready but still struggle to hire remote employees overseas? The reason may be hidden in the job title. Some positions may be off the table in some countries — and we, as a professional employer organization (PEO), navigate businesses to the right stream. Technical recruiters shed light on the market's nuances: job titles, the number of relevant candidates, and the terms on which international workers might want to join the team.

For instance, our client wanted to hire and onboard a People Operations Analyst. In Tbilisi (Georgia), people with such responsibilities are called HR analysts or HR Operations. By changing the job title to something more familiar to candidates, we received more responses from qualified applicants.

We also had a case when the client tried to hire a Technical Escalation Engineer, but all recruiting efforts were met with failure. Our team figured out what was the reason for the small number of involved candidates: mismatched expectations between employer and candidates.

The Technical Escalation Engineer role includes responsibilities between the development team and technical support. However, candidates understood it as Technical Support only, and no one relevant wanted to apply. Such a detail turned off many candidates, and with the know-how of local technical recruiters, we were able to hire qualified specialists to join the team. 

As a result, our client got fast and efficient hires and reduced the cost spent on ads and postings on job boards. 

Navigating Time Zones and Cultural Differences while Hiring Overseas

Expanding into new markets is like swimming in deep water, except you don’t know how to swim. If you want to explore a new place, you need someone who knows the ins and outs, not just someone who has a map. 

Each country has unique regulations regarding local employment rules, global payroll practices, and labor laws. And that's not all—there are also differences in working etiquette that vary from place to place.  

For example, in Bulgaria, candidates are fine if a recruiter contacts them by phone without a previous arrangement. On the contrary, the Polish people are super formal in their communication, so a call, especially if it is beyond working hours, means the candidate's trust is lost. Such cultural details are influential if your business wants to expand in another country. 

Recruiters do not just match hard and soft skills; they ensure a cultural fit, working as a catalyst for full-time employee retention from the very beginning.

The Role of Local Recruiters in Exploring Realistic Market Rates

Indeed, hiring should always be a win-win situation — both for the candidate to receive a fair salary and for the employer to get a cost per hire according to the market rate.

A reliable scaling partner must possess a deep understanding of the market rates for various roles in the hiring region to avoid surprises from candidates with overestimated salary expectations. When using Employer of Record (EOR) service, your business gets everything in the package, including local recruiters who understand the average wages and resources, ensuring that salary offers are competitive yet fair.

The emphasis also falls on the ways of searching for candidates. As a matter of fact, job boards don’t work the same in all countries, even if they are relatively close. It is not the case even in Europe, where you might think of the same methods for each country:

  • Facebook, LinkedIn, or works well in Georgia; 

  • Indeed or Glassdoor — in Western Europe; 

  • Dou and Djinni — in Ukraine.

Only a local recruiter understands where we can get a stream of well-qualified candidates for a vacancy and where we can't get anything. 

The business can lose a lot of money and time if they don't take this into account: 

Ways of searching + ways of communication = candidate satisfaction with the hiring process, which in turn affects the acceptance rate — and the higher the acceptance rate, the lower the cost per hire.

Ways of searching + ways of communication = candidate satisfaction with the hiring process, which in turn affects the acceptance rate — and the higher the acceptance rate, the lower the cost per hire.
Ways of searching + ways of communication = candidate satisfaction

Or you can organize a hackathon in a foreign office to gather professionals in one place and get insights about their talents. By the way, we did it twice, and it was a blast!

Accessing Local Networks and Overseas Talent Pools

While other companies spend a shoestring to interview their sister's friend, you will spend months and a lot of money to hire foreign workers. A quarter of potential hires are lost without local networking. As obvious as it is — local recruiters bring a wealth of contactі. According to a survey by Lou Adler, 85% of professionals find jobs through networking, which is true for countries where we build teams. 

The local recruiter's network can make all the difference for senior-level positions. Firstly, there are few such professionals on the market, and secondly, they rarely respond to vacancies directly. Juniors will run towards any opportunity; in contrast, senior professionals with more than 5 years of experience perceive changing their current job as a huge risk. 

If specialists have a high salary after 10 years in the company, they are most likely to switch working places only if they are confident in the potential employer and their brand image. In countries where we hire, personal touch like your best friend’s sister in connection with a recruiter on LinkedIn or in friends on Facebook plays a huge part in even submitting the resume.

A recruiter may know great specialists, tell them about the vacancy one-on-one, and they will send an application, even though they may have yet to think about changing jobs yesterday. Having gained invaluable experience with a local recruiter, an international worker can recommend your company to their skilled friends, and the hiring process will go even faster. A third of our hires in Georgia and Ukraine are made through such connections. 

How to Build a Trust While Hiring Overseas Employees? 

You either maximize the trust rate or jeopardize your company to look like a scam. Many talents approach international opportunities with a cautious lens. People want to feel secure and confident in exploring roles with companies beyond their comfortable borders. That’s why many questions can be addressed towards the employer company.

“Does the company have a presence in my country?” 

In this case, the candidate’s logic is as follows: there is an office — they are serious employers; no office — how will they do business here? Despite the latest trends in shifting to remote work and hybrid models, people still seek a foundation in the form of an office space. Knowing that the company with the USA as a home country has a local footprint in Poland, for instance,  provides candidates with a sense of stability and legitimacy. 

“Can they speak my language?” 

Overseas hires naturally look for comfort, knowing that language won't be a barrier in their professional journey. Local recruiters who know both English and the native language are a great help here. 

Interesting fact. We have noticed that when candidates are offered vacancies in their native language, e.g. Georgian or Polish, they respond faster than if the letter is in English. 

During interviews, it's crucial to establish trust with candidates. While we primarily conduct interviews in English, we understand the value of switching to a candidate's native language. People tend to trust the international company if they see their fellows who speak the same language as they do. 

“What is their online presence?”

Whatever we slice the cake, hiring is now mainly conducted online, and candidates will Google you and look for you on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. They will either close the tabs and look for something else, or they will stay and realize that everything looks exactly as the recruiter said.

Building a solid brand image in a short time seems impossible, especially for a startup; the solution is on the surface. Your scaling partner already has a well-established image that recruiters can use to attract candidates, and you can build your brand at the pace you need.

SD Solutions constantly works to improve and strengthen the company’s image on inner and outer communication channels. We have all the needed materials to share with candidates and current international staff, including social media, presentations, and well-designed benefits.

The Impact of Local Recruiters on Long-term Connections with Foreign Candidates

One of the key benefits of having local recruiters is that they invest time in building meaningful relationships with candidates. This allows them to create a pool of potential hires who meet the necessary qualifications and are enthusiastic about applying.

In every country we operate in, our local recruiters collect a database of accessible and interested candidates. Maintaining connections with potential candidates can speed up the hiring process in return. Recruiters can quickly reach out to familiar talents when new projects emerge, reducing the need for extensive and costly recruitment efforts for every new position.

With a scaling partner like SD Solutions, you get everything straight away with committed and loyal applicants who will prioritize your company when considering new opportunities.

Building an office, hiring a whole on-site team, and retaining employees in a foreign country seem overwhelming to accomplish at once to you? SD Solutions becomes the backbone for businesses to grow, as we are in the country where you want to hire, and we can already provide everything you need: a team, an office, and a brand image. 

We have already invested in effective employer branding, showcasing our workplace culture, employee testimonials, and commitment to diversity and inclusion to gain potential candidates' trust. 

Dovzhenko Kate - Head of Recruitment


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