10 Tips for Successful Remote or Overseas Recruiting

Leverage the rich data contained in social networks and using recruiting technology that makes accessing that data simple and effective.

By Ziv Eliraz, Founder and CEO, Zao

Hiring the right people at the right time can be a challenge, particularly if you’re expanding operations into a remote location or overseas. It’s important to get every hiring decision right, but bringing new employees onboard takes on additional significance as the company expands into new areas, where newly hired staff will make the company’s first impression in the region. Here are 10 tips to help you make the right choices.

  1. Use your local contacts: Although you may not have employees working in the targeted location, chances are one of your staff, suppliers, partners, vendors, or distributors has local contacts. And since they know your company well, they’ll have relevant insight into which candidates would make a good fit.
  2. Search social networks to identify resources: Social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook contain valuable local data. Conduct a search to see if there are similar or related industries in the targeted area, and reach out to the contacts you find on the social network platforms for information on candidates in the region.
  3. Take a look at social network groups: Social network groups on LinkedIn and Facebook also may offer leads on prospective employees. Do a search on topics related to your recruiting effort (e.g., “programmers, Tucson”) to find relevant forums. Post queries to solicit help in finding the right candidate, and follow up on leads.
  4. Make sure remotely operating employees or agencies are self-directing: If you’re hiring an employee to work from home or using a local placement agency, it’s a good idea to ask for references from trusted sources and follow up on them. You need to make sure that employees or vendors operating independently don’t require constant oversight.
  5. Leverage technology to control costs during the search: Affordable and free services such as Skype allow hiring companies to conduct virtual face-to-face interviews without the associated travel expenses. Use these tools to narrow the candidate pool down to a smaller group.
  6. Make sure you understand local legal and tax implications: Employment-related laws vary significantly from state to state and internationally. Local customs and expectations also can differ widely. Ensure that you understand hiring obligations for contract vs. full-time employees, termination regulations, and local hiring processes and customs.
  7. Bring employees into the recruiting process: Even if you don’t yet have operations in the location you’re targeting, your employees may know people there. The best referrals come from staff and other business contacts who know your company well. Leverage these resources—and their social networks—to identify potential hires. Use incentives to encourage participation.
  8. Evaluate local competitors: While hiring in a remote location or overseas, assessing competitor operations can provide valuable clues. Reach out to past employees of your competitors for advice on building a local team. Social media outlets can provide data to help you identify people with the local knowledge you need.
  9. Find expatriates to get local information: If you’re hiring internationally, people with experience working in the country you’re targeting can provide relevant insights on the local situation and candidate pool. Seek out expatriates online to gain access to information on the local culture and customs from people who have experienced it firsthand.
  10. Make the hire in person: While it’s a great idea to use video technology such as Skype to select a group of finalists, when you’re ready to make an employment decision, it’s best to travel to the area to meet your candidates in person. A face-to-face meeting is the best way for you and your candidates to form a real bond.

Recruiting offsite can be a time-consuming, challenging process, but nothing is more essential to ensuring business success than putting together the right team. By leveraging the rich data contained in social networks and using recruiting technology that makes accessing that data simple and effective, you can find the right people at the right time for successful remote and overseas hiring.

Ziv Eliraz is founder and CEO of Zao, a social recruiting and career site platform. For more information, visit http://www.zao.com.

Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training APEX Awards and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 30 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.