3 considerations when recruiting in international markets

Do you need to recruit within international markets? If so, methods and techniques that may be successful in the UK may not be relevant and deliver the same result in China or Japan. Gaining the best results will only happen if you match the right skills to the right job!

Below are 3 tips that will help you obtain the best outcomes for your business.

  1. Market research

Perhaps the most important tip, and certainly the one to follow in the first instance, is to do your market research. There is absolutely no point in undertaking a recruitment campaign in a geographical area you have very little knowledge of, and expect the results to be similar to those you achieve in the UK. For example, in France a law to reduce the statutory working week from 39 hours to 35 hours was introduced in 2000 and 2002 (the year was dependant on the size of the company). Staying in France, approximately 80% of organisations still use graphology for recruitment and screening purposes, despite the increased use of computers and therefore, decline in handwriting (source http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/article-details/are-uk-employers-embracing-graphology).

Look at local job adverts and assess the language and tone

Obtain as much information as possible about the local market, how your industry/sector functions in that market, what salaries look like and who your competitors will be. Gathering this information in advance will mean you have a good local knowledge base when writing and posting your job adverts. Learning as much as possible about the local market and how your company will fit, will also lead to more detailed, meaningful and personalised conversations during the interview process.


  1. Localised messages

As we know, words and phrases mean different things in different languages! Therefore, it is important to ensure your recruitment messages are appropriate for the ‘local’ market and incorporate cultural and social differences. After all, what sounds great in London and Manchester may not be appropriate for Beijing or Tokyo! Localise your messages accordingly, so it is specific and relevant to the candidates you are trying to reach and attract.

Rrecruitment messages should incorporate cultural and social differences

Make the most of social media channels and consider which of them your ideal candidates are most likely to be interested in and use.  Also, look at local job adverts and assess the language and tone, so you can create a similar style in yours. Look at local methods of engaging with prospective candidates instead of just going through the same processes you use in the UK, and speak to your contacts for advice regarding which methods and techniques work best for them.


  1. Qualifications and experience

Is the candidate sat opposite you right for the job? All too often, we focus on a candidate’s qualifications and experience however, when recruiting in international markets it is important to look at all aspects including knowledge of the local market, culture and language.

When selecting a candidate, a number of people will go with their ‘gut feel’ and 99% of the time, insist this works for them. There are more scientific ways in which to recruit someone however, instincts are important.

If your instincts tell you a candidate is right for you, but they do not tick all the boxes, it may be worth considering whether the job specification can be tweaked. After all, recruit in haste and repent at leisure!

At Capita Translation and Interpreting, we are able to advise and assist you in all aspects of localisation for your recruitment campaigns. Make sure you are attracting the right people to fill your roles.

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